Great story of paying off your student loans. What are the interest rates?
I actually took the opposite approach. I make somewhat minimal payments on my student loans and buy rental houses instead. I'm fairly conservative. However, real estate was so cheap during the recession, I couldn't pass it up. This meant extending my student loan payments.
My friend and I both graduated from grad school in 2011. He is a hard core Dave Ramsey fan and he paid off $90,000 of student loans in about two years with the help of his wife. They made around 100K combined and lived off of 50K. Then they spent the next 3 years saving for a 20% down payment on a house. They finally purchased a house in 2015 after the housing market had recovered. This is a great system for them. I am very happy of all of their successes. However, my story is much different.
My loans peaked at $56,500 in January 2012, the same month I closed on a house with 5% down. I bought it for 95K and it's currently worth about 225K. I also have another house that I bought in grad school for 182K in 2007 and it's now worth about 330K. I have about 350K of real estate equity across the two rentals. They generate $2,100/month more than the total mortgage. After repairs it's about 1,600/month. My friend probably has around 75K of house equity and no rental income.
My student loan balance today $34,000. I pay around $2,000/year in interest. The first year it was around $3,000.
My friend gets to brag about being student loan debt free, which he should. However, he gave up the opportunity cost of buying real estate during the recession when he decided to plow through his student loans. I chose a different path and I am very happy with the results.