Salish Sea Cooperative Finance


Central coop“Salish Sea Cooperative Finance aims to turn the tide of another systemic problem: student debt. The members are debtors and investors who use the co-op’s capital to buy student loans, converting formerly “predatory” debt into a community resource. SSCoFi eases the terms and interest to reduce the burden of crushing debt on recent graduates and allow them to instead focus on building their lives and communities. Over time, the repaid loans grow a pool of capital that becomes a resource for other community purposes. This unique grassroots effort is still in its infancy, but has the potential to be a real game changer!”


YES_news_logo“It began with a series of intergenerational meetings in Washington state, where the Gen Xers present began to grasp just how much student debt was crippling recent college graduates.  The respective groups… designed a cooperative that would refinance the graduates’ debts under less burdensome terms.  After the refinancing, rather than leaving the borrowers to fend for themselves, the model calls on well-connected friends to mentor and help them find the sources of income they’ll need.”



Shareable logo“As a social enterprise, SSCoFi “refinances high-interest student loans in Washington by reinvesting its members’ financial resources.” The basic premise relies on the fact that the community can — and should — invest in the education of its future leaders. It’s a win-win scenario as the graduates get a little break on their payments while the investors enjoy a solid profit margin… and all of those assets stay within the community. It’s sort of like Lending Club, but for local college graduates.”