From Student Loans to Student Currencies


Credit creation is powerful

Creating credit against future production is what built our industries and nations. This power should be used to support students, apprentices, artists and community projects.


The ultimate student loan is not a loan - it is a currency.


Imagine a student able to create a credit backed against her future production and use it to pay for college, training, food and rent (acting as a circulating currency). All those people and organizations that accept the student's credit it can use it in the future (post graduation) to pay for the services of the student.


The time and investment it takes to become an expert wood or leather craftsman or software developer - simply is impossible for a lot of people! What if that apprentice could be given a credit that paid for her time, and basic needs - and could later be used by people to buy her beautiful carved wooden Lamu doors or custom designed bag, or android application?


Who guarantees student credit?


If it was a bank loan - the bank would require collateral and interest. The former isn't possible for most people and the later destroys lives and economies in the process.


Again, what if credit was given to a student as an advance against their future salary? Say the student is becoming an artist. The employer could be anyone willing to buy or collect the art of the student and by accepting these credits the student pays off her debt without interest, and could again keep spending the credit onward for her needs. This virtuous loop creates a market for her goods and services - where the student's employers (product or service consumers) can accept the tokens from the people holding them by offering cash, goods or services for them - spend them on the student's goods and services and they keep flowing forming a local economy.


So to begin this student credit system - we have a university, maker lab, business or group of businesses that creates the credit and they commit their own goods and services behind it (with a strong audit on their own ability to redeem). The student is then offered a credit line among this group using their unique community token (Community Inclusion Currency).


That group accept the tokens of the student (for rent, services, materials, food etc) knowing they will use it to buy from (employ) the student in the future.



The power of paying it forward


This model can work in MANY setting (for artists, creatives, community farming projects and so on) anywhere where we can see the opportunity and potential to pay it forward and give credit toward a vision of shared reciprocity and a better world. If we as a society can't take the risk against supporting our future engineers, artists and doctors - who will?

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