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!