I’ve chronicled this crazy house flipping life for several years on this blog. From Day 1 I knew I had one long shot goal: paying off my $70,000 student loan debt. I have discussed this at length, and I’m sure you guys might be sick of hearing about my student loan debt. But you know what? We NEED to be talking about this…not just my debt, but the millions of people strapped with unbelievable amounts of debt from college.
My $70,000 in student loan debt is minimal in comparison to many others. I’ve seen so many people become defeated by student loans and just give up…all the while the debt is racking up with interest. I had a very different mentality- work like hell and work like nobody else to get it paid off.
That meant living in a construction zone.
That meant buying gross, neglected fixer upper houses.
That meant moving every two years.
But you know what else it meant?
It meant that as of last month, I have $0 in student loan debt.
Guys, I didn’t get serious about student loan debt until 5 years ago. My initial balance was $70,000….that doesn’t include the amount with interest.
That means I just freaking paid off OVER $70,000 in student loan debt in 5 years. On one income. While switching careers to one without a steady paycheck and no benefits.
So whatever excuse you’ve been using for not tackling your debt- kick it to the curb.
This isn’t a lecture. This is me being passionate about the highway robbery that is student loan debt. While America is set up for education to be a debt sentence, you do NOT have to live that way.
Apart from house flipping, I have pretty consistently worked multiple jobs. Even today, with a $0 balance and some financial breathing room, I’m working three jobs. THREE JOBS.
I know that my generation of millennials has the reputation of being lazy– and they’ve rightfully earned it. They don’t want to work three jobs. They don’t want to be responsible for $70,000 in student loan debt. And that sucks for them because what they want is irrelevant. Once I realized that, I kicked it into high gear.
How do we change this? WE start a dialogue. Do you have a grandchild in college? Start the dialogue. Are you a recent graduate (maybe still living at home!)? Start the dialogue. Do you have employees that are millennials? Start the dialogue.
Why aren’t we talking about this? You have an entire generation (and then some) drowning in debt. The vast majority are making minimum payments and paying upwards of 15% interest on the debt. There is no escape unless they see an alternative.
Real estate, without a doubt, was my alternative.
The name of the game in paying off student loans is HUSTLE. I feel like the last five years of my life have been nothing but hustling. Your one job, fresh out of college, is most likely not going to cut it.
You need another job. Nights. Weekends. Freelance. Something.
You have got to reign in your expenses. No cable. No brand new car.
You must stop making the minimum payments on your loan. Pay more. $5 more. $500 more. PAY MORE.
Get your loan out of forbearance. The interest is literally drowning you.
Work with your loan company to find a payment plan that works for you. But know, income based repayment plans help you in the here and now– they hurt you in the long run.
One of the quotes that I discovered during this process was a quote by Dave Ramsey about living like no one else. It completely resonated with me. My life for the last 6 years has been unlike anyone else my age. Single girls in their 20s and 30s don’t buy fixer uppers, live in a construction zone, move every two years, spend weekends managing/firing contractors, and write huge checks to pay off student loans. It’s not normal. I get so passionate about this- maybe I should teach a class? Ha!
After I discovered this quote, I started delving more into Dave Ramsey. I listen to his radio show pretty often, and while I don’t fully drink the kool-aid he’s selling, I think this point in particular sums up how I want to live my life. I didn’t want to be in my 50s and still paying on student loans. I don’t want to retire with a house payment. So I’m spending my 20s, my 30s, and probably my 40s living like nobody else I know.
And, hopefully, I’ll get to live like nobody else for the rest of my life.