Graduates Using Volunteer Work For Student Debt Relief

Recent College Graduates and Volunteer Programs

Recent College Graduates and Volunteer Programs

Student loans are increasingly large and often a recent graduate feels a lot of pressure because of the mountain of debt they must deal with. With the job market still recovering from the global financial crisis many graduates have had problems securing employment or have been unable to secure employment in their chosen field so are working for much less than they expected to receive.

As reported by, an interesting way for students to lower than debt has started popping up in recent years. Some organizations are offering programs that help pay off a students loans in exchange for volunteer work!

In Chicago a group called has a program that pairs recent graduates with certain skills to volunteer organizations. In exchange for their hard work, the recent graduates receive money to help pay off their student loans.

SponsorChange also operates in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. and also provides the recent graduates with an opportunity to expand their job skills and networking. As the CMO of SponsorChange explains: “People are getting crushed with debt as higher education costs are skyrocketing, We just want people who have skills and are very interested in helping the overall community.”

Because of the depressed job market, some recent graduates may have full time positions but it is very difficult to pay off the student loans. The option provided by organizations like SponsorChange gives them another option to keep the loan paid down and free up cash for living expenses.

The amount that is pai is pretty decent as well with the program averaging $20 per hour for skill based volunteering. By volunteering 8 or 10 hours a week, a graduate can put a pretty hefty dent in the repayment costs. In addition to making new contacts, paying down their loan and gaining experience, the recent graduate is also making a difference to their community and helping build their resume for future employment. Experience with a volunteer organization always looks good on a resume and the graduates feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment by giving back to their community and country.

There are other organizations doing similar things throughout the country so it is worthwhile contacting local volunteer groups and searcing the Internet to see what is out there.

There are also other schemes which help with repayments. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is also popular and allows people who work in public service jobs to qualify for forgiveness of their federal student loans. There are eligibility requirements however – you would need to make a certain number of repayments or stay in a public service role for a number of years. It is something to consider when looking for work however – how will it affect your student loans.

Recent graduates who are struggling can also look to refinance their loans and look at government assistance.

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