How I Paid Off Six Figures in Student Loans

By Melody Barthelemy

Melody’s story is just not unusual. We beforehand shared one lady’s lady story to repay six figures in student loans. According to Student, the vast majority of student loan debtors take out loans from the federal authorities, with a complete of 43 million debtors which have $1,447.1 billion excellent in student loan debt. Although these numbers appear daunting, with a plan and focus, it’s attainable to beat this debt. Melody shared her journey to paying off six figures in student loans.

My Back Story

So how did I amass six figures in student loans? The majority of my student loan debt gathered whereas I used to be in grad college, however I had additionally taken out student loans whereas finishing my undergraduate diploma. When I reached the top of my grace interval after grad college, my student loan steadiness was at $89,275.11. I didn’t borrow that a lot, however my graduate loans have been unsubsidized, so I began accumulating curiosity the second I took the cash. 

Initially a spender, I labored quite a bit from the time I used to be in highschool, however I by no means had something to indicate for my cash. I used to be spending all of it on sneakers and nonsense. When I bought a credit card my senior yr of highschool, I assumed, I’ll begin utilizing it to construct my credit and it was a domino impact after that. 

I didn’t develop up studying one advantage of cash. I don’t ever recall seeing any members of the family even going to the bank. Unfortunately, I didn’t develop up studying about investing, saving, and utilizing credit correctly.

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Making the Decision

When I acquired the letter from FedLoan Servicing that my grace interval was ending and I must begin paying, I used to be sick to see how a lot cash I owed. I didn’t suppose there was a manner out of the mess I had created, and I wanted to determine a approach to clear up the issue that wouldn’t take me 20-30 years. I used to be not okay with spending two to a few a long time accumulating curiosity day by day and placing my life on maintain. Early retirement, journey and having fun with a debt free life have been priorities!


I used to be utterly at a loss on the best way to repay my debt. While scrolling via social media, a buddy shared her debt free journey. I reached out to be taught extra and she or he advised me a few course she took at church about funds. It simply so occurred {that a} native church was additionally instructing the course. Of course I signed up, and the trainer took the time to stroll via my finances with me and identified that I used to be spending near $700/month on consuming out, shopping for snacks, espresso, and so on.

Next, I outlined my month-to-month bills all the way down to the final penny. I included holidays, reward giving, and my month-to-month tithe to church. After I discovered extra about my incoming vs. outgoing, I labored on making a plan to repay the loans. My objective was to usher in as a lot more money as attainable to eliminate the debt. I took time to discover a good full-time job and get a constant facet hustle.  I made little to no funds on my loan throughout that point as a result of my earnings fluctuated considerably. 

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Here is what I did to fulfill my objective:

1. Created a timeline for my student debt payoff objective, which was 4 years. The plan was to repay the debt by the top of 2020.

2. I calculated my day by day rate of interest to find out how a lot was added to my whole steadiness month-to-month.  

3. I made up my mind what I needed to pay each month to fulfill my objective, together with the day by day curiosity. 

4. Reviewed my incoming vs. outgoing – I made up my mind in an effort to meet my objective, I wanted more cash. I locked down a everlasting facet hustle and a seasonal facet hustle. 

5. Every Friday, I made a fee on my loan from my facet hustle. I made a fee from my full-time job, along with my autopay, each different Friday. 

6. Every penny that got here to me was used to repay the loan: bonuses, items, and so on. I picked up each shift that was out there, oftentimes working all day, and each weekend. 

My plan started in December 2016 and completed in October 2020. From June 2015 to December 2016: I paid off $3,568.23. I paid off $103,896.09 from December 2016 to October 2020.

Setting Other Financial Goals

One of my objectives is to maneuver, so I began a shifting fund. My final monetary objective is early retirement. As a consequence, I’m specializing in a bridge account to carry me over throughout the early retirement interval. Additionally, I additionally now spend money on my 401K and Roth IRA to construct a pleasant cushion for my later years. 

Featured Image through Shutterstock

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About Melody

Melody lives in Providence, RI. She likes to journey, eat good meals, and play a imply recreation of UNO. She just lately transitioned from healthcare and the medical gadget trade to staffing and recruiting. You can observe her on IG @frugalgirlbudgeting.