Father Lives In Basement, Rents Out Home To Keep Up With His Kid’s Student Loans

By Doug Norrie | Published

student loan debt

We know that higher education costs in this country have risen to almost unmanageable levels, leading many to wonder if college is a scam through and through. It’s a tough situation for many prospective students and families who see a college degree as a path to better careers and better pay, but wonder if the student loan debt juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to the overall costs. Well, one father has come up with something of a solution for this problem concerning his own children and the ability to pay ever-increasing tuition costs. He’s using Airbnb to solve the whole thing.

According to Insider, George Bothelo has taken on the student loan debt from his children after both went to college following high school. That number ended up totaling around $273,000 when it was all said and done. It’s a massive amount for anyone and a particularly large sum for a man in Bothelo’s financial decision. So, what did he do? The thing that more and more people are doing these days in order to make ends meet in a world with ever-increasing costs. He rented out his house on Airbnb and moved into his own basement. According to Bothelo, the move to put his house up on the short-stay rental market has meant an extra $31,000 per year. And he’s putting that money towards paying off his children’s student loan debt. 

Bothelo’s story is just another in the many cautionary tales around student loan debt in this country right now. With college costs rising at unprecedented levels, the thought of paying for school upfront is a non-starter for many students and families. Over the last 20 years, the price of a private college or university has gone from about $18,000 per year to about $44,000 per year. This kind of jump is predicated almost solely on the ease at which folks can get their hands on massive student loan packages. This was the case for Bothelo who says he used a Parent PLUS that charges a significantly higher interest rate than other offerings.

The Insider reporting lays out some of the specifics of this particular situation and why Bothelo felt it was necessary to rent out his home in order to pay back his children’s student loan debt. He admits that it was probably a mistake to put the student loan debt into his own name rather than his kids, though he says at the time he was helping them to establish solid credit ratings, another significant concern for young adults leaving college who want to make other large purchases down the line. While Bothelo’s playbook, so to speak, is one many are using right now (send kids to school through student loans), it highlights the rock and a hard place proposition folks find themselves in now. Go to college for the chance at a high-level career, but face massive student loan debt because of it.

With more and more talk of canceling student loan debt following an initial round of it by the Biden administration, some might see their overall principle reduced. But again, this comes at the pain of the taxpayer who ultimately foots the bill in that scenario. We might all be renting out our houses on Airbnb soon if colleges aren’t going to lower costs.