03/14/2014 03:10 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2014

'It's Really A Miracle:' Anonymous Hedge Funder Pays Off Family's Student Loan Debt


What if one act of kindness from a stranger could make all your worries disappear? That's exactly what happened to an Ohio family.

After a woman struggling with her family’s debt wrote to Business Insider, an anonymous man, identified only as a partner at a hedge fund, offered to pay off their student loan debt.

Rhonda Hess, a retired teacher, complained to Business Insider about Warren Buffett's March Madness contest, in which he plans to give $1 billion to anyone who fills out a perfect NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket.

She wrote that it was a trivial reason to give one person $1 billion, when so many families, like her own, struggle to pay off debts:

Why couldn’t Mr. Buffett’s organization instead of giving a billion dollars to one lucky person for something as frivolous as a basketball bracket (and I had three sons that played the game and love it) ... help LOTS of families that struggle to always do the right thing and never seem to get a break on the hardwood court of life.

After reading Hess' letter, the hedge fund employee was struck by her story, and contacted the outlet with his generous offer.

Hess has confirmed that two of her sons' college loans were completely paid off, telling Business Insider, "This was so unexpected, it's really a miracle."

Student loan debt is increasingly becoming more of a burden for families than other forms of household debt, the Washington Post reported. In fact, student loans have the highest rate of delinquent payments out of all the major types of household debt.

According to a Dartmouth College study, students from lower middle income families carry more student loan debt, on average, than students in any other economic group. This could be because students from lower middle income families are excluded from financial aid, as many federal financial aid initiatives use an income of $40,000 as the cutoff for grants, Jason Houle, the study's author, told CNBC.

With so many students and families struggling with debt, we've seen anonymous donors step-up to help out before. Last year, one benefactor paid $25,000 so a South Carolina State University student could finish his education.



Random Acts Of Kindness