Crowdfunding Your Student Loan Debt

| 7 min read Crowdfunding

Have you ever thought about what life could look like without student loan debt? Maybe you could fulfill your dream of buying a home, launching your own business, or giving a family member the nursing care they deserve.

You’re not alone if you daydream about how to pay off student loans quickly. In 2017, a report found that 67% of Canadians had debt when graduating – an average of $22,000 in debt. More recently, the government cut the OSAP program by about $670 million – which reduced the amount of funding lower-income students could receive. 

But your financial future doesn’t have to look bleak. Crowdfunding your student loan debt can help you find hope and live beyond the limitations set by steep education costs.

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Why use crowdfunding to pay off student loans?

When you look into how to get rid of student loans or need to start paying back your OSAP loan, you might discover the options are limited. Student loans aren’t easily forgiven, even in bankruptcy. In many cases, borrowers can’t even refinance student loans at lower rates.

This is where crowdfunding comes into the picture. Crowdfunding your student loan debt can help reduce your monthly bill and allow you to pay down your principal balance faster. Many people who used crowdfunding for student loans were able to avoid decades of debt. Even current students have jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon, raising money for the cost of university so they can avoid debt later on.

How does crowdfunding student loan debt work?

People crowdfund by starting an online fundraiser that their friends, family, and community members contribute to. They then apply the donations to their student loans or OSAP balances. But unlike student loans, the money you receive through crowdfunding doesn’t have to be repaid—except in gratitude to those who have supported you. Some people even like to pay it forward to other students in need once they’re on their feet.

If you’re ready to get help paying off student loans, start by following the six steps below.

1. Pick your platform

These days, there countless crowdfunding websites to choose from. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, here are the key features to look for when you’re ready to start education fundraising efforts.

No platform fees

Some crowdfunding sites take a certain percentage of each donation as a fee. You’ll want to look for a crowdfunding site that offers fundraising so you can keep more of your donations. Compare website fees by reading our blog Which Fundraising Site has the Lowest Fees.

Excellent customer support

If you run into trouble, it’s important to have a customer service team that can provide 24/7 support quickly.

Easy sharing tools

Sharing your fundraiser is one of the most important things you can do to bring in donations. You’ll want to look for a crowdfunding platform that makes sharing your fundraiser on social media and other mediums simple.

A reliable mobile app

If you’d like to easily manage your fundraiser on the go, a solid mobile app is important. A well-made mobile app will allow you to seamlessly make changes to your fundraiser, thank donors, and withdraw your funds all from your phone. It can also make mobile giving easy for your supporters.

A useful blog

If you need specific help learning how to raise money to pay off student loans via crowdfunding, it’s always nice to have a blog with articles related to your cause. In addition to general fundraising tips, the blog should offer content related to tuition fundraising and how to pay for university through crowdfunding.

2. Create a compelling fundraiser

When people visit your fundraiser, you’ll want them to engage with your story right away. Images and videos that are clear and help you tell your story are important, but the words you choose matter just as much. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together some helpful storytelling tips in our blog post Your Fundraiser Story: A Comprehensive Guide.

4. Share your fundraiser

Sharing your fundraiser with everyone you know is the best way to maximize donations. Each time you share your fundraiser on Facebook, it will net an average of $43. You can also share your fundraiser link through emails and text messages.

For more tips on effectively sharing your fundraiser, take a look at these blog posts:

5. Keep your supporters in the loop

After you’ve started raising money, donors will be curious to know how their contributions are making a difference. Posting updates keeps supporters up to date on your fundraising journey—and this can lead to more donations and donor retention. There’s an art to writing an effective update, and we cover all the details in our post How to Write a Fundraiser Update.

6. Give back through gratitude

Everyone loves receiving thanks for a kind deed, and your donors are no different. In fact, thank-you notes are an essential fundraising tool. For some ideas, take a look at these blog posts:

See how crowdfunding helped real people pay student loans

When these folks didn’t know how to pay off student loans quickly and it negatively affected their lives, they turned to crowdfunding for help.

Shannon Otto Student Loan

Shannon was featured on The New York Times podcast “The Daily” when her nursing license was suspended because she couldn’t make her student loan payments. In serious financial trouble and unable to work, she didn’t know where to turn. A listener started a GoFundMe for her, but it turned out she had already set one set up—and it ended up raising more than $9,000 to help her get back on her feet.

It’s Never Too Late For Yr Dreams

Twenty years ago, Rachel dropped out of film school at UCLA when she became pregnant. Friends and advisors told her it wouldn’t be possible to raise a child while going through the program, so she started over in Alabama, becoming a university film professor.

Flash forward to the present day, and Rachel has decided to continue pursuing her lifelong dream of working in Hollywood. Aside from the political barriers to breaking into the film industry as a female director, Rachel faced financial barriers as well: a $12,000 fee to join the Director’s Guild of America, moving expenses, and existing student loan debt. To offset these costs and follow her dreams, Rachel started a GoFundMe that raised over $15,000.

Crowdfunding can help you live without loans

If you’ve struggled with finding out how to pay off student loans or OSAP, crowdfunding is an option worth exploring. Whether you want to fundraise proactively or you already have student loan debt, GoFundMe student loan assistance makes it easy to raise money right away.

Thousands of people have used GoFundMe to pay off student loans and find financial freedom—are you ready to give it a try as well? Start your fundraiser today.

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Written by caitlin