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Here’s how an 18 Year Old plans to Pay Off her Student Loan Right After College

how to pay off student loans

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August 10, 2016

As a super-creative girl stepping right out of school to face the world, Stephanie is all geared up for Art School to rock the world’s cradle at the age of just 18. It’s not like she is living a fairytale though; her elder sister, who is also an Arts Major, is trying her best to cope up with student loan debt of her own. It is safe to say that she is very much aware of how problematic student loans can be for a long time to come.

“I have seen Amy, my elder sister struggle like anything to find herself a job in that six-month grace period right after college. I know this sounds immature, but I hated the system for what it was doing to her.” Thankfully, Amy got a job just 3 days before her grace period was about to expire. But even now a majority of her income goes out in the student debt. Stephanie learned a lesson there and wanted to figure out the best way to pay off the student loan.

We had to ask Stephanie how did she come up with a plan, considering the fact that she never studied finances at all in her life? “I met a few accountant friends of mine and asked them straight up- ‘Give me a way to pay off my student loan right after college’ and they walked me through the plan on paper,” Stephanie added that the plan suggested by her friends was theoretically possible, but impractical- not because it could not be done, but because it would require one helluva tight schedule and rigorous planning.

Stephanie thought it was just not worth it, but the flash of her sister’s tragic moments made her think about it. “My sister’s dark days jumped in front of my eyes and I thought, it’s better to work my boots off for the next 3 years rather than lamenting about it till my late thirties.” So she did all of that rigorous planning, scheduling, learned basic finances from her friends, and prepped up a plan on how to pay off the student loan of hers while she’s in college.

We had to ask her the ultimate question– What is the plan? “The plan is very much simple- I have to earn as much as I can to pay off my student loan right out of college, and by work, I mean smart work, not hard work.” Stephanie’s student debt is near to the average student debt amount on any given individual- $33,456 away from eternal freedom. “Practically there’s no way I can earn that much dough the right way, but whatever I earn would bring this amount of money down” She added.

Stephanie walked us through the plan- she has set up a target of earning a gross of $10,000 in a span of three years she spends in college. “I have set up five, very basic things to do- The 5 Mantras to pay off student loans right out of college. This might pay off all my student loans at once, or it might help me in paying off a hefty chunk of it.” Let us look at 5 things Stephanie is doing to make money and save it all to pay off her student loan:

1. The Good ol’ Piggy Bank

Stephanie thinks that saving money is the backbone to pay off student loan. “Think of it the other way- Why do you need a loan in the first place? The greens in your pocket aren’t enough to fund your college education, that’s why. Best way to prevent unnecessary spending is to be frugal and save money like anything.” Stephanie added that she maintains a virtual piggy bank and has made it a habit to deposit small change and rounded off the amount in it.

2. Earn through your talent

“The stereotype stating that you cannot make enough time to earn money in college is a myth. People find excuses to run away from earning money which is wrong.” Stephanie recommends Fiverr to everyone to earn the extra bucks with side gigs. These part-time jobs pay a lot of money to people willing to showcase their hobbies for good money, and guess what’s the best way to pay off student loan? Money. Lots of it.

3. Trim out the expenses

Stephanie pin-pointed on use of the internet and what a big help has it been in finding ways to pay off student loan. “Every expert on the internet emphasized on saving money by letting go of things that aren’t needed- be it gym memberships or a Netflix subscription. It was very hard to track these down on my bank statement, and then I heard of TRIM, which easily cancels all my unneeded subscriptions just in a click.” We used TRIM ourselves and turns out it does exactly what she said!

4. Be productive whenever you’re awake

We asked the girl herself does she ever rest, because she’s always busy trying to make money to find ways to pay off her student loan, to which she replied “My sleep cycle is same as yours. The only difference is that while I’m scrolling through Instagram, I tend to open my laptop and fill out surveys on Survey Junkie, E-Poll Surveys and a ton of more websites which legitimately offer money. It is fun, relieves stress and I don’t feel guilty because I’m sitting idle.”

5. Imagine a future…Without student loan

“You never know what the future holds for us, this plan might work, or it might fail- It’s worth a shot anyway.” Stephanie admits all her hope is channeled to her from the elder sister, and she backs her up to convert this dream of paying off student loan when she’s out of college into a reality.


August 10, 2018

It’s been two years since Stephanie took an oath to herself to get rid of student loans right after college. We had a chat with her and here’s what we found:

  • In the first few weeks, Stephanie found it extremely hard to balance her ulterior goal and college stuff. But it was a matter of weeks and it was back to normal.
  • Being a free spender, it was tough for her to keep hands away from the wallet and not spend on unnecessary things. But in the last 2 years, she’s become frugal and spends wisely.
  • Stephanie works for the local church’s community service, which has a big legal impact on loan forgiveness criteria. She takes a two-hour lecture thrice a week at the public school’s night shift, and it pays well.
  • Her sister Amy is halfway through in paying off her student loan debt in heftier installments each time to save herself from huge interest rates.

“I never thought I’d end up saving $9,287 in just 2 years in exchange of nothing more than extra efforts. This is big for my self-esteem. I wish to use all this money on reducing my student debt and ultimately pay off my student loan altogether.”  Stephanie has got her life on track and is doing fairly well in an attempt to pay off her student loans. She aspires to take up a full time paid internship in her last year of college studies and has put up her resume on various job portals like SkillShare.

Life is a jungle, and it’s better to be Lion for a day than being a Sheep for the rest of it. Make a decision to pay off your student loan as early as possible, and if you’re already out of college and still looking for ways to pay off your student loan quickly, click here.


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