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Paying Back Student Loans

Your Two Cents: Asking Strangers to Pay Your Student Loans

There’s a recent grad from Maine who wants people to help him pay off his student loans. Who doesn't, right? But this guy has actually set up a website where $200 will sponsor a month of his loans, and in return the contributor gets all of the ad space on the website for the full month. He encourages people to "think of it as charitable giving; with a twist." What do you make of this?


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pixelhaze pixelhaze 9 years
My sister has a full scholarship to her college. Does that mean she is lazy and needs to get a job instead of getting someone else to pay it for her? Who cares how he did it? I just wish I'd thought of it. And advertising is usually a lot more expensive.
SML_Luke SML_Luke 9 years
THANK YOU EM113! you get it!
em113 em113 9 years
it seems to me that people who paid off their loans by themselves are putting down luke just to put themselves on a pedestal. Congratulations that you worked hard and paid off your loans, it doesn't make you better than anyone else. Luke has a job in addition to this website that he's clearly putting time and effort into it. College is insanely expensive these days, my best friend is studying to become a teacher where she will make well under 30,000 a year, she will need to survive on it, and pay off 100,000+ in loans. I hope she comes up with an idea like Luke's because otherwise she will be saddled in debt forever. I will not think less of her or think she is immature if she pays off her loans in an unconventional way, and none of you have earned the right to look down on Luke, though obviously you think you have. -rant over!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
He is offering something in return for the money, so I don't see it as begging--whether or not the ad space on the website is worth it, is up to whomever is considering buying it. I do agree with bfly1133 that calling it "charitable giving with a twist" is not the best tagline. That does give the enterprise a lot of negative connotations it doesn't deserve.
SML_Luke SML_Luke 9 years
Once again, I'm not not "working hard" and I am NOT just "asking people for money" the website is hard work and is just like making money at any other job to pay my loans. Every successful website on the Internet sells ads (including the one you're reading right now) to pay the bills, I'm just making it known exactly where the money I receive is going.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
The cost of college is rediculous. I really don't see how people afford it or pay for their kids to go. I am so nervous because my step kids are 15 and 14 and will be going to college in 3-4 years and I have no clue how we will be able to afford it for them. Not that we don't have money and good jobs but we do have bills and I am not looking to pay more for college than the price of our house!
kissmesteph kissmesteph 9 years
jkat (#16) - I felt the exact same way! The day I made my final payment, I felt so accomplished! I'm really proud of myself for the way I buckled down and did it on my own.
kissmesteph kissmesteph 9 years
I think it's pathetic asking other people to cover your loan payments. Hard work and saving paid off mine. Being an adult requires being responsible and taking care of your finances. I think this guy needs to grow up.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
SML_Luke SML_Luke 9 years
cubadog - I would love to be able to turn it into a post-scholarship opportunity, if it's able to go that far. The overall concept (getting companies to help cover the cost of college) isn't necessarily new, you're right, but no one has done it *exactly* like I am.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
This reminds me of the "Million Dollar Website" from a few years ago. A guy came up with the idea that each pixel on his website would cost 1 pound for advertising space. He ended up selling all the spots just for coming up with a novel idea.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
While I still do not think that this is at all creative it has been done. I will tell you this Luke if this does prove to be successful for you I hope that you follow through with post-scholarship idea. I do think that is a great idea and it would be sad if you only did it long enough to benefit yourself.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
This is a fab idea, if people are paying for ad space on Goggle, Yahoo, and MSN; why not let him get a piece of the pie.
em113 em113 9 years
I think its creative...and if it doesn't work so what? At least he tried. I don't understand why anyone would object to his giving this a shot. bitterness that someone isn't having to spend as much of his own money paying off loans as you may have? I don't know, but I say, good for him!
SML_Luke SML_Luke 9 years
sweetrae80 - $200/month is actually really reasonable when you look at all of the ad space a company would be getting (not to mention the exclusivity of it) and compare it to the cost of advertising on other established websites.
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 9 years
Luke (#15) makes some really good points
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 9 years
That is a creative idea-but 200 bucks a month seems kind of steep for ad space.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
JKAT you kick ass. I am still have $10,000 to pay I may not have gone to law school but I also have done it myself.
jkat jkat 9 years
I just paid off all $93,500 of my law school loans TODAY! ALL BY MYSELF! It is the biggest feeling of accomplishment (second to graduating from law school) that I have ever felt.
SML_Luke SML_Luke 9 years
Hi everyone, this is Luke (the kid who created First, I wanted to thank for the great story; I really appreciate it. I wanted to clear a few things up - as many of you said, I'm not begging people for money or donations, I am offering companies (not "people") an advertising opportunity and it just so happens that I'm using the income earned from the advertising to pay my student loans (in order to give the site a brand or a niche, if you will). The site is getting a great number of hits already and a bunch of media attention. That being the case, $200/month is actually a steal, compared to the price of lots of other websites. The ads are static and there for an entire month, there is a TON of space for ads and, most importantly, the company supplying the "sponsorship" is the ONLY company advertising on the site, so they get all of the attention. This virtually NEVER happens on any other website. Also, the comment "why doesn't he get a job?" has come up a lot (both here and elsewhere) - I have a job! I have a full-time job, in addition to my Internet entrepreneurship. A lot of grads don't get a job right away but I was lucky enough to. However, it's still an entry-level job with an entry-level salary. In order to make enough money to make ends meet on my entry-level salary, I knew I needed to make some supplemental income; this is how I'm trying to do that. It's really no different than taking on a second part-time job anywhere else. If the site is successful enough for me, I hope that it will accomplish two things: first, a large part of the reason I launched the site was to bring light to the fact that college has become so outrageously expensive, that paying for it is nearly impossible. But without it, getting a decent job is also increasingly impossible; and that something needs to be done about this. Secondly, if it is eventually successful enough to pay off my loans, I would love to keep the site up and offer a sort of post-college scholarship where graduates can apply to be featured as the site's recipient, keeping the idea going forever. Anyway, sorry to bore you all with a long response but I thought I needed to clear the air a bit. I welcome all of your feedback and will continue to check your comments. If anyone would like to talk to me directly, they can email me at Thanks again to the crew for their post and thank you all for your engaging comments. Best, Luke creator of
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I do not think it is all the creative, there have been many people that have sold advertisement space on their bodies to pay for college whether it be on EBay or companies recruiting them on campus. Plus there are many programs available to help you lower the payments on your loans until you are on your feet. Maybe he should sell some of the beer he is making in his spare time or maybe sell the equipment where did he get the money to buy that maybe that could have been a student loan payment.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I think it's kind of lame. I mean does he REALLY think people will just give away their money for some semi lucrative ad space?
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Wish I thought of it. :)
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
I do think his tagline which is in essence "a donation with a twist," is dumb. It isn't a donation and I think it can give way to negative perceptions.
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
Sure it's creative, but it isn't the most effective advertising medium out there. It could be a good tool for a local company to promote goodwill if they use free publicity to get the word out. As a person in charge of marketing, I wouldn't recommend it. The guy isn't asking for a handout, he is creating a business enterprise. I don't have a problem with it. If he was looking for donations it would be a different story.
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