Photo courtesy of .craig
We have all read stories of shocking things people have done to get out of debt. However, a recent US Weekly story takes things to a new level. According to the story (via Fox News), the 22 year-old Sacramento State graduate has agreed to give up her virginity in exchange for repayment of her student loan debt. Some Nevada house of ill-repute has agreed to host the “event.” Disgusting.
Where to Begin
There are several sides to this story that I find particularly troublesome. I won’t get into the morality or immorality of prostitution, but I will say that this is a perfect example of the biblical reference, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” This girl must be feeling completely hopeless to agree to sell her body to release her from the bondage of student loan debt. There are certainly many other reputable alternatives to debt repayment.
- Charity for Debt. Many programs are cropping up that allow graduates to volunteer their time to a cause sponsored by someone willing to repay a portion of their student loan debt. This is a fascinating concept, and one that I hope catches on. If I had enough money sitting around to pay off this young lady’s student loan debt, I would offer it to her through the Charity for Debt program. She could volunteer her time to a worthy cause, avoid turning to the world’s oldest profession, and I would receive a tax deduction. Everybody wins.
- Get a job. I know, how old-fashioned. After only two years of college I recognized student loans were not the way to go. I got a job and decided to work my way through the remainder of school, and through the student loans I had already accumulated. Try to find a company that offers tuition reimbursement if you are still pursuing a degree. If you are already finished with school, but still paying for it, hold your lifestyle in check those first few years and throw everything you can at repaying those loans.
- Seek help from a family member. Often times, extended family members may be willing to help shoulder the costs of college. Services like Freshman Fund allows family and friends to contribute to a student’s college savings plan by offering a single point of contact online where family can make donations. Behind the scenes these donations can be spread around 529 college savings plans as designated by the student or parent. If already out of school, it is still not too late to accept help from family.
This article underscores the importance of living a debt free life. When you are deep in debt your options may be so limited that you turn to things you wouldn’t normally in effort to escape the debt trap. I hope this serves as a cautionary tale for students entering college, and that they will seek alternatives to student loans.