How I Paid Off Six Figures in Pupil Loans


By Melody Barthelemy

Melody’s story isn’t unusual. We beforehand shared one girl’s girl story to repay six figures in pupil loans. In line with Pupil, nearly all of pupil mortgage debtors take out loans from the federal authorities, with a complete of 43 million debtors which have $1,447.1 billion excellent in pupil mortgage debt. Though these numbers appear daunting, with a plan and focus, it’s doable to overcome this debt. Melody shared her journey to paying off six figures in pupil loans.

My Again Story

So how did I amass six figures in pupil loans? The vast majority of my pupil mortgage debt amassed whereas I used to be in grad faculty, however I had additionally taken out pupil loans whereas finishing my undergraduate diploma. After I reached the tip of my grace interval after grad faculty, my pupil mortgage stability 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 loads 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. After I obtained a bank card my senior yr of highschool, I believed, I’ll begin utilizing it to construct my credit score 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 financial institution. Sadly, I didn’t develop up studying about investing, saving, and utilizing credit score correctly.

Making the Determination

After I obtained 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 strategy to clear up the issue that wouldn’t take me 20-30 years. I used to be not okay with spending two to 3 many years accumulating curiosity each 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 fully at a loss on repay my debt. Whereas scrolling by social media, a good friend shared her debt free journey. I reached out to be taught extra and she or he informed me a couple of course she took at church about funds. It simply so occurred {that a} native church was additionally instructing the course. In fact I signed up, and the teacher took the time to stroll by 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.

Subsequent, I outlined my month-to-month bills right 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 aim was to usher in as a lot extra cash as doable to eliminate the debt. I took time to discover a good full-time job and get a constant aspect hustle.  I made little to no funds on my mortgage throughout that point as a result of my earnings fluctuated considerably. 

Here’s what I did to satisfy my aim:

1. Created a timeline for my pupil debt payoff aim, which was 4 years. The plan was to repay the debt by the tip of 2020.

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

3. I decided what I needed to pay each month to satisfy my aim, together with the each day curiosity. 

4. Reviewed my incoming vs. outgoing – I decided with a view to meet my aim, I wanted more cash. I locked down a everlasting aspect hustle and a seasonal aspect hustle. 

5. Each Friday, I made a fee on my mortgage from my aspect hustle. I made a fee from my full-time job, along with my autopay, each different Friday. 

6. Each penny that got here to me was used to repay the mortgage: bonuses, items, and so on. I picked up each shift that was obtainable, 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 Different Monetary Targets

Certainly one of my targets is to maneuver, so I began a transferring fund. My final monetary aim is early retirement. Consequently, I’m specializing in a bridge account to carry me over through the early retirement interval. Moreover, I additionally now spend money on my 401K and Roth IRA to construct a pleasant cushion for my later years. 

Featured Picture through Shutterstock

About Melody

Melody lives in Windfall, RI. She likes to journey, eat good meals, and play a imply sport of UNO. She not too long ago transitioned from healthcare and the medical system trade to staffing and recruiting. You’ll be able to comply with her on IG @frugalgirlbudgeting.


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