Unique Methods of Paying those Student Loans

Sunday, Dec. 5th 2010 6:27 PM

Last week we shared with readers the story of 23-year-old Kelli Space, her $200,000 plus in student loans, and her unique method of addressing her dire position. At last check, the young lady had secured donations totaling more than $7,500. Though still $192,500 more is needed, she has to be pleased with both the publicity her plight has drawn and the fact that she is making some progress.

This past week, Justin Cox revealed his effort to deal with his equally difficult position. He too has his own web site, StrummingAwayMyLoans, and has resorted to the loan challenge in what some might call a beggarly way.

“For the next year, I will play music in public at least once per week (in a subway, on a corner, in a coffee shop, wherever),” writes Cox. “I’ll keep a tip jar in front of me, and every single penny I make will be thrown in the direction of those loans. It will be both financially productive and artistically healthy.”

iStock_000007066069XSmallWhile some might cast this street musician in a negative light, Cox’s philosophy on the issue is transcendent of the typical view. In fact, there is a lot of respect for someone who notes that there are options for those willing to search.

“Whether it’s cooking, painting, jewelry making or working on your car, your debt can be the motivational catalyst that forces you to revive a dying passion or hone a natural talent,” states Cox. “It’s the ultimate, lemons-into-lemonade approach.”

It is nice to see someone digging deep, looking for any way to earn some additional funds to address their college debt. But street musician is a tough way to make a buck – instead of some $7,500 Cox reveals he took in 37 dollars in his first full month. Not exactly game changing when your loan payment is some $700 a month.

Other Unique Options

Young Mr. Cox and Ms. Space offer their unique approaches to what is a very tough situation. As for other unusual methods, the folks at CollegeScholarships offer some unique options as well.

Suggestion number 110 on their list represents just such an option:

We’re not endorsing prostitution, but if you can give some of yourself by donating blood plasma, you can net an extra couple hundred dollars a month.

Number 111 is similar.

Volunteer for a medical study. Most do not require much time and you get paid!

They do not suggest as much but we know of a young woman who has been giving thought of donating her eggs to a fertility clinic.

Yes, there are the ethical concerns associated with being a donor or being a guinea pig in a medical study, but then again we would suggest there are ethical concerns associated with virtually all of the aforementioned methods.

But if you took out those loans, then there are the ethics associated with meeting your loan payments.

Get Busy Taking Control

But it is suggestion numbers 112 and 113 at CollegeScholarships, two that mirror the philosophy of one Mr. Cox, that we like best.

Sell your expertise in a subject as a tutor, computer skills, music lessons.

We would add that while tutoring you counsel your charges to think twice about taking on gobs of debt.

Get a job in the food service industry. Chances are high that you can eat for free!

Yes, even if it is only to work part-time, flipping burgers could carry some much needed benefits.

Here we turn back to Mr. Cox and his philosophy:

“The goal is not fame and fortune; it’s art and, hopefully, a little bit of financial relief. I still get stressed by the fact that I’m staring down the barrel of decades of debt, but I take some very real comfort in the fact that I might strum a few of those years away.”

The bottom line is get busy – taking charge of your situation is the first step towards progress and ultimately feeling better about yourself.

Posted by Thomas | in Student Loans | No Comments »

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