Sometimes I meet people who are so financially savvy and responsible that they inspire me. I recently met a co-worker whose story can be an inspiration to anyone struggling with the burden of student loan debt. This woman is in her early twenties and graduated from college with $15,000 worth of student loan debt. She wants to go onto graduate school, but doesn’t want her undergrad loans to continue to accrue interest while she pursues another degree. So she has chosen to put off going to graduate school until she has entirely repaid her undergraduate loans. She wants to get back to school as soon as possible, so she’s made debt repayment her urgent priority. Here’s what she’s doing to ensure she’ll be back in a lecture hall in three years or less:
- She started repaying her loans as soon as she graduated, even before she had found a “real” job. She is still technically in deferment, but has already made a payment every month since graduation.
- She is working full time at her “real” job, plus she told the boss that she is willing to work overtime on any project in the office. So now she’s serving as a pinch hitter for my project team, and pulling some very late nights to earn extra money.
- In addition to her full-time job, she also has an agreement with a local restaurant to be a part-time pinch-hitter waitress there. So on nights when she can’t get overtime at her real job, she waitresses at the restaurant.
- Every dollar she earns in overtime or at her second job goes directly toward student loan debt repayment.
When she told me her story, she seemed tired but upbeat. She knows this will only be for three years, so she feels she can struggle through. Knowing the exact date when she will be debt-free keeps her going!
Have you been inspired by a student loan repayment story?