3 ways to get other people to pay off your student loans


3 ways to get other people to pay off your student loans

3 ways to get other people to pay off your student loans   10:50 AM ET Mon, 15 Oct 2018 | 01:23

This holiday season could be a good time to knock down your student debt.

Gift of College, an education registry, lets people register their student loan account, and then share their profile with friends and family who can contribute funds toward your loans.

“Wouldn’t you rather get Aunt Emma to kick in toward your student loans than give you another ugly sweater for Christmas?” said Nadine Perry, director of marketing at Gift of College.

If you’re doing gift swaps with your friends, you can even ask for a Gift of College gift card, which can be redeemed as a payment into any student loan account. (Here’s a directory of where the cards are sold).

As student debt grows, so do the plans to squelch it.

Some of the ideas are pretty creative: New Jersey, for example, considered establishing a lottery for borrowers burdened by student debt. Other ways of garnering money to eliminate your education debt don’t rely on luck, but rather require rolling up your sleeves or boning up on historical facts.

Keep in mind, however, that these endeavors aren’t free aid. The funds, even money offered by an organization in return for volunteer work, are taxable.

“All money you receive for volunteering or win on a trivia app or lottery is considered income by the IRS,” said Mark Kantrowitz, a student loan expert.

Here are some of the ways to get other people to pay off your debt.

1) At your job

Currently, just 4 percent of employers offer student debt assistance. But that’s changing as more employers come to realize education debt is a problem for many of their workers, said Katie Berliner, account executive at YouDecide, a benefits firm.

“In order to attract and retain talent, employers are looking at offering contributions to people’s student loans,” Berliner said.

Companies that have offered their employees help with their student loans include Aetna, Penguin Random House, Nvidia and Staples.

Fidelity announced this year that 25 employers — including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, New York Air Brake and Millennium Trust — plan to implement its student debt employer contribution program. (Fidelity also offers a student debt benefit for its own employees.)

“Do a quick Google search and find the employers who are out there doing this,” Berliner said.

Most likely, the company you’re interviewing with won’t offer the benefit, but that shouldn’t stop you from asking about it, Berliner said. “In the course of the interview, there comes a point where the interviewer says, ‘Do you have any questions?'” Berliner said. “It would not be out of line to say: ‘I want to get your perspective on whether you think this a valuable benefit.'”

2) By volunteering

Borrowers can enroll with Shared Harvest Fund. Users create a profile and list the social causes they’re interested in, such as gender equality or homelessness. You’ll work on projects for nonprofits and businesses and receive a monthly stipend of $250 to $1,000.

Although the work will start off in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, “eventually, people can live in Arkansas and do work for a nonprofit in Los Angeles,” said NanaEfua B.A.M, founder of Shared Harvest Fund.

3) Apps/online

Givling is an app that lets student loan borrowers play trivia, with the winning team each week earning roughly $5,000 per person. “Some people are not the best trivia players, but they’re motivated to get help with their student loans,” said Seth Beard, Givling’s chief marketing officer.

The app ChangeEd will put your spare change toward your student loan payments. For example, if you buy a $1.75 coffee, 25 cents will go toward your debt.


3 Ways To Jumpstart Your Career This Summer

Summer is the prime time to get a jumpstart on your career. Work is slower and the days are longer, leaving you with more time to invest in yourself and your development. Whether you’re looking for a new job, working towards a promotion, or happy in your current role, you should always devote time to building your career.

Summer is usually a bit slower for most businesses, which means you have more time to build connections. Reach out to at least one person in your network that you haven’t been in contact with recently and set up a coffee meeting or phone call. Send a catch up email to someone from the last networking event you attended to touch base with them. You don’t always have to have a specific agenda to meet someone. It can be nice to just touch base and stay at the top of someone’s mind.

If you’re looking to change careers, reach out to someone at a company you’d like to work for. Learn about their role, their bosses, and what they like and don’t like about their job. If you’re working towards a promotion, find someone in the role you’re aspiring to. They don’t have to be at your company. Talk to them about how they got their job, and see if they have any recommendations for skills you should learn or ways to position yourself as the right candidate for that role.

In general, reach out to at least one new person every week. If you’re job searching, aim for connecting with five people each week. Remember that you won’t hear back from everyone. It’s not personal – perhaps they’re busy, the email you have isn’t one they use anymore or check often, or your message got lost in the sea of hundreds they receive daily. It’s always good to reach out twice. Wait about a week and then send another message with a friendly response checking to see if they received your previous email.

Learn a new skill.

A foolproof way to move your career forward is by learning. This can be done in a formal way by taking a class, or informally by studying on your own. Taking a group class or workshop is also another great way to expand your network and meet new people. What better time than the summer to learn something new? Take advantage of the slower pace of work and the days it’s too hot to go outside and fill them with something productive.