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Education Loan Finance recently announced a video contest sponsored by SouthEast Bank that will award the winner $50,000, which would be enough to pay off many borrowers’ student loan debt. The Empower a Brighter Future video contest doesn’t require any payment to enter, and those who enter don’t have to make a purchase of any kind.
The video should also address how receiving the $50,000 prize would add to their lives. Borrowers can focus on how their lives could be different and what challenges they’d be able to tackle without that crushing student loan debt.
The contest is open to citizens of the United States and permanent residents who have at least $15,000 in student loan debt. It will continue to accept entries until June 29. There will be a public voting period from July 10 through July 22. Individuals may only cast one vote for a single entry every day – no more than that will be allowed. The winner will be picked on July 31.
How This Contest Could Change Someone’s Life
Student loan debt can take away a lot of choices a student who graduates without debt tends to have, studies have shown. Student loan debt can influence where a person lives, whether they have roommates, what job offers they can accept, and even whether they can afford to move to a new city for work.
Those who have significant student loan debt might not be able to buy a house as early as their peers who don’t have student loan debt. Owing so much money can prevent a borrower from saving up a down payment for a home and they might not be able to qualify for a mortgage because of their debt-to-income ratio. Some borrowers can end up living with their parents longer than those who don’t owe money, which can put a crimp in their lives as well.
The mental strain of owning a large chunk of money at such a young age – in their early 20s in many cases – can be damaging too, a recent LendEDU survey found. They can experience stress about their finances, social lives, and job choices.
Having high student loan payments can also derail a borrower’s future if they have to channel much of their money toward their debt instead of retirement savings.
Author: Shannon Serpette
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. When she’s not spending time with her children, she is often pursuing her favorite hobbies – running, metal detecting, kayaking, and reading about personal finance.