(CBS Local) — Four in five graduates with student loans think of their debt as a life sentence, according to new research, so it’s not hard to imagine how far people would go to to get rid of their debt, including going to jail.

A study of 1,000 undergraduate and 1,000 postgraduate degree holders revealed 89 percent of graduates say their student loan debt has become a financial burden, CBS affiliate WREG reported.

As many as 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt, according to the latest data by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The total amount of student loan debt is $1.53 trillion, making it the second highest consumer debt category, second only behind mortgages.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Splash Financial, the survey found people with student loans are making major sacrifices because of their financial situation, including: skipping a social event to save money (39 percent), picking up a second job (39 percent) and missing a loved ones’ life event, like a wedding or a birth, to avoid travel costs (36 percent).

How far would they go to erase student debt?

Some graduates said they’d be willing to shave their head (51 percent), walk to work for a month (49 percent), relive high school over again (40 percent) and yes, spend a week in jail (39 percent).

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