Debt Relief for Good
Organized by: Jackie Brenneman
Jackie Brenneman via Crowdrise
January 30, 2016
Well hello there! It's me, Jackie. Your average indebted millenial. As most of you know, an insane amount of student loan debt has changed my life in ways I never imagined when I entered college. This debt translates into at least another decade of monthly payments in the four figures. Money I could spend on Sadie (or retirement...) is going to pay student loan debts I should never have been approved for in the first place. (Because what Anthropology and Dramatic Literature major can pay off a high six figure debt??) Being the super determined and proactive gal that I am, I have been working two jobs and cutting out all unnecessary expenses. However, we recently hit a very rough patch when Krys was laid off a few months ago, so I am coming to you, friends and Internet, to ask for help.
But it isn't the Jackie Way (TM) to just ask for help. Instead, I am promising to donate my time and skills for specific funding levels to those in need. PLUS any extra loan payments rob Sallie Mae of their precious compounding interest, so it is really a win-win right? With your help, we can pay off my debt for good. (See what I did there?)
We all know that student loans are out of control, but have you ever thought about what society would be like if smart, passionate, and educated people could enter the workforce debt free? How many corporate workers are spending 50+ hours per week in the office helping big companies get bigger instead of using their talents and skills to help others? Enter "Debt Relief for Good." Through an unfortunate series of events I entered the workforce with six figures of debt and an inability to do the community work I am passionate about. And I know I am not alone. I am using this campaign to prove that a debt-free worker is a better worker and a better citizen. With your help I will put my time, skills and passion into helping those who can best benefit from my education, and hopefully start a movement to pay this forward. What could America be with an unburdened workforce? We can find out together!
Every dollar you donate will go directly to student loan payments. In addition, for certain donation levels I will pay it forward by donating my time to members of the community that could benefit from my legal or theater training. I am starting with myself, but hopefully this will grow and together we can pay off the debts of other workers in exchange for meaningful community service.
How this works:
For the first phase of the Project (up to $50,000 in funding) I will offer the following perks:
- Donations of $10 or more: I will send you a personal old timey hand written thank you card. Every dollar helps!
- Donations of $50 or more: I will donate an hour of my time to providing legal services or other community services to low-income residents of Los Angeles and send personalized thank you to the donor!
- Donations of $150 or more: I will donate several hours (2-4 depending on the requirements of the organization) to providing legal services or other community services to low-income Los Angeles residents with a personalized thank you to the donor. Donor gets to select the cause!
- Donations of $350 or more: I will donate a day (4-8 hours depending on the requirements of the organization) to providing legal services or other community services to low-income residents of Los Angeles with a personalized thank you to the donor. Donor gets to select the cause!
- Donations of $1250 or more: I will donate a week (at least 20 hours) to providing legal services or other community services to low-income residents of Los Angeles with a personalized thank you to the donor. Donor gets to select the cause!
- Donations of $5000 or more: I will donate a MONTH (at least 20 hours per week) to providing legal services or other community services to low-income residents of Los Angeles with a personalized thank you to the donor. Donor gets to select the cause!
EVERY DOLLAR YOU DONATE GOES DIRECTLY TO DEBT RELIEF!
What happens next?
After the first phase of fundraising, additional donations will go to my second goal of $45,000. Once I reach my second goal, all extra funds will go to continuing the mission of the project through establishing a fund to pay for student loan debts of other indebted workers in exchange for valuable community service. I hope more than anything that this becomes a sustainable model of crowdfunded community service and debt relief for so many of the workers out there struggling to pay student loan debts and unable to invest any additional time or capital in bettering their communities.
Student loan debts are at an all-time high with over $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loans. As college costs continue to rise, more and more families are having to seek financial aid to help pay for college. Student loan companies are eager to write giant checks to 18-year-old liberal arts majors with no credit scores. Why? Because federal and private student loans cannot be discharged in Bankruptcy. This means that lenders bear little to no risk approving loans that many students will have to spend a LIFETIME repaying.
Student loan debt is a barrier to small business ownership, home ownership, and is a reason people take a high-paying corporate job over a non-profit position. With high monthly payments, compounding interest rates and no opportunity to discharge debts in bankruptcy, college graduates are entering the workforce with decades worth of debt they must repay before they can ever really start putting aside money for crucial life goals like home ownership, child-related costs, and retirement.
With this model we can have the opportunity to help free this generation one good deed at a time. This will allow a large group of highly educated and motivated workers to be free to use that knowledge and enthusiasm to build a better America. Starting with myself, I hope to prove that an unburdened workforce is a problem that we can all solve.
I am a lawyer, anthropologist and musical theater lover who wants to use my education for good. With six figures of debt and high monthly payments I soon realized that a "Big Law" job was the only way to make ends meet. However, after years of work and school I realized that giving my skills to corporate America was not an appropriate use of my education. After hearing similar stories from other wonderful educated people who felt trapped by debts I started this campaign to prove that there has to be a better way. Don't you agree? What would you do without your debt? Help us and find out!