Today, interest rates for subsidized government loans in the US doubled from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. What does this mean? Well, college will now cost the average student an additional 2,600 dollars. That’s on top of the average loan amount of around ,000. So it’s a tough world out there for college kids, but some have refused to bow to the system and we’re going to tell you some of the extreme ways people are going to in order to become college debt free.
Number 5: Delay getting married.
Yahoo contributor Laura Quinn put off getting married until after she paid off her student loan. She worked extra hours in her late twenties so that when she got married, there would be no debt to worry about.
To achieve this, she worked weekdays and weekends, which meant she had no time to date.
But, by the time she turned 30 she was debt free.
Now Quinn is hoping her kids don’t have to go through the same sacrifices to be debt free. She’s encouraging her sons to try “crowd funding. This is essentially asking friends and family, or complete strangers, to pitch in money for the college.
Number 4: Be thrifty, very thrifty, and save money to make ends meet.
Claudia and Olivia are mother and daughter who sacrificed a comfortable lifestyle so that Olivia would emerge from Cornell University debt free. 45 year old Claudia stopped putting money into her retirement account, sold her house to live with a roommate, and drives a friend’s car, all to save money to boost Olivia’s college fund. Olivia is also helping to pay off her tuition. She works as an administrative assistant at Cornell and summer jobs at home. She has yet to graduate, but is already far ahead of her peers by having no college debt.
Number 3: Live in a van, and shower at your school.
After paying off a massive loan of 32, 000 dollars for his bachelor’s degree, Ken Ilgunas refused to take out any more loans when he enrolled for graduate school at Duke. He was able to make ends meet by living in this van he bought off Craigslist for 1,500 dollars. He showered and got water at the campus gym, worked and charged his electronics at the school library. Everything else Ken did in his van. To make extra cash, Ken tutored kids at a local elementary school, and even participated in dozens of medical studies that paid about 10 to 20 dollars an hour for him to take experimental pills. The side effect? Ken graduated in May 2011, completely debt free.
Number 2: Live on a boat
So, student loans are a drag for students anywhere, not just in the US. Joe Pearce from the UK faced sudden financial distress while he was studying. His father used to be the breadwinner of the family, but became blind from multiple sclerosis. Even worse, Joe had broken up with his girlfriend who had helped to pay his rent. To avoid debt from his Master’s degree, Joe bought a boat for 800 pounds, or 1,200 dollars. It became his home. He cycled to school every day, and worked part time at a hotel. He graduated debt free in December 2012, and was even able to travel to Greenland to do volunteer work.
Number 1: Sell your name or your degree
Jason Madsen attended Charlotte School of Law for one year but had to drop out because he couldn’t get a student loan because of bad credit.
But, he still had to pay the tuition fee from the first year. So what does Jason do? Sell his name on Ebay, of course. He offered his legal name at the starting price of 75,000 dollars. For this amount of money, the would-be lawyer was willing to change his name to a business name and drive a car with “whatever logos or messages the winner wants, as well as wear t shirts and other clothing with logos and messages.” His pitch was that the business who bought his name will get a lot of publicity whenever he was interviewed by the media. Unlike our other debt free students, Jason’s grand idea didn’t really work out for him, but it was a pretty extreme attempt.
Oh, and Jason wasn’t the first person to think of selling something to pay off his loan. A Georgetown law grad was able to get just under 600 dollars for his graduation certificate. It was about 10% of what he had offered for it. Oh well, every little bit counts I guess…except he’s left without a degree…but still has a loan….
So what do you think? How fiercely should we tackle our student loan debts? What would you do to pay off a huge amount of student loan debt? Tell us in the comments below.