Part of the University of Michigan-Flint campus, located along the Flint River.
One woman figured out an ingenious way to pay off her student debt, amounting to more than $90,000. In fact, it’s so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it.
Katie Curnow launched Katie Thanks You in late March, a project where people contribute money to assist her in paying off her the debt. What do they get in return? Curnow gives you her gratitude, which she expresses in fun and interesting ways — depending on the level of the “donation.”
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.
And while Curnow, who works full-time as a marketing coordinator, realizes making the payments—between $400-$500 per month—is a fact of life, she would like to pay it back as soon as possible. That goal led to her new venture when she started Katie Thanks You. As mentioned earlier, this service consists of her receiving a donation and sending something to the donor in appreciation.
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 will offer advice on whatever topic you choose. At $2, there is the "dilemma solutions package" where she’ll answer an either/or question for you such as "pancakes or waffles." If you give $50, Curnow will create a surprise craft and send it to you.
Want to donate $1,000 for an "un-package?” Curnow suggests not making such a big donation since she has “nothing to offer as a gift at this level."
Although she has only received three donations through the site with two of the donors opting not to receive a gratitude gift, Curnow hopes to pay off her debt within 10 years.
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. Spread out over 40 million student debtors, the average debt toll per borrower circles around $28,000.
Owing so much out of college is sure to generate some creative solutions. An example of this 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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