How I Paid Off $54,000 in Student Loans in 2 Years and X Months

student loan debt repaymentSo… I finished paying off my student loans this month. Actually, that’s a lie. I finished paying off my student loans in July 2014. Actually, that is a lie too. It would be more accurate to say we finished paying off my student loan in July 2014. But I was too scared to say so back in July, because I had projected to be finished paying them off this month, November 2014, all by my self. Like a big boy. I think I’m also suffering from PTDRS – Post Traumatic Debt Repayment Syndrome. I’m serious. I still don’t feel like I’m done paying off this debt. I still feel like I am in the trenches everyday trying to reign debt under control. I haven’t even celebrated yet.


 
The strangest part of this student loan repayment journey has been that I honestly don’t feel like I am done paying. I’m still in the aggressive debt repayment mindset and it feels completely surreal. I’m not just saying that. It’s the strangest thing. Mentally, I still feel trapped in the repayment mindset. That’s why I’ve self diagnosed myself with PTDRS.

Origins

I went through 6 years of post secondary education, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. I thought I was going to continue on after my masters degree to get a PhD and become an academic. But after I finished my masters, I had no interest in being an academic. I couldn’t fathom studying in minutiae detail for another 4+ years some subject that no one gives a shit about. I’m pretty sure I was in college for 6 years because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Anyways, I had been kicking the student loan debt down the line each and every year since the first year of undergraduate. My rationale was “Future Steve will deal with this – time to paaaaaartay!” If only I could smack that younger version of myself right on the side of his head.

I say that, but the paradox is that I wouldn’t trade anything that happened in those 6 years. I got to travel and experience some ridiculously cool places around the world. I got to live in Cape Town and London. I met incredibly cool people, some who have become amongst my closest friends. And etc and etc.

Pay The Piper

But when the music stopped and the party was over, all that student loan debt I had racked up was a complete shock. Seeing a bill for $52,000 is pretty unreal and incomprehensible. It was only after the initial shock wore off that I knew I needed to find a job and get rid of this thing as quick as possible.

I was haunted by an experience in high school: I had an english teacher once comment that she was still in the process of paying off her student loans. I was completely flabbergasted. I was thinking to myself “holy shit, you’re old and you probably make a lot of money – how could you still have student loan debt!?”

Find Any Job

Looking for work was tough. There is another paradox of education. If you only have a bachelors degree, you are nothing special because everyone else has one too. But if you have an advanced degree on top of that, you are nothing special either because you are overqualified. But mainly, it was probably because I had a degree in history, a subject which has absolutely zero real life applicability in business. I should have studied STEM.

It was only after 8 gruelling months that I found the job I’m at today. Those 8 months were tough, especially emotionally. You start to doubt yourself and you get depressed because you wonder WTF all that education was for. When you apply for jobs and hear crickets, it’s crippling on your self-confidence. I felt betrayed. Betrayed by all my teachers. Betrayed by my education. And betrayed by the world.

So once I landed my current job, I held on for dear life. If it was this brutal finding work, I didn’t want to go through that trauma again. I was lucky to find this job. It pays well, my co-workers are all very nice, and the benefits are great. It really was pure, dumb luck that I was able to land where I did. This is where I count my first lucky star.

The Master Plan

This job allowed me to set up an aggressive plan to pay off my student loans. I was going to throw half of my take home pay at my student loans until they were paid off. I originally projected a 3 year timeframe. “Well shit,” I thought to myself, “this is going to be a grind.”

Now comes where I count my second lucky star. Once I passed my 3 month probationary period and knew with a fair level of certainty that I was going to be sticking around, I asked my parents a huge favour. No, it was not to allow me to live with them rent free, which they had graciously allowed me to do while I was looking for work. I asked them if they would consider taking out a home equity line of credit. I would use that to immediately pay off the student loans, which had a 5.5% variable interest rate, and then pay back my parents the HELOC at 3.5% variable interest rate.

