As student loan debt has now exceeded the $1 trillion mark, we seem to be struggling to find viable solutions.
Government lags as conflicting interests cause legislative stagnation. The lenders refuse to be flexible and have actually become more aggressive with their collection tactics.
Solutions must be found elsewhere. Students and alumni must be empowered to pay back their debt without relying on Government or lender assistance as they simply cannot be counted on.
Creative Solutions to a Paralyzing Problem
I recently wrote about the residency based repayment assistance program instituted in Niagra Falls, New York. This program is based on similar programs implemented in other parts of the country that have been successful to a certain extent.
This creative assistance program is intriguing, but it requires recent graduates to move to Niagra Falls and uproot their lives.
What if you could stay where you are and get student loan assistance while helping your community become a better place? What if you could get help with your loans while improving your future professional prospects and network?
Enter “Zero Bound”
Zero Bound is an internet startup still in the funding stage. This web platform aims to connect indebted students and alumni with donors who sponsor volunteer work.
As stated on their website:
“Zero Bound helps students and alumni reduce debt through sponsored volunteerism.
Our approach is simple: pay it down by paying it forward.”
In exchange for completing certain volunteer work, the donation is applied towards paying down that individuals student loan balance. The more you volunteer, the more donations you receive.
I’m not sure Zero Bound will be the ultimate solution to the $1 trillion student loan debt bomb waiting to explode. It may, however, be the solution to one person’s student loan debt problem.
More importantly, it provides hope. Hope that through the innovate and creative efforts of young entrepreneurs, we may be able to chip away at this mountain of student loan debt while the Government and the lenders drag their heels.
Image courtesy of schluesselbein (Flickr).