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March 2, 2023 at 8:36 am #13419antoinedundasGuest
How They Ditched Debt
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How They Conceded Debt
The people who tamed debt did so in their own way. Check out their tales to you in your own process of paying off debt.
By Amrita Jayakumar Writer The Washington Post Amrita Jayakumar was a former special assignment writer for NerdWallet. She also wrote a syndicated column about the millennial generation and money. She also covered personal loans as well as consumer credit and debt. In the past, she worked as a reporter for The Washington Post. Her work has appeared on the Miami Herald and USAToday. Amrita has a master’s degree in journalistic studies from The University ofMissouri.
Edited by Kathy Hinson Lead Assigning Editor Personal finances, credit scoring managing money and debt Kathy Hinson leads the core personal finance team at NerdWallet. Previously, she spent 18 years working at The Oregonian in Portland in capacities such as chief of the copy desk and team director of design and editing. Previous experience included news and copy editing for a variety of Southern California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and journalism in The University of Iowa.
The majority or all of the products we feature are provided by our partners who pay us. This influences which products we review and the location and manner in which the product is featured on the page. However, this does not affect our assessments. Our opinions are entirely our own. Here’s a list and .
How Two Teachers & Two Teachers raked in More Than $53,000
Jae Bratton, along with her husband
This rumor about children being expensive? Fact! This is why Jae Bratton and her husband who was a teacher with whom she worked determined to pay off their debts over the three years prior to the birth of their first child.
From $20K to 0 in 5 years and 8 Steps
Photo by Jonathan Sharpe
It took several yearsand almost every method in the bookto enable Kenley Young to wipe out more than $20k in charge card debt. Over that time Kenley learned a lot about how pay-down dreams can collide and the realities of major life situations. As a NerdWallet editor, the author reveals which tools had the greatest influence on his path to $0.
The pursuit of a goal leads to helping others
Photo taken by Sandra Leigh Photography. Sandra Leigh Photography
The present of a book about personal finances prompted Holly Carey to get serious about understanding and removing her debt. She was introduced to zero-based budgeting and cut expenses whenever she could, for example, living with a roommate. After squeezing out more than $55,000 in 26 months, she was inspired to share her advice with family and friends -and ultimately, she landed an editor position at NerdWallet.
The Pandemic Following Payoff Tests Test Couple’s Resilience
A few months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the United States, Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog paid off the last $114,000 debt. They’d developed their own budget that was beneficial to their family, created income streams and exploited the less expensive cost of living following the move between New York to Dallas. We spoke to the Hartzogs two years later did they find the Hartzogs successful in avoiding debt even amid the global pandemic that was straining the budgets of many families? What advice can they offer to others who are looking to cut back on debt of their own?
Renovating the home, Increasing the business
After job losses impacted household income for Karen as well as Sylvester Akpan, the couple took the risk to sell their house in the Los Angeles area and buy an RV. They focused on growing their travel blog, as well as the associated Instagram account, and were able to repay their debts in one year. Their story is unique however, it reveals the universal truth that reducing expenses and increasing income leaves more money for debt reduction.
Getting On Board With a Budgeting for the Baby
Former zookeeper Steffa Mantilla promises she did not use any animal-training techniques to convince her husband to come on board with a debt reduction program.
Though she could have convinced him, the Houston couple paid off more than $70,000 in debt in five years. Planning for a baby served as a catalyst for their money makeover.
Eliminating small expenditures was achieved is a Major Goal
Refinancing student loans was the start of the payoff journey for Neal and Laura Fogarty. They then went on the hunt for costs to reduce to make sure they could use every extra dollar toward ditching debt. They were able to pay off $36,600 in eight years.
Rebounding from Bankruptcy
Rashad and Nirvanna Muhammad slogged through financial burdens and student debt when they were married and began to build their family. After a bankruptcy experience that they had to deal with, they narrowed their focus and made the sacrifices needed to repay $179,000 in under four years.
Keeping a ‘Passion for Fashion’ on the Road to Repayment
The promise of a fresh beginning for her lifehaving a home and family — prompted Caitlin Forni to get more focused on paying off her debt. The woman paid back $123,000 of student and car loans in nine years.
A Saver, a Spender and Dreams of a Family
As Kendall Berry and her husband began to plan for children, they got serious about paying off their debt. Here’s how they ditched nearly $54,000 in just a year.
“Happiness Journey” Fueled Payment
(Photo by Abby Bengs)
After accumulating more than $200,000 of student loans to attend law school, Okeoma Moronu decided to adopt a purposeful approach to her financial and personal life and paid off her debts in six and six and a half years.
From ‘Extravagantly Bloke’ to the Comfortably Frugal
DeShena Woodard, a nurse from Texas, had nothing in savings and lived paycheck from paycheck to paycheck, until she changed her habits and paid off more than $50,000 in just three years.
Little Splurges along the Path to Freedom
Brian and Lindsey Baldwin wiped out $130,000 in student loans in just under four years — and still had a few treats for the entire family during the process.