They generously agreed. That saved me 2% in interest over the lifetime of my repayment plan. That 2% interest that was shaved off roughly translated into a little over $1000 in interest savings over my entire repayment period – almost a full monthly principle payment. Which meant, time wise, this maneuver allowed me to pay off the student loans just under a month quicker.

Once that was set, I went about grinding out the repayment. Every month, half of my take home pay was transferred to my parents and I got to keep the other half to keep me sane. And my parents allowed me to continue living with them for the time being. Yes, lucky, I know, and I am grateful to them for all their support.

The Grind

Let me tell you, it was an absolute grind. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything. Serious debt repayment is nothing glamorous: it’s an ugly, relentless battle. Eventually, you get used to automatically putting away half your net income every month and seeing it disappear.

Month-to-month, nothing appears to be changing but as the months roll on, you start to see a bit of progress. You start to gain a little traction.

I got married in May 2013 and moved into our current home with my wife at the same time. This is where I count my third lucky star: my wife. Without her unending support, this grind would have been incalculably harder. Being Double-Income-No-Kids helps too. We never had plans to have kids until our thirties so we are DINKs by design.

Once we were married and our finances combined, I still committed half of my take home pay to student loan debt repayment. And I continued that until I finished paying off the student loans this month. But again, that is a bit of a lie.

The Details

This is what I envisioned the student loan repayment to look visually:

How I Paid Off $54,000 in Student Loans in 2 Years and X Months 1

But this is what it actually looked like:

How I Paid Off $54,000 in Student Loans in 2 Years and X Months 2

But to be completely honest, this is what the numbers each month truly looked like:

How I Paid Off $54,000 in Student Loans in 2 Years and X Months 3

Now, there are 5 questions you might have glancing over this table. I will answer them for you.

First, why $8,154.95 in September 2012? Well, since I was unemployed and searching for work for over 6 months, I was granted interest relief on the student loans for a period of 6 months beginning in April 2012. Therefore, I put aside half my take home pay beginning in April and made a lump sum payment of $8,154.95 in September before the interest-free period ended.

This was done for a twofold reason. First, there was no need to pay during this period as there was no interest accumulating on the loan. Second, I could decrease the total amount of HELOC I was going ask my parents to take out by making that big lump sum payment and making the total a $44,000 HELOC to pay back.

Second, what’s with the $3,103 boosted payment in May 2013? I used most of my tax returns, generated in part by my tuition tax credits I had built up over the years, and threw the tax returns at debt repayment.

Third, the weird payment situation from October 2013-January 2014. My parents were away and I made a lump sum payment for both October and November in October before they left and then made a lump sum payment for both December and January in January when they got back.

Fourth, what is with the huge $6,665 payment in March 2014? I got to use up the remainder of my tuition tax credits and I got a really hefty return. I used ALL of it for debt repayment.

Fifth, what’s with the $8,640 payment in July 2014? You’re probably wondering “wait, I thought you finished paying your student loans off this month, November 2014?” I did and I didn’t. Let me explain.

The Logical Decision

When June 2014 ended, I had $8,600 left to pay off. My wife suggested that since none of our money in fixed income accounts were making over 3.5% (the interest rate I was paying on the HELOC) it would make the most logical sense to just use $8,600 we have in one of our savings accounts and just pay off the remainder of the student loan.

That made complete logical and rational sense in my mind, but a small, prideful part of me didn’t want to do that since it would mean I didn’t do it all myself. Which in it of itself is completely illogical since I clearly couldn’t have achieved all of this without the support of my family. But pride is a wonderfully strange thing.

In the end, I swallowed my pride and made the logical decision that my wife suggested, on the condition that I wouldn’t celebrate or write anything until November 2014, the month I projected myself to be done paying this all off. I continued to put aside half of my net take home pay to fill that savings account back up to its original level.

