Part of the University of Michigan-Flint campus along the Flint River.
One woman figured out an ingenious way to pay off her student debt which amounts to more than $90,000. In fact, it’s so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it, or you may wonder if it could ever work.
In late March, Katie Curnow launched "Katie Thanks You," a project where people contribute money to assist her in paying off her debt. What do they get in return? Curnow gives you her gratitude which is expressed in fun and interesting ways — depending on the magnitude of the “donation.”
Those who contribute to the cause receive personalized gifts and packages from the ambitious student borrower.
There are several levels and packages to her donation-thanks system. For as little as $1, Curnow will thank you with the "solicited advice package" where she offers advice on whatever topic you choose. At $2, there is the "dilemma solutions package" where she answers an either/or question for you. If you give $50, Curnow will create a surprise craft and send it to you. If you donate $1,000, then you will receive an "un-package.” Curnow suggests not making such a big donation since she has “nothing to offer as a gift at this level."
Curnow accrued her massive debt while earning a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English language and literature at the University of Michigan-Flint. While she had a scholarship her first year, she depended on student loans for the remainder of her education.
Curnow works full-time as a marketing coordinator and is currently making payments between $400-$500 per month on her loans. She has only received three donations through the site, and two of the donors opted out of the gratitude gift.
The Student Loan Report reached out to Katie for a comment, but no response has been received thus far.
While Curnow may be debt-free in 10 years, the same cannot be said about the rest of the country with almost 100 percent certainty. Student debt has outpaced inflation consistently, and the total outstanding debt toll exceeds $1.4 trillion.
Owing so much out of college is sure to generate some creative solutions like "Katie Thanks You." An example occurred recently when a Nicki Minaj fan appealed to the pop star to pay off his or her student loans. The appeal worked in a way for some student debtors. The pop star reportedly paid off the loans and tuition of a few fans, the ones who had straight A’s at least.
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