How I Paid Off My $40K Student Loans Before Graduating

Ms 99to1percent

Blogging about Personal Finance along with a little touch of humor. Immigrant who started from the bottom and now I’m here…to tell my story, inspire and learn from others. Paid off $40K in student loans before graduating. CPA. Saved a $100K emergency fund in my 20’s. Hopping to pay off $500K+ mortgage within 5 years at 39. Hopping to become financially independent at 45. Happily married. Mom of 1.

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18 responses

  1. Yes! To looking for a job a year before graduation! It gives you time to find one that will be a good fit and put you in a better negotiation seat! (But you’ve totally made up for not negotiating Ms99to1 by now!)

    Awesome work paying off your debt so quickly!

  2. Cubert says:

    One tactic that helped me with this was begging my parents for money. 🙂

    I think it helped to go to an in-state public university as well. And the part time job really helped, as did working all summer long.

  3. Great post and items to consider.

    We’d go pretty far to pay off any debt. But we have gone – and will continue to go – far to not get into any debt in the first place. Admittedly, no one knows why life may bring (health matters, loss of income, etc.), but you can’t worry about things you can’t control. We can at least prepare to the best of our ability. A few examples:

    – an emergency fund (your point around this is very important)
    – insurance
    – living within your means

    In a proactive example, Mrs. BD was deciding where to go to Graduate school while we lived in New York City. She could have gone to NYU – a great school no doubt – or one of the state schools in the city. She opted for the latter because it was nearly 1/5 the cost of NYU. We would have gone into debt to finance the Masters, but we were able to avoid debt by going with the other school. No one at any of her employers since then has cared that she opted for one vs. the other. And it saved us probably $60,000.

  4. Dash2Retire says:

    You’re right. Community college is the greatest thing in education since sliced bread. If you keep your grades up in community college, it is pretty easy to transfer to a larger school if desired. Plus by staying local for your first 2 years, you save on room and board which is 2 to 3 times the cost of tuition.
    Also, in the US, lots of state public schools are now providing free tuition to students who meet the grade requirements, paid for by the state lotteries. I know lots of kids going to great schools in FL, GA, TN with free tuition. Sweet deal!
    And to OurFinancialPath, wow, tuition in QC at $3K per year? That’s awesome. In Ontario, it’s $8K across the board. I’m trying to get my youngest to look at McGill, but it’s expensive going out of province. It’s about the same as going out-of-state in the US. Plus she really wants to go back home, to the US, for college.

  5. Thanks for including our story, you had a great path yourself.

  6. Thanks for the mention and nice story. You were way more disciplined then I was as a student. Kudos to you! Look forward to reading more in the future.

  7. Great post, Ms 99to1percent!

    I strongly believe that choosing your field wisely is one of the most important things you can do for your wealth. Your salary (combined with strong savings, of course) is going to have a significant impact on your net worth every single month of your life post-graduation.

  8. Love the hustle. Most of us were not self-aware enough at that age to focus on our finances. There is a reason you two are part of the 1% today!

  9. Good work, impressive to be that focused early!

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