PTDRS

I swear I am suffering from Post-Traumatic Debt Repayment Syndrome as I still can’t comprehend the fact that my student loans are paid off. I sincerely and honestly still feel like I’m in the trenches fighting the debt repayment battle. Maybe it just takes awhile to get over the fact that the aggressive debt repayment mindset has been such an ingrained part of my life for over 2 years.

I guess I can say I am officially done paying off my student loans.

I finished 6 years of academia with $52,154.95 in student loans.

In the end, it took either 2 years and 4 months or 2 years and 8 months to pay off a grand total of $54,027.06 in student loan debt.

Would I ever trade my experiences over those 6 years in college – both undergraduate and postgraduate – to not have had to pay off this debt load? HELL NO! In those 6 years, I learned so much, both academically and personally. I travelled to amazing places, with Africa, Europe, and Asia being highlights. I met incredible friends, some of whom are amongst the closest friends I have today. I wouldn’t trade any of that for $54,027.06.

This isn’t to say that if I were to do it again that I wouldn’t be more frugal and creative, because I most certainly would with hindsight. But no, I wouldn’t trade it for what it was. Because it made me who I am today.

This student loan debt repayment ride was quite the ride. I learned so much. I developed money skills along the way. And it forever instilled in me the importance of paying myself first. Always.

I wrote some previous student loan debt repayment posts here:

  1. Successfully Hack Student Loan Interest Rates
  2. Combat Student Loans with Repayment Assistance
  3. Half Way to Zero
  4. Student Loan Payoff Visualization
  5. Student Loan Homestretch

This is the last chapter of my student loan debt repayment story.

I can only hope that this story is in some minor way helpful to anyone in the process of paying off their student loans, or other debts.

Resources

  1. If you are just at the beginning of paying off your loans, check out some great personal finance bloggers like Blonde on a Budget, Budgets are Sexy, Debt Blag, or Even Steven Money (just to name a few), who either have dug their way out of student loan debt or are still in the trenches.
  2. If you need some places to start on great books on money, investing, and personal finance, check out the list I curate here.
  3. If you need some motivation, inspiration, and insight, check out some articles written by Joshua Kennon here, here, and here.
  4. I personally found chronicling the journey here online a powerful reinforcement technique that brought together several psychological mental models that powered me forward month-after-month. If you’re interested in blogging your own money story, check out Bluehost for web hosting.
  • Awesome story, Steve! Thanks for sharing.

    Rejoice, already! You killed that motherf***er and you should be proud of it! 🙂

    My own story is less glamorous: I paid off $23k in student loans in 6 months, but I was lucky enough to (1) get scholarships in grad school and then financial support from my advisor and (2) score a job a year and a half before graduating.

    I started by amortizing my student loans on 5 years, paying a biweekly $1000 but putting even more on the principal every month. Six months in, I saw that my savings were higher than what I owed so I just decided to be done with this. I spent a full two months being debt-free… before financing a car. Oh well 🙂

    • Dude $23k in 6 months is impressive, no matter how you scrimped up the money to get it gone. I mean, you could have used all that money to party, drink, and buy stupid shit instead 😛

  • Ha. It almost sounds like you mean to say that you have Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to student loans, though I doubt you’ll be defending them any time soon 😉 Congratulations on a well-earned victory

    • Haha definitely suffering some aspects of Stockholm Syndrome!

      I should go put a trademark around PTDRS 😉

  • Steve, this is awesome! Now you are in the habit of spending less so all of those student loan payments can now go towards investments!

    I definitely wouldn’t have had the hindsight to ask my parents to help me save 2% so props for that. I studied history as well. You should have stayed to get your PhD… just think of all the sweaters and tweed you could be wearing! jk

    I was very lucky I went to a UC school so I only had to pay in-state tuition, finishing with $10k in student loans. Seems worthwhile to study abroad even if you racked up a little more student debt in the process.

    And no harm is getting some help from your wife at the end. You two are a team! Too many times the personal finance community separates all of their accounts and expenses. Seems silly to me.

    • Thanks my brotha-from-another-motha Steve 😉

      I can’t believe we both studied history. I remember in my masters program how the dean of the history program gave us a lecture on how valuable our history degrees were in the job market – I almost burst out laughing because even then I knew how foolishly a history degree would translate in the job market.

      More than half of those loans were racked up by going through the masters program in the UK – hurray foreign student tuition fees!

      And ya, when married, I don’t really see how assets aren’t a combined thing between the spouses. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.

  • I somewhat regret not borrowing any student loans during college. With what I know now and the timing back then, I could have borrowed $100k and invested in some high quality businesses during the financial crisis and be set for life by now. Oh wells, guess I’ll just have to be patience. But congrats on paying off your student loans. That’s one less thing to worry about!

    • I remember some students early on in college talking about how they took out student loans and invested them for the semester and then reaped the capital gains and paid back the principal in full before any interest was due – interest-free float from the government!

      Of course, the government wised up and placed more restrictions on who can get student loans so that faucet is gone 😛

  • Steve,

    Great work, my friend. You slayed that dragon and he’ll never be back. Even better, you paid relatively little in total interest over that stretch. At least, for the student loans themselves. Not sure how it works out with the HELOC.

    But now you can funnel all that excess cash flow in investments. Beast mode time! 🙂

    I keep some student loan debt around due to the low interest rate and the fact that it’s tax-deductible, but I also look forward to getting that monkey off my back at some point here.

    Best regards!

    • Thanks DM!

      When I was starting the process, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to invest AND pay off debt at the same time. I decided early on I was going to totally focus on debt repayment first.

      So what happened was was that I used the HELOC to pay off the student loans, so the only interest I ever paid was towards the HELOC in that table with all the monthly numbers.

      I think with the start of 2015, I’ll really get to see what beast mode investment time will look like with all this cash flow getting directed at savings/investing rather than debt repayment.

      With where you’re at with your portfolio, you could just have your dividends pay off the minimum amounts on your student loans 😀

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Amazing feat, such an inspiration! Congratulations!

    • Thanks Maria, I’m glad the story resonated with you!

  • Impressive story, it’s inspiring to know that someone else survived the “grind” of paying back debt aggressively. I feel like you captured the feeling of paying a large loan amount back perfectly.

    The interest rate relief sounds like great program and seems like it helped you get through that tough period of searching for a job. I know I would have been panicking watching interest accrue on my loans during a job extended search.

    Congrats on paying off all of your student loan debt, and even four months earlier than you thought. I think your wife had a good idea to throw that lump sum towards the loans!

    • Thanks DH. Glad you enjoyed the story. Haha yes, I did survive the aggressive student loan debt repayment grind 😀

      The interest relief program was really handy and I wish d I knew about it earlier on because I would have utilized it if I had known!

  • Congrats on paying off that debt! If you think that $54k is bad then you should go get a mortgage. I just see the remaining balance of $270k which is down about 40% from my original mortgage and I sort of don’t even imagine paying it off. I feel like it will be around for the rest of my life and die with me. Well, I guess just don’t see myself staying at my same house that much longer to pay it off is the real reason so I’m not trying to pay it off early at all. I’ll probably be smart and downsize to something that takes less upkeep and then I will try to actually pay off that place… But who knows.

    • Thanks Zee! Honestly, after having paid this off, I can’t even imagine having to pay off a home with a mortgage. It gives me nightmares thinking of the debt burden a mortgage would be! Maybe we’ll just continue renting? Seeing as Vancouver is a pretty outrageous RE market to begin with…

  • Sam

    now that is impressive! Well done!

    Are you throwing all your disposable income that went to debt into the stock market now?

    Once you get a huge mortgage, you won’t find the student loan amount as bad!

