A Southwestern Christian University student just made his final payment of $974. While this may not sound remarkable, the fact that he made this payment using over 97,000 pennies is fairly unique.
Some media outlets are reporting that this final payment was for his student loans, but based upon an interview, it sounds like it was a tuition payment. Regardless of the exact nature of the payment, it definitely offers some food for thought.
The person behind all the pennies said that he collected aluminum cans and mowed lawns to put together all the money. He doesn’t exactly explain how or why all these payments were collected in pennies. He says the final payment in pennies is to send a message to high school students. While it seems a bit of an odd way to send a message, if it does cause a little extra financial literacy, it probably is a good thing.
For people who have been struggling to make payments on their student debt, any final payoff feels special. Seeing it all in pennies seems to give it added significance. There probably is some perverse pleasure in knowing that your final payment could be a huge pain for your lender to deal with.
The only downside is that its not the CEO or the “fat cat” who has to count all of those pennies. Ruining the day of a perfect stranger who never did anything to you probably makes this approach less satisfying.
Here is one news report on the penny payment plan: