Debt Free U – Social Responsibility, Debt Management, and the Long-Term Green Picture

debt-burdenWhat do being socially minded, financially wise, and sustainable – and being in college – have to do with each other? A lot, as evidenced by the work of Debt Free U, a non-profit that helps college kids understand basic finance so they don’t wind up in unmanageable debt. If kids are the future, the future generation must keep sustainable business afloat, and being financially healthy is a prerequisite to keeping anything afloat. Debt Free U’s endeavors are likely to be a crucial component in the long-term viability of green business growth.

Debt Free U is a self-described “money-management resource geared toward young adults (instead of their parents), in whose hands the future of our economy rests”. The organization seeks to give youth the financial know-how necessary to manage that economy-supporting task, and it offers a number of tools toward that end. Its “CareOne” service providers – Debt Free U’s sponsors – supply exhaustive informational and interactive resources to help college kids stay in control of their finances.

One could argue that, if efforts like Debt Free U’s are successful, they will help prevent the “poverty mentality” that can lead to subsistence living (i.e. struggling to pay off one’s debt instead of envisioning and working toward a future-minded, built-to-last sustainable infrastructure). After all, having a huge debt hanging over one’s head isn’t the best energy-garnering tool.

Additionally, many would argue that living more sustainably is one of the best ways to save money. While many believe that going green is a luxury for the rich, there are many ways in which it can be a tool for those with lower incomes to increase their assets.

There are additional connections between indebtedness and social action. For example, reports on different kinds of debt – secured debt (i.e. debt backed by a mortgage or something else tangible) and unsecured debt (i.e. student loans and other financial obligations not backed by something tangible) – and the apparent link between personal responsibility and secured debt versus financial recklessness and unsecured debt. (Incidentally, the report goes on to describe the U.S.’s national debt as an unsecured one and investors who commit capital to U.S. investment instruments as taking a huge risk. The writer also supports the Obama administration’s proposals to fund green energy.) If the Examiner writer’s analysis is correct, students who are able to avoid (or aptly manage) unsecured debt may be much better equipped to make wise, environmentally advantageous choices with their money.

What do you think about the connections between debt management and a sustainable, green economy?

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

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