Small Wins Help Achieve an enthralling Dream
Bernadette Joy as well as AJ Maulion paid down student loans and two mortgages, a whopping sum of $309,800 while building a small business. The recipe for success: Live on a single salary and celebrate the small victories.
Whipping Up a Payoff ‘Tornado’
If Steven Donovan didn’t want to enter his debt figures into a budgeting program He knew he needed to act. In the end, tackling his most hated debt led him to pay off $118,000 within five years.
‘I Just Pretended I Didn’t have Money’
Sarah McGowan’s dream was to get out of student debt at the age of 25. By maintaining a frugal lifestyle after graduating from college and taking advantage of every opportunity she had, McGowan got rid of around $36,000 of debt in less than two years.
“It made our marriage so Strong’
(Photo taken by Amelia Campbell Photography)
Ray and Bailey Robertson paid off over $33,000 over the course of 18 months due to a shrewd strategy, lean lifestyle, a tight partnership and lots of planning.
Redefining the term “Best Life,” Reducing the size
Sonia Sears ended up deep in debt while trying to live her “best life” throughout university and later. However, she was able to conquer the debt she accumulated by working more while traveling less, and then moving back home. She was able to pay off $79,000 over two years.
The Frugal Lifestyle is Kicking into High Gear
Ben and Melissa Panter were always frugal However, when they had to face an enormous mortgage and increasing students loan balances, they knew they needed to shift their frugality into high gear. The Panters have paid off $117,000 in almost four years.
Food Planning, Side Jobs and Faith
(Photo taken by Brok (Photo by Brok Amanda Hansmeyer)
Teachers, Jamie and Jenna Griffin were overwhelmed by student loans. They relied on the budget and work hard to pay off more than 100,000 in just five and five-and-a-half years.
Making the Most of the gig economy
(Photo taken by Shane Henderson)
Kara Perez doubled down on part-time employment in order to repay student loans worth $25,302 in three and three and a half years.
Holiday expenses can eat away at a couple’s Budget
Christmas presents piled on top of existing debt convinced Anthony Hartzog and his wife to take action and pay off $114,151 over 23 months.
Thrifty Living along with Side Gigs
With careful budgeting, while being full-time while increasing her earnings Tanya Nwamkpa was able to pay off $57,000 over the course of five years.
‘We Have Choices Yet’
Their finances began to slide with a job loss in 2009. Despite making mistakes along the way, Adam and Sally Cleary climbed out of more than $11,000 of high-interest debt.
Resolving College Credit Card Balances
Natalie Tomko aimed to pay off $50,000 credit card debt by her 30th birthday. It took her six years, a hardship plan and the support of her community to accomplish it.
Making Budgets for Changing Habits and Budgeting for a Baby
After discovering that a child was due After they learned that a baby was on the way, the Baggerlys revamped their lifestyle and began budgeting. two kids later, paid off $111,108.
Smart Solutions for ‘Stupidest Decision’
Cameron Merriman had paid $95,000 of student loan debt over five years while staying in the most costly city in America.
“It was a Game for Us’
Josh and Jessie Boyce paid off $147,000 in debt in a little three years after realizing that debt was holding them behind in their financial goals.
A Medal-Worthy Olympian’s Olympic Juggling Act
John Coyle’s loan of $147,000 was used to fund his Olympics campaign, and after being offered a six-figure job, Coyle paid it off over 15 years.
Affirmative Concentration on the Goal
New college graduate Samantha Ealy paid off more than $70,000 in under three years doing multiple jobs and at times even neglecting her health.
Being a Budget Obsessive
A mix of student loans as well as a car loan as well as credit card debts and home improvement loans left the Browns $72,000 in debt and forced them to draw up their own budget.
Engineer Reminisces Old-School with Pen and Paper
Despite receiving scholarships, Brianna Harrington graduated college with $40,000 students loan debt. Determined to get rid of it her debt, she made a strict budget to pay it off in 26 months.
Refraining from Pride and asking for Help
Jesse Nuno was laid off in the economic downturn and began to fall behind on mortgage and auto loans. Cara was unable to pay her bills because of her disability. The couple went to a credit counselor to pay off $272 261 over the course of five years.
A Wish List Kept Her Going
(Photo by Jim Gion, 2015)
Melanie Lockert set out to wipe off $57,426 of debt. She encouraged herself to do so by writing wish lists of things she’d be able to do when she was debt-free.
“Born Spender’ Goes on a Spending Rapid
Anna Newell Jones entered married life nearly $24,000 in debt. She forced herself to go on a spending speedy pace and paid it off in just 15 months.
New Parents Stop Credit Cards
Lydia Senn and her husband claimed they didn’t have a lot of debt until they were expecting their first child. Living frugally, working side jobs, and budgeting allowed them to pay off $36,000 in less than two years.
Grad Gives Gift to her Future Self
Ogechi Igbokwe did not want to become another college loan statistic. To prepare herself for success, she lived frugally as well as paid down $26,000 within three years.
