How You Could Make $924/Month Hosting Guests With Airbnb

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If you’re looking to join the gig economy to make the most possible money, you could do a lot worse than Airbnb.

“Airbnb host” means more than it used to — and we’ll get to that — but the average one earns $924 per month, according to Earnest. That’s more than what you might earn on TaskRabbit, for example.

Although your location affects your earning power, where you live won’t disqualify you from signing up. After all, there are Airbnb listings in over 65,000 cities around the globe.

How Airbnb works

There are ways to be a host on Airbnb beyond renting out your spare room, apartment, house, or another dwelling. You could co-host a neighbor’s listing, or host an experience, such as a cooking lesson in a London restaurant.

Hosts create listings for their properties or experiences. Potential guests from all over the world can find these places and activities by searching the platform. When I rented out my New York City bedroom for nine months, for example, I had guests traveling from nine different countries, including China, India, and Australia.

Your listing and number of reviews might persuade — or dissuade — a potential guest from making a booking. You could allow guests to instantly book or request to book pending your approval.

On its end, Airbnb offers the intuitive platform, day-and-night customer support, and seamless transactions. It takes your guest’s payment before they arrive and deposits it in the account of your choice within 24 hours after their check-in.

Like other sharing economy jobs, you get to be something of your own boss, setting ground rules and rates.

Host: The most famous of Airbnb careers

Hosting for Airbnb is like driving for Uber. You might represent the company and technically be on its payroll, but you’re not an employee.

Like drivers for Uber, however, hosts are the lifeblood of Airbnb. So it’s no surprise that “Be a Host” is prominent on the Airbnb careers page. (If you’re looking for full-time Airbnb jobs, those exist, too.)

Before you decide to go to the trouble of creating a property or experience listing, ensure your city’s laws even allow it. Airbnb provides links to guidelines by city. I learned in New York City, for example, that I could rent out my bedroom. But the city’s Multiple Dwelling Law forbid me from renting out my entire apartment for any period less than 30 days.

You might already have an account as an Airbnb guest. If so, you won’t need to create a new one to host. Once you’re logged in, you can toggle between the “Travel” and “Host” menu options on the Airbnb home page.

To host, you’ll need to supply basic information like your email address and phone number. You’ll also be required to:

  • Add a profile photo of yourself
  • Choose a method to receive payment
  • Fill out a Form I-9 for tax purposes

You can also require guests to provide a government ID before booking, but you won’t need to upload one yourself.

How to host on Airbnb

Creating a listing is broken into easy steps that could be completed in less than 10 or 15 minutes. For property listings, you’ll add basic information like your address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and details of your amenities.

Perhaps most important of all are the photos on your listing. Just like when you’re selling stuff on Craigslist, pictures can bring in a potential customer or drive them away. Don’t worry if you’re no expert. Airbnb can help you arrange a photography session to highlight your home or experience.

Once your listing is filled out, you’ll be directed to:

  • Mark on a calendar when your space is available to be rented.
  • Set fixed or guided pricing for nightly rates.
  • Choose how guests can go about booking their stay with you.

If you’re not sure about proceeding or have questions on these or other steps, Airbnb offers free phone consultations. You could also review their hospitality standards or ask questions of experienced hosts within the site’s community center.

How to make money on Airbnb

If you’re wondering how to make money on Airbnb, the conversation starts with reviews. They help you attract guests when the time comes to compete with other hosts for business. They could even help you become a “Superhost.” That’s Airbnb’s term for an experienced user who consistently scores five-star ratings.

Good reviews also help you increase the price of your property or experience. Put yourself in the shoes of a guest. You might opt to pay more to stay in a home (or experience an activity) that has 100 reviews than you would for one that only has a few reviews.

That brings the question of how to make money on Airbnb when you have no street cred on the site. You could rely on Airbnb’s Smart Pricing tool. It uses the platform’s data to come up with, say, your home’s nightly rate.

making money with Airbnb

Image credit: Airbnb

The tool has improved to give hosts more flexibility. You could tell it to choose your nightly rate from an acceptable range for specific dates. You might be willing to rent your space out for $99 on a Thursday, for example, but insist on more for a Friday.