    S

    • Ugh don’t remind me of the mortgage – haha I honestly don’t even want to own because I just don’t want that feeling of having a debt burden to repay again.

      Currently all that income that was going towards student loan debt repayment is now going towards investments.

      I think I prefer having assets and renting a home as opposed to the other way around, especially with the hot RE market in Vancouver 🙂

  • Awesome story! Congrats on the student loan payoff. That’s a HUGE chunk of change to pay off in 2.5 years. I totally agree that it’s surreal once you pay it off. For months I was still calculating the student loan payments into my monthly bills even though we had paid them off. I, too, was stupid and spent lavishly in undergrad and grad school and could have easily graduated from both with half the amount of debt. Oh to know then what I know now. But, I also agree that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much during those years. Would I have been a better steward of my money? Yep! But, you live you learn. Congrats again on your student loan debt payoff!!

    • Haha you sound like my clone down in the states! Thanks so much for th congrats – appreciate it very much!!

  • Very interesting story. I was confused because I was pretty certain you were done with your student loans already, and they weren’t listed in your liabilities for your net worth either. It’s a huge slog, and I “only” have $33k to pay back (with $20k done).

    Gotta love tuition credits – they might be able to save my butt a bit this year, but then they’ll be toast.

    • Haha like the beginning paragraph said, it was a lie within a lie 😉

      I’m so sad my tuition credits are gone – they really were great while they lasted. I think in total I got ~$9k back from all the tuition credits I racked up. It would have been a bit higher but I gave my parents a bunch over the years!

      You’re getting closer to being done paying those loans off and I’m rooting for ya!!

  • Very cool that you paid off $54k in less than 3 years. That’s very impressive for sure. It’s cool that your parents agreed to take out home equity loan to pay off your students loans right away so you can pay at a lower interest rate.

    • The only way I was ever going to ask my parents to do that for me was once I was certain that I had a firm hold on my job and that it would be a source of cashflow for at least 3 years. I think that projection paid off. There are many creative ways to go about paying back debt.

      The reason I didn’t invest and pay off the debt was that I valued the feeling of having no debt over having it and having investments. Now it’s all gone and I can place my entire focus on savings+investments!

  • Just bumped into your website and this is a really awesome story and I am so impressed. This is a major accomplishment. Congrats!

    • Thanks for dropping by Petrish – I’ll have to come by and check out your writings on a regular basis. Glad you enjoyed the story!

  • Congratulations on paying off all that debt! I hope to be you in a couple of years. I do have to disagree with you on your degree not having any value though. History is a great major, particularly because of the research aspect. It is amazing to me how many people can’t do research. Finding information is one thing. Research is another. History majors are primed to go into all kinds of professions that deal with research including finance! So your degree might have helped you more than you think. Think about all the research you have done since your degree and the success you have had!

    • Haha I think it’s just a bit of frustration coming out on how it is directly translatable into the workplace like a software engineering degree would be. Don’t get me wrong, I know intrinsically the value of my education, but it’s hard for most of the world to see without jumping to stereotypes and generalizations. Let me tell you, I can research like no ones business, ha! 🙂

  • Hey Steve,

    Great work!!
    I paid off the last of my student loans this September. I hated having them hanging over me even if it was for only a couple months. I had a tiny amount of student loans though compared to you. The advantage of a 2 year trade school diploma that put me on equal footing to people coming out of University 😉
    I can’t even image how great it feels to pay of that much student debt. Keep up the badassity!

    • Thanks Matthew! Haha if I were to do it again, I would do what you did and studied history and poli sci in my spare time. Get trained for directly translatable work skills but keep up with interests that don’t have directly transferable work skills 😉

  • Great job, pal! One big anchor dragging you down gone. Can’t wait to see your net worth increase ever faster and faster now.

    Keep it up,
    NMW

    • Appreciate the love NMW! I’m excited for the new year ahead as well. Let’s see how we both do increasing net worth and dividends in 2015!

