Social Finance Rocks Student Loan Culture
February 20, 2013

At a time when traditional means of obtaining student loans are failing us, students are in dire need of some new alternatives. It’s tough to make an argument that humans aren’t motivated by self-interest. Because we are. But we’re motivated by other things too, lots of others things. Why then, do we so often find our precocious intellects galloping far in advance of our hearts? It is those tender and powerful organs that ground us, let us know truth and endow our clever ideas with meaning. Let’s imagine a student loan scenario that is simple to manage, financially prudent and a source of positive change in the world around us. Fortunately, this is exactly the direction in which innovators seeking to reinvent student loan culture are taking us.

Student loan debt gone social

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CommonBond creates a community in which students and alumni can come together and mutually benefit from the necessity of student loans. Here’s how it works: students are able to secure loans at fixed interest rates, which are very low when compared with other types of student loans. In addition, using their expertise in finance in general and student loans in particular, CommonBond works with students to simplify the borrowing and repayment processes. While all this is going on, alumni are investing in borrowers’ educations and receiving a social as well as a financial return. CommonBond believes “business can and should be a source of positive change.” Though newcomers to this revolutionary approach to student loans, CommonBond is not the first. Social Finance, Inc. also offers such a service for students and alums as does Pave – one of the newer SoFi networks.

Business often gets a bad reputation as being motivated only by profit. In a capitalist system, we’re sort of dealing with a stacked deck; the goal is always growth: make more, sell more, buy more, have more, grow the economy and increase profits. This particular push has been present in the American economy with intention since the 1950s. Arguably, this kind of thinking has a tendency to bring out the flaws in our nature. To be fair, though, living in the world in any capacity has a tendency to bring out the flaws in our nature. That’s what being human is all about, but it’s just as much about summoning the will and strength and means to overcome those flaws. It is imperative that each of us takes a personal responsibility for our own part in the larger social machinations surrounding us, doing what we can to leave things better than we found them; that too is part of our nature.

It’s inspiring to see bright and motivated people taking action to create change. We are now more than ever in need of ways to make profitability compatible with social responsibility, and there isn’t a more crucial venue for such transformation than in the realm of education. Crowdsourcing is one of the exciting new trends we can expect to hear more about from Commonbond and other firms. With a student debt crisis upon us, borrowers are beginning to find they need allies in socially-minded companies that can offer hope to those dealing with overwhelming student loan debt. Try our free tool to manage and optimize your student loan debt.