After hosting for nine months myself, I’d suggest you take advantage of Airbnb’s pricing tips and tools until your research and better judgment tells you differently.

Making money on Airbnb requires research

You might feel like you’re playing a guessing game to price your property or experience correctly. Instead, do some research to support your best guess.

Here are some steps you can take to establish the rate for your property or experience:

  • Review similar Airbnb listings and their weekday and weekend prices.
  • Tally up the features and shortcomings of your listing.
  • Consider the prices of guests’ alternative options, such as a nearby hotel or tour group.

I charged my first Airbnb guest just $51 because I was desperate for a first review. It was my way of standing out from a crowd of similar listings in the East Village, a popular New York City neighborhood.

Depending on the presence of tourism in your area, you might have far less competition but a much tougher time attracting guests.

Posting low prices isn’t a long-term strategy, however. I slowly increased the price of rent for my room. Knowing that the nearest hotel cost $140 per night, I didn’t charge more than $129 until I was closing in on 30 positive reviews.

Asking for feedback from each of those first 30 guests helped me make small improvements. I learned to supply my Wi-Fi information upon a guest’s arrival, for example.

Then I thought about features I could offer that would make my listing more appealing than staying at the local hotel. I began offering hotel-like options such as instant booking. Then I started highlighting add-ons that the hotel wouldn’t match, including full use of a kitchen space.

It paid off. Eight and a half months after a Delaware college student paid that $51 rate, a Florida couple paid $199.

Making money with Airbnb also requires spending money

Your earnings per guest won’t mean much unless you determine it’s worth your while.

In my case, making money with Airbnb wasn’t my primary goal. I just wanted to shave $100 to $200 per month off my high Manhattan rent. I figured I’d rent out my room when I went on vacation or stayed at my girlfriend’s for the weekend.

I was soon making much more, sometimes over $1,000 per month, pulling in $9,655 in my nine months of hosting overall. I made this jump, in part, by making my listing available more often.

But I also realized that earning more Airbnb money required spending more. If you decide to list a house on Airbnb, you might prepare for these costs:

  • Supplies, such as extra towels and sheets
  • Laundry to prepare for back-to-back stays
  • Fees, including Airbnb’s 3-to-5 percent service fee on each booking
  • Federal taxes, which you could set aside after each guest’s payout

With the duties you’ll have as a host, it could feel like you’re running your own small business. You’ll even need to account for insurance, for example.

In the case of hosting homes, Airbnb’s $1 million guarantee doesn’t cover wear and tear. You could opt to have guests pay a hefty security deposit to protect against damages. You might also discuss with your insurer how your homeowner’s or renter’s policy might cover you.

Is Airbnb hosting for you?

If you’ve considered letting strangers ride in your car, you might also be open to hosting them in your home or on an excursion. If so, Airbnb could be the right side hustle for you.

But it’s not for everyone in every city. Having a big bedroom in New York City makes Airbnb hosting easier than listing the same-sized room in a more suburban area, for example.

Before you take the plunge, ask yourself if you have the home or skills to host guests or experiences. Then run the numbers. See if you can make enough Airbnb money to make it worth your while.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit, email us at, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 8.179% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.570% APR to 6.980% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 14, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.570% APR assumes the current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 0.740% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.

5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.57%-8.17% (2.57%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Estimated average savings amount is based on 14,659 Education Refinance Loan customers who saved on loans between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. The calculation is derived by averaging monthly savings across Education Refinance Loan customers whose payment amounts decreased after refinancing, calculated by taking the monthly payment prior to refinancing minus the monthly payment after refinancing. We excluded monthly savings from customers that exceeded $4,375 and were lower than $20 to minimize risk of data error skewing the savings amounts. Savings will vary based on interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of loans to be refinanced. Borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if monthly payments are lower.

2.57% – 6.98%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 5.87%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.22%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.51% – 8.03%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.48% – 6.25%5Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.57% – 8.17%6Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.