Are you struggling to get out from under debt? One of the ways I’ve been staying motivated during my multi-year graduate student loan payoff period is reading other people’s debt payoff stories for tips and inspiration. Below is a compilation of some of my favorites to help you on your journey. I hope these amazing debt payoff stories will help motivate you as you work towards becoming debt free!
According to NBC, one Northwestern Mutual study found that the average American has about $38,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages. Credit card debt makes up 25% of all debt. And 2 in 10 Americans spend 50%-100% of their monthly income on debt repayment. Good debt or bad—that’s just craziness!
And some of the statistics on student loans are scary for the long term financial health of young women. The Washington Post recently shared data from a NeighborWorks America housing survey showing Millennials are shouldering most of the nation’s student loan debt and that “Women carry nearly two-thirds of the total, or almost $900 billion.”
Reading debt payoff stories is a great way to find additional motivation to pay off your own debt, learn new debt payoff tricks and hacks, and remind yourself that while paying off debt can be incredibly hard, it’s not impossible. And paying off debt has some pretty awesome perks, from decreasing financial stress to freeing up cash flow to pursue your true passions.
Check out these inspiring stories from women who have each successfully paid off more than $70k in debt.
Paying off $120k in Graduate Student Loans
Erica of The Worth Project was able to pay off $120,000 of graduate student loan debt in 3 years. She prioritized paying extra towards her student loans over maxing out her retirement accounts or moving to a nicer apartment in order to tackle her debt. I love that she shared both successes and failures along the way.
Paying off $78k of Credit Card Debt and Student Loans
Maureen of a Debt Free Stress Free Life paid off $78,000 of debt in less than 3 years as a single mom. If you think you have a lot to juggle, check out the story of how she lost her job while deep in debt with a daughter and college and parents who were semi-dependent on her financially. Her story of launching her own business and changing her relationship with money is inspiring.
Paying off $98k of Debt
Paige from The Purposeful Penny and her husband paid off $98k of student loan and credit card debt.
Paying off $89k of Debt in 18 Months
J from Millennial Boss paid off $89,000 of student loan, car loan and credit card debt in just 18 months. Her biggest takeaway? If you want to tackle debt fast, it helps to have a laser like focus and do everything you can to increase your income. She’s since gone on to tackle another student loan that her parents had taken out for her education and built up a considerable net worth.
Paying off $81k of Student Loan Debt
Melanie of Dear Debt blogged about her debt payoff story over the course of a few years. She covers everything from the struggle to find meaningful work, to debt payoff on a low income, to mental health, to the scariness of transitioning into self-employment. Her writing is open and honest in a space that can often feel self-congratulatory.
Paying off $121k of Debt in 29 Months to be a Stay at Home Mom
Mindy Sanders and her husband were determined to pay off $121k of debt as quickly as possible in order to achieve her goal of being a stay at home mom. Her story of taking on extra shifts at work and having a laser focus on her goal is inspiring.
Paying off $100k+ of Debt as a Single Woman
Double Debt Single Woman is well on her way to paying off $142,598 of debt. As of this writing, her remaining debt stands at $39,900. Her blog covers topics like job burnout and the importance of celebrating milestones along your debt payoff journey.
Paying off $87k of Student Loan Debt
Marissa from The Budgeting Wife shares the story of how she and her husband paid off $87,000 of student loan debt in under three years.
Paying off $70k of Debt to Quit Her Job
Jamie from Eventual Millionaire knew she wanted to do something different with her life, but her debt was holding her back. She and her husband paid of $70k of debt from a car loan, student loans, and home equity loan so she could pursue her dreams. Now she interviews people who became millionaires through their businesses every week for her podcast.
Paying off $147k of Debt as a Married Couple
Jackie of Jackie Beck and her husband paid off their consumer debt and their mortgage to become completely debt free. She now helps other people pay down debt through her course and debt payoff app.
Dealing with $180k in Student Loans
Jen of Jen Talks Forever and her husband are working to pay down $180,000 in student loan debt and are more than half way there. She’s very open as she shares their regret over having taken out so many loans while young without really understanding what it would mean for their future.
Paying off $107k of Debt in Under 3 Years
Erin & Kevin of Debt Free Happens paid of $107,000 of credit card, car loan, and student loan debt in 33 months. One of them is a natural saver and the other is a spender and they post about their efforts to work together to achieve their financial goals.
Paying off $144k of JD/MBA Loans
Stephanie of Six Figures Under and her husband paid of $144,000 of student loans once they committed to getting out of debt. She documented their story on her blog, from putting the money they’d saved up towards a down payment on a house towards their debt instead, to living with family to speed up their debt pay down journey and adding a new little one to their family along the way.
I’m hoping to be able to add our debt payoff story to this list shortly. In the meantime, follow my Debt Payoff Stories board on Pinterest for additional inspiration:
Interested in learning more? These articles are a great place to start!
- 27 Actionable Financial Independence Tips: The Ultimate Financial Independence Guide
- 5 Easy Ways to Kickstart Your Journey to Financial Freedom
- How to Balance Investing versus Debt Payoff
Are you trying to pay off a big debt? How do you stay motivated?