Author Topic: Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.  (Read 548 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.
« on: March 19, 2017, 09:35:47 AM »
As soon as I had student loans, I knew I didn't want them anymore. Yes they are a means to an end, but why keep them around? Here's my progress thus far, I'd love to hear how others are doing too!

Degree: Physical therapy grad 2014
Salary: ~ 65K

Loan balance:
June 2014: $92,000
June 2015: $70,000
June 2016: $46,500
March 2017: $27,000

How am I doing it? - cheap cheap rent including house sitting when possible. $2500 subaru outback with 100k miles.  no kids. hiking for fun. still have a flip phone - ha! but I'm weird like that I would still have it regardless of loan situation.

My motivation: All i have to do is calculate daily interest paid. It makes me mad, and then I just want to save more!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 09:43:54 AM by smaze »


  • Stubble
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  • Age: 47
Re: Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 12:16:07 PM »
There's a student loan challenge thread in the gauntlet subforum - lots of people sharing their stories and keeping track of progress if you want to take a look. Your numbers look great, down from $92K to $27K in less three years on a $65K salary is fantastic:)
Journal here, much easier for me to find it as it doesn't get updated often

Blog coming soon(-ish) eventually perhaps


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 10:23:51 AM »
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. 


  • Stubble
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  • Bridge-playing actuary
Re: Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 12:11:12 PM »
Right, if the interest rate on your student loans is low (<4%) it might be more advantageous to retain them in favor or potentially higher long-term stock market returns.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 60
Re: Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 02:49:19 PM »
I wrote a blog post about how I crushed my student loans. It took me a year to pay back 32,855 but I did use some savings to help. You can read about it here if you want:


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 4
Re: Student loans: destroying them. Share your story.
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 05:37:02 PM »
The interest rates ranged from 5.15% - 7.9%. It was the 7.9% that really freaked me out in the first place. Anyway, all that's left now is the 5.15% and even though I could ride it out I still think there's a chance I'd do better than the stock market. And I can absolutely guarantee I'll feel awesome when I'm done :)

I just don't know if I'm the type to want tenants, but that sure is a sweet story on your rental houses!