Volunteer Your Way Out of Debt? | 03.07.11
If you could pay off your student loans by spending a few hours a week volunteering, would you? Well believe it or not, it’s possible. There are a couple of brand new organizations starting up that can help alleviate the burden of your student loans through volunteer work. Since the programs are relatively new, they are not yet nation-wide and are (or will be) based in Washington D.C., Dallas, TX and Pittsburgh, PA. These programs not only perform a service to people seeking student loan debt assistance, but are particularly noteworthy because they promote volunteerism and change within communities. The success of these pilot programs will be hugely influential both in local communities and for the millions of college graduates struggling to pay off their student loan debt.
Based in Pittsburgh PA, sponsorchange.org matches volunteers with local non-profit companies so that college graduates can use their unique skills to foster change. Payment for your services comes from generous businesses and donors who fund this noteworthy cause. Payment for a graduate’s services ranges from $10-$15 per hour and depends upon your skills and the skills required for the tasks being performed. Volunteering through Sponsorchange.org may not be for everyone, as “change agents” must meet certain criteria to apply. This includes
- Being a college graduate
- Ability to prove student loan debt
- Proven volunteer service
- Leadership skills
Additionally, change agents are required to write blogs on their service experience along with uploading accompanying pictures of their volunteer efforts.
This organization works in a similar fashion. College grads get paid through the donations of generous individuals and businesses for their volunteer efforts. Volunteers are placed with local non-profits seeking help and get paid roughly $15/hr. Currently Charity for Debt will operate in Washington, D.C. and Dallas, TX and will be restricted to offering programs in these areas (for now). Before you are matched with a company to work with, you will be able to provide a list of your top three activities and hopefully be chosen for one! A benefit for paying your loans through this volunteer program is that your compensation will be tax-free!
These two organizations are the beginning of change for student loan holders. With the success of these initial programs comes the expansion to other cities nationwide. We look forward to seeing these programs succeed and to seeing what they can offer communities! If anyone has personal experience working through one of these organizations, post a comment to share your experience!
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