Why This Artist Created a Painting for Each of His 120 Student Loan Payments

 July 28, 2019
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.


We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Every borrower deals with the burden of education debt in their own way. Some channel their frustrations by creating a student loan debt blog, challenging elected officials on social media, or commiserating with similarly indebted classmates or coworkers.

Paul Fentress handles it with paint and canvas.

Though not quite a starving artist, thanks to his day job with a real-estate startup, Fentress carries three times as much in student loans as the average graduate. He left college in 2016 with $91,480.80 worth of federal loans, including Parent PLUS loans for which he assumes responsibility, resulting in a mammoth monthly payment of $762.34.

To cope, he created 120 12-inch-by-12-inch paintings over the course of 2018, one work for each payment he’s slated to make in the decade ahead.

“For months, I was overwhelmed trying to figure out how I would ever manage to focus paying this off for 10 years while trying to pursue creative interests, but I kept painting and creating more work,” he said. “I was hoping that eventually selling the art I made would help offset the cost of some of my student loans.”

If his e-commerce site StudentLoanArt.com seems like it was created sardonically, it’s because Fentress considers it a piece of art in and of itself. Fittingly, he named the collection “Forbearance” after the payment-postponement tactic available from all federal loan servicers (and some private lenders).

To date, Fentress has made about $23,000 in payments, but has only decreased his balance to about $89,000 because of accruing interest.

To check out a slideshow of Fentress’ student loan art, click and drag (or swipe) to slide through the photos below or click on the left and right arrows.

previous arrow
next arrow