Magazine article New Internationalist

Organized Acts of Kindness

Magazine article New Internationalist

Organized Acts of Kindness

Article excerpt

Imagine opening a letter telling you that your debts have been wiped clean, free of charge. For thousands of Americans, this is now a reality - thanks to a grassroots campaign run by former Occupy Wall Street activists.

Called Rolling Jubilee and set up in 2012 by campaign group Strike Debt, the project aims to help struggling individuals out of debt through crowdfunding. Money raised is used to buy personal debt at random on the speculative debt market for a fraction of its value, and then simply cancel it.

Initially targeting US medical bills, Rolling Jubilee has helped around 4,000 debt-burdened individuals by cancelling more than $15 million of personal medical debt. Now organizers have turned their attention to helping former students.

Collectively, Americans owe more than $ 1 trillion in student debt but, unlike medical bills, most student loans are guaranteed by the government and are therefore unavailable for purchase. …

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