  • Steve, great post and one that is near to my heart. We endured a similar path last year, and it sure feels great to be done.

    To PhD or not to PhD, that is the question! 🙂

    • Thanks Jacob! You should write a post about that dilemma and I’m sure there the opinions will come out of the wood works. When I wrote about my career dilemma, I was astonished (well not really actually) by the amount of opinions people provided!

  • My phone doesn’t seem to want to let me comment, so it’s taken me awhile to get back here, sorry!
    Nice work on paying it off. I know what you mean about the lines being blurred, even though the money more or less all came from the same joint pot. A friend of mine really, really struggled with letting her now-husband pay off her student loans, because they were hers and it was using up his money.
    Anyway! You kicked your student loans’ butts to the curb. I’m sure that’s wonderfully freeing for you and your lady-friend.

    • I actually noticed that problem too with the “mobile” version of the site – will need to look into a fix!

      We both see our money pot as “our” money, but pride can be a powerful emotion.

      It’s unimaginably awesome to no longer have a debt load. I’m really, really glad I aggressively paid it all off in a fairly quick time frame. Now I never want to experience having to pay back debt again 😉

  • My goodness, that’s a gigantic last month’s payment! But I can’t say I blame you. I think you should count July as your pay off date. Even though you drained your savings, you still paid your parents back in July.

    I think large lump sums at the end of a loan are common. I’ve accelerated my last two loans because I just wanted them to go away and I don’t expect my final student loan to die any differently. I just don’t have $19,000 to kill it with right now. 🙂

    July or November, you did a great job and now you have breathing room. Congratulations on the payoff! Take it all in.

    • Thanks Kate 🙂 I still think it’s more accurate to say “we” paid off that last month’s huge payment – everything gets a bit fuzzy when finances are joint and mixed.

      I’m rooting for ya to get those student loans of yours gone soon!

  • Congrats, Steve! That’s awesome! Seriously, fabulous! I’m with you on how incredible the support of a spouse is. I can’t imagine being anywhere near as successful without Mr. Frugalwoods. When you find a partner who makes you a better person, there’s just nothing more important. You should celebrate now!

    • Thanks FW, you’re making me blush! I think many wise people have stated that having a compatible, loving, and supportive spouse is one of the most important life decisions you can make. I’ll try to think of ways that we can celebrate without breaking the bank 😀

  • So happy for you! You have accomplished an amazing feat! I still have years to go, but am trying to increase my income and pay off these loans asap.

    This is so interesting to hear about your “PTSD”. I can imagine I might go through something similar, but I feel like I will cry and have a party once I’m debt free. At that time, I’ll have paid off $81k plus thousands in interest :(. If you are interested, I’d love for you to write a dear debt letter about your PTSD. Keep up the good work — you got rid of that ball and chain!

    • Thanks for the wonderfully kind words Melanie, much appreciated 🙂

      I will honestly come down to Portland and rock out with you when you are done – I’ll even help you co-host/plan this epic party. The theme slogan can be “Dear Debt… FUCK YOU” 😉

  • That is an impressive pay back. I can totally relate to your Post-Traumatic Debt Repayment Syndrome. I went through it too when I paid off my mortgage last January after an 18 month long heavy repayment schedule to payoff the last $95K. It took about 6 months to finally enjoy the thought that I was 100% debt free to anyone for anything. I am totally stoked now and I hope you are too. Congrats!

    • 18 months and $95k is mighty impressive!! A shorter time frame and larger debt total – I can totally see how it took you awhile to recover.

