College debt? Learn the barter system

And now, a true story of college smarts that really boasts bite: It involves Greg, a recent college graduate who, a few years ago, found himself neck-deep in college loan payments -- and couldn't afford the dental work he needed (his insurance had limits).

When his dentist mentioned during one office visit that she was planning a promotional newsletter, but hadn't gotten it off the ground, the grad ran with that comment and bartered thousands of dollars in dental surgery for several issues of her newsletter.

Wow. Can you say "Holy Molar?"

In the lean college years, bartering in the spirit of Greg the go-getter can be as handy as your backpack. It's everywhere you look, online.