A friend just pointed me to Charity for Debt, a program that is being piloted here in D.C. as well as in Dallas and Oklahoma City. The basic idea is that people with student loan debt can sign up and work at a non-profit and receive tax-free money towards their student loan in return, earning up to $20 an hour.
It’s an interesting premise. It requires between 6 and 10 hours of volunteering a week, so a volunteer could earn up to $200 a week just for the volunteer work. (Of course, I’m not sure you can actually consider this volunteering, since you are getting something in return, but that’s the term that Charity for Debt uses, so that’s what I’ll use as well.)
Given the current state of the economy and the fact that a lot of people are picking up part time jobs in addition to their full time jobs just to pay the bills, I’m sure that charities are hurting for workers, and this is a great way to allow those with student loan debt to do that part time work, do something good for the community, and still make the student loan payments.
I’m not a candidate for the program (thank you family and scholarships), but I would love to hear the opinions of anyone who decides to try out this program. I know there are a number of D.C. PF Bloggers out there who might be eligible, and maybe there are some of you in Oklahoma City and Dallas as well. Let me know if you decide to check it out!
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.