      It reminds me of when I finished my masters: I had absolutely NO desire to read a book for at least 6 months. And I LOVE books. But I guess after all that intense study, study, study I wanted nothing to do with books for a long, long time 😛

  • There was one thing I wanted to follow up with that bothered me a little. While getting a lower interest rate is a positive and it saved you a payment, I would not have had my parents front me the money for a couple reasons. What if you lost your job/other bad things and couldn’t pay your parents then they have to make the payments for you possibly taking on the whole debt or you miss a payment or two and all of sudden your phone calls/weekly dinners get awkward, I’m sure there is more examples out there, but all to save 1 month’s payment wouldn’t be worth it. I know some people read PF blogs and try to replicate how to pay off debt, I’d hate to see them try and have it go another direction for them.

    I don’t want to take away the awesome part though, that is that you rocked it and paid off your student loans and that makes you awesome. Congrats.

    • This is a great comment and here is my answer.

      I crafted this post as my story, not as a generic “how you should pay off your student loans”, precisely because every situation is unique and different. What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you. It’s the same with how I budget, how I save, and how I invest. My strategies are my own and I use my story as a “this is my story, this is how I did it, I leave it to you to figure out how you will do it your own way.”

      I would never recommend anyone try to do exactly what I did, because that just isn’t possible. By putting my story out there, and I emphasize the word “story”, my hope is that people take away what they want to take away from it and get some inspiration and ideas.

      On the point about the riskiness of the job in relation to asking my parents for the HELOC: let’s just say that once I passed my 3 month probationary period, due to the nature of the industry I work in, the chance of me being fired was very, very low. The only way I saw myself losing the job was either through my own incompetence/stupidity (like looking at porn at work) or an economic crisis larger than the Great Recession of 2008.

      I understood the risk I was assuming, and in my unique, personal situation, I saw the risk as worth it to save ~$1,000 plus any further interest rates jumps. Again, this was my personal, unique situation and I made a decision based on that. That is why I make no recommendations in this story about how one should actually go about paying off their student loans or what strategies of mine they should try to duplicate precisely.

      I just lay out my story and readers can take it or leave; readers can get as much or little out of the story as they want. Perhaps I should add a disclaimer at the beginning or end about this, but I like to think that people understand that what they read on the internet by strangers isn’t something they should just try to replicate and expect the exact same results.

      It’s like when I go over to Pat Flynn’s website, Smart Passive Income, and learn from the stories and lessons he shares. I take what I want out of these resources and try to implement certain strategies and tips. But I know that is no guarantee that I will be making $90K+ a month like he does from online revenue.

      In the end, I guess what I’m trying to say is that people should be adults and understand that anything involving money is a risky proposition and they should conduct their due diligence, research, understand the risks, and maybe even consult with actual financial professionals before undertaking any sizeable monetary risks. I guess I say all this waaaaay more in depth in all my disclaimers in my footer 😛

      Wow, I wrote like the equivalent of another post! I really liked your question ES and I’m really glad you asked it! Much appreciated!! 🙂

  • Independent

    While I am happy for you that you were able to pay off your student loan debt, this article lost credibility for me after two things: 1) when you asked your parents to take out a loan against their mortgage and 2) when you lived rent free, both before and after you had a job. I don’t mean to be rude, but I think this would have been more gratifying, both for you and the reader, had you done it on your own, like many of us do. It’s harder, but it’s a part of life after graduating.

    • I appreciate where you are coming from, but I wrote this as my own personal story. You can take whatever it is you want from it.

      I took advantage of every opportunity that was around me. Some people won’t have the same kind of opportunities. I didn’t have the opportunity of having rich parents who could have just footed the whole bill. But you don’t see me getting bent up in shape that those who didn’t pay for their degree through their own blood, sweat, and tears “lose credibility”.

      The point I wanted to make with this story was:

      1) There are out-side-of-the-box ways of thinking of paying off debt.
      2) Swallow your pride if there are opportunities to lower your living expenses.
      3) Take advantage of every opportunity that exists.

      I offer no refund on this story. I’m proud I paid this thing off. And I make absolutely no apologies for my loved ones who offered me support along the way.

      If you didn’t like the story, you can always go search out the ones where someone has “done it on their own”.