Student loan debt is a hot topic these days. I’m sure there are plenty of you reading this who are struggling with a mountain of student loan debt. On average, seniors are graduating college with over $25,000 in student loan debt attached to their diplomas. That’s why I was surprised the other day when I heard a city in my own backyard is offering what they think is a solution.
The city of Niagara Falls, NY is offering to reimburse you up to $291 per month for your student loan payments. Of course there is a catch, you have to agree to live in downtown Niagara Falls in a neighborhood the city thinks is at a “tipping point”.
The theory is an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” kind of arrangement. Students obviously need help paying student loan debt, and Niagara Falls needs help attracting businesses and oh, how can I be politically correct about this… “contributing” residents.
As some of you know, I live in Buffalo, NY, about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls. Let’s just say that downtown Niagara Falls is not a place you’d want to get lost in at night. So is the trade-off worth it? Would you be willing to move to, and help to re-build a struggling city that in turn would help pay off your student loan debt?
The biggest question mark in my eyes is where are these people going to work if they agree to move to the Falls? Niagara Falls has a strong tourism industry and related businesses, but other than that you’ll just find a casino and a few remaining industrial facilities. None of these are exactly big draws to fresh college graduates. I’m not sure if participants will be required to work in Niagara Falls, but things may be a bit easier if they are allowed to make the short drive to Buffalo and the surrounding areas for work.
While I am admittedly skeptical of how this will all work out. I’m also hoping for the best. The Buffalo/Niagara Falls region is a beautiful and inexpensive place to live and work and I obviously support anything that will help the area potentially thrive.
So what do you think? Would you move to a city on the rebound if they offered to pay back a part or all of your student loan debt? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section!