Hi, my name is Jacob, I carried around debt with me for a long time and it weighed me down.
I spent sleepless nights as my situation got worse and I was left with no clue of how to get out of it.
Just like many students, I racked up a lot of debt while I was in college. I know this is no excuse.
Yes, I did use the money to pay for my education, but I also used some of the money to live off of at the time also.
I’m currently a high school math teacher and I recently paid off US$25,000 in 15 months.
Yes, you read that right.
I put a lot of work into it, and did some crazy things to pay off this debt.
I planned, I thought a lot about it, and I figured out a way to execute my plan.
Here are the steps I took to become debt free and I hope that the steps I used will help you and benefit you.
1. I Got Side Hustles
I love side hustles and if you’ve read any of my other articles, then you know they saved me.
I freelanced as a writer and I wrote all types of content for clients who needed web copy and articles.
I did this because I love to write and I made sure I put my skills to use. After all, I got paid to do it. I still do it to this day and I enjoy it.
I also used photography to help pay off some of my debt.
I dabbled in the hobby for a while and I knew my skills were good enough to take pictures of people in situations that they would want memories of.
I offered photography services at a discounted price for weddings, engagement photos, baby showers, and similar.
To get started in a side hustle, think about your talents and what you’re good at, and see if anyone needs help with it.
2. I Moved In With Family to Save Money
This is probably something you don’t want to do, but it was something I had to do if I wanted to get out of my debt – move in with my aunt and uncle.
Yes, I know.
A grown man out of college living in his aunt and uncle’s house, not great.
BUT, it allowed me to save a lot of money and I only had to do it for a little over a year to pay off all of that student loan debt.
In addition, my aunt and uncle live near the school I work at, so I saved a ton of money on gas.
3. I Gave Up Some Things I Love
I used to love partying and eating with the guys and let me tell you, once I stopped, I realised how much it was costing me.
Drinks and food at restaurants are expensive, especially when you do it all of the time.
I cut it out and became frugal about my entertainment and food options – it paid off ten-fold.
4. I Refinanced My Student Loans
I refinanced my student loans, which resulted in a lower interest rate.
I also changed my repayment term to expedite repayment of the loan.
I saved thousands of dollars in interest payments and I’m happy I took the leap to refinance.
If you are afraid to refinance your loan, don’t be.
Take some time to review the requirements and the downsides and then talk to your local financial institution.
I didn’t think I’d be approved, but I was AND I was able to choose my terms, which allowed me to stay in control of my interest, and monthly payments.
You Can Make Your Own Debt Payoff Story
Your debt payoff story doesn’t have to be like mine; you can choose the steps you take to pay off your student loan debt.
The above steps worked for me and I was able to pay off $25,000 in 15 months.
While this may not be a possibility for everyone, you can make a large dent in your student loan balance with some hard work.
Jacob Evans is a personal finance blogger, high school math teacher, and newlywed. Find him on Twitter @DollarDiligence to stay up-to-date with his newest articles.