Financial Goals Are Family Goals
Newlyweds Nicole along with Andy Hill saw debt as an obstacle in achieving their goals. They made budgeting a routine and wiped out more than $50,000 in debt in the span of one year.
No sleep for new parents until they get their payoff
Chelsea along with Nate Day ended up owing her family $52,000 after a bungled homebuying experience. The family debts made the Days nervous, so they slashed expenses to settle it in six months.
Homemade Tracker Kept Her Cooking
Food writer and chef Stephanie Stiavetti racked up debt to pursue her culinary dreams. But she knew it was a fact that, if they didn’t alter the way she lived, she’d be burdened with debt of $64,000 for the rest of her life.
Newly Single, ‘I Knew I needed to help myself’
At the age of 25, Carrie Smith Nicholson found herself divorced and in debt of $14,000. She realized she had to find an additional job, cut back on spending and dig herself out of the hole.
Learning to be a student with Student Loans
After college, Kara Stevens found herself with students loans as well as credit card bills. Once she educated herself on credit card debt Stevens determined to take on the issue head-on and pay off $65,000 in six years.
Additional Payments became her obsession.
When Jackie Beck lost her job and was unable to afford food and housing, she was forced to take on her debts. Beck became obsessed with small payments and paid off $147.106 in 10 years.
Making Sense of Cents
At age 23 Michelle Schroeder-Gardner earned three college degrees she was married and had bought an apartment. She graduated with $38,000 in student loans and decided that to be able to pay it off as quickly as she could.
Money Under 30
David Weliver didn’t tackle his $80,000 debt until he had to make the difficult decision of paying rent or pay for a debt from his credit card. He consolidated his debts, cut down on the cost of living, and landed a second job to pay off the debt in three years.
Lauren who was a big spender was ashamed of letting her husband Mark who was a saver know how poorly she’d handled their family finances. After she admitted her mistakes and altered her spending habits, she paid down $40,000 over two years.
Chris Peach and his wife Andrea hit rock-bottom when they used up all their credit cards and couldn’t pay for groceries. Peach was a firefighter in training, applied a step-by-step method to pay off $52,000 in seven months.
Brian Brandow had his debt epiphany when the father of three children had to inform his family there’d be no vacation in the year that was to come. The Brandows had overloaded their credit cards. They used a debt management program to pay off $109,999 in just four years.
In her early 20s Flanders amassed debts of nearly $30,000 by saying “yes” to everything. Through monitoring her expenses and cutting down on unnecessary purchases, she was able to pay the debt off in just two years.
Active Budgeting Pays Off
Newlyweds and recent graduates with $20,000 in debt, Johnny and Joanna Galbraith were determined to create an action plan and get out of the red. They paid off the debt in 1.5 years.
My Shiny Nickels
Laura Dobbins and her family resided in a luxurious house that had all the luxury trappings, but they were nearly $40,000 . They downsized their lifestyle and started saving. And in just two years, they were debt-free.
Dedication, Smart Spending and Smart Spending
Zina Kumok graduated college with $24,000 Student loan debt. However, since she earned an average of $28,000 per year, she decided that she needed to do something about the debt. She paid it off over three years.
The Family CEO
Julie Mayfield and her husband faced 18 years of debt — totaling $59,000 — to help fund their daughter’s first year of college. They put the extra cash they had toward debt and then paid it off in 22 months.
Amanda Page graduated with $48,500 in student loan debt. Ten years later, realizing she’d paid off less than $1,000 of her debt after which she decided to take on more work and employed a method of making “monster payments” to pay off the debt over 14 months.
Penny Pinchin’ Mom
Before marriage, Tracie Fobes declared bankruptcy to get rid of debt. But by the time they and their husband were expecting their first child, they’d accumulated $37,000 more. Conversations about money led them to pay off the debt in less than two years.
Queen of Free
Cherie Lowe, along with her husband Brian who was a bachelor, had more than $127,000 in debt, spread over payday loans, medical bills and student loans. Their second baby spurred a lifestyle change, and they became debt-free within four years.
(Photo from Tinnetta Bell.)
Tiffany Aliche was saddled with $57,500 in graduate student loans, $40,000 in credit card debt and $200,000 in mortgage debt due to default. She returned home and switched to a cash-only lifestyle to get rid of the debt.
A Wallet that is well-kept
Deacon Hayes and his wife Kim used the debt to finance their lives. In the event that they were in debt and living paycheck from paycheck to paycheck, the couple realized they needed to act. The Hayes were able to pay it off in just 18 months.
His and Her Money
As newlyweds, Talaat and Tai McNeely were financially different and had approximately $30,000 of debt. They had a single income, and employed the second to pay off their debts within one year.
Debt Free Guys
John Schneider and David Auten have years of experience in the field of financial services however, they managed to accrue $51,000 of debit card balances. They reduced their spending, made use of an account balance transfer, and paid it off over 18 months.
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About the author: Amrita Jayakumar is a former writer at NerdWallet. She has previously worked for The Washington Post and the Miami Herald.
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