It’s no secret that student loan debt is out of control. Students are being pushed into going to post-secondary for something, anything, even if it means they have to put themselves tens of thousands of dollars in the hole, just so they can graduate into a job market stuffed full of other highly-qualified graduates without enough jobs to go around — and in the end, many end up taking low-paying jobs in fields they didn’t put themselves tens of thousands of dollars in the hole to become qualified in just so they can scrape by while attempting to pay off their loans and all the interest they’re constantly accruing.
It’s, uh… pretty bleak.
Piglt, a startup cofounded by Casey Waller, hopes to make life a little better for students who have a dream they can’t achieve without taking on unreasonable debt.
Cofounder Casey Waller described the site as “education’s entrepreneurial piggy bank.” Piglt is an incentive-based crowdfunding platform for higher education expenses and student loan debt. Students offer their current abilities, skills, and products in exchange for financial contributions, which go directly to the financial institution that holds the debt.
Piglt hopes current students will be supported by more established people who want to see them get their education without the enormous setback of unreasonable debt. For doing so, these supporters will receive creative services from the students. A promotional video for the company (above) suggests a law student might offer free consultations, or an art student could provide drawing lessons.
So essentially, Piglt provides a platform for students and former students to freelance. The only difference is that with Piglt, the money goes directly to the loan holder, so supporters know their money is being spent wisely. Not that that’s a bad thing, of course – though students and graduates should be aware that there are ways to freelance without having to pay 5 to 8 percent (that’s Piglt’s fee) of your income to a third party.
But, if Piglt takes off and enough people flock to it hoping to help pay off a needy grad’s debt, it could be a great place for folks to offer their skills and services on a freelance basis to a built-in marketplace and start chipping away at those loans. Time will tell.