Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

PROGRAMS

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

You can get free, face-to-face tax assistance nationwide.

Money Matters Tip Sheets

Download and print out these PDFs to help with your financial matters.

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Commented

Paying Down College Debt

How friends and family can help whittle down a student loan

It's a website designed to make it easy for loan-reducing donations to flow. An indebted student or graduate registers at Lilyslist.com, paying a $15 annual fee. Helpful friends and family members can then make donations at the site, which channels the money directly to the student's loan account. Donors are charged a $2.75 transaction fee for each use.

Lily's List sends students e-mail notices when gifts are made on their behalf, says Taylor, who's working with three other mothers to hone and perfect the site. One of the advantages of the program, she says, is that the donor's gift goes toward reducing a student's debt, not to fund a purchase of an iPhone, latte or anything else.

"It's a very heavy thing for these young people to be facing at a young age," says one of Taylor's associates, Beverly Gibson, 54, whose two children will be college-bound in a few years. Lily's List interests Boston University business management major Severine Cukierman, 19, who estimates she'll be facing $20,000 in student loan debt after graduation. "I definitely want to look at anything that will help reduce my load," Cukierman says.

Upromise

Upromise.com wrings debt pay-down from everyday purchases such as groceries, gasoline and clothing. Owned by Sallie Mae, the site has more than 750 participating merchants that designate anywhere from 1 percent to 25 percent of the price of things you buy from them toward a student's educational loans.

"Family and friends can participate on behalf of any beneficiary they choose," Upromise spokeswoman Debby Hohler says. "Every time they book a flight, rent a car, go out to dinner, book a hotel, they can be getting money back that can be used to help pay for college."

Upromise has 12 million members and has funneled roughly $600 million toward student debt since 2001, Hohler says.

Blair S. Walker is a Miami-based writer.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

your money

Discounts & Benefits