How Real Women Paid Off Debt

Gabrielle Karol
Posted


Chase Blueprint

Debt can often seem unconquerable. Whether you’re facing down student loans or a mountain of credit card bills, it can seem like you’ll never be able to pay off all of it–or even make a serious dent.

We get it. We do. And you’re not alone: According to a nationwide survey conducted by LearnVest and Chase Blueprint, almost one-third of men and women surveyed said credit card debt keeps them from reaching their financial goals.

What’s more, in the study, the average outstanding student loan debt totaled over $30,000.

While debt is no small matter, you can pay it down … with some hard work, a little ingenuity and, most importantly, a plan.

To show real women just like you who have succeeded at just that, we collected inspiring reader stories from LV Discussions and in articles, in which readers share their tales of overcoming the odds. We love the creative, smart methods they use, and the dedication they show.

If you want a more detailed debt plan tailored to your particular situation, check out LearnVest’s financial plans or speak to one of our CFPs®.

To protect our readers’ privacy, all names have been changed.

Natalie

In February, I finally paid off all my credit card debt! At its highest point, it was about $10,000. Even more amazingly, I paid it off while moving from the Midwest, switching jobs and getting a divorce.

I got into debt while I was basically supporting my ex-husband, who in ten years never had a full-time job. While we made enough for groceries, anything besides that, like cigarettes (we were both smokers), traveling to visit my family in New York or going out to dinner, got put on the card. While I was always thrifty, my ex was a spender, so it all just slowly added up.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Dividing Debts in a Divorce

We split up, and I moved to New York with about $2,000 in savings. I stayed with my family for a few months and sold my car to get an apartment, all while working remotely part-time. At this point, I was just paying off the minimums on my cards. When I got a regular job, I started paying off as much as I could afford, and as soon as I paid one down, I would put all that money toward a new card.

In the same week, I became debt-free and my divorce came through. Needless to say, it was pretty amazing! I’ve continued to be thrifty since becoming debt-free, and now I put all the money I was putting toward my cards to my retirement.

Alice

I paid off $28,000 in student loans and saved $11,000 in only three years. I’m single, so I gave away 75% of my things and moved into a house where I rented a small room. I was able to cut my expenses by $900 a month! I know it sounds crazy, but it was the most creative thing I could think of to pay off my debts quickly. Three years later, I’m back in my own apartment and still saving.

RELATED: To Pay Down Debt or Invest?

Sally

My husband and I paid off $122,000 in debt in four years through the snowball method (paying off the smallest balance first and then the next smallest, etc.). If I had to give advice, I would say get a second job to increase your income! Wait tables, deliver pizza, freelance, clean houses, walk dogs—whatever it takes to get debt-free!

Althea

In 2010, I had $76,000 in student loan debt after two degrees. I have already paid off $56,000. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices, but it’s totally worth it now that the end is near! That said, it definitely hasn’t been easy. I work a day job in management at a non-profit: In 2010, I was making $62,000 a year, but now I’m earning $70,000 a year, plus a $4,000 annual bonus. It’s definitely a good salary, but I live in Washington, D.C., which is an expensive city.

To supplement my income and pay down my debt more quickly, I’ve gotten creative. I’ve babysat through SitterCity, participated in focus groups and done other odd jobs. I also moved to a less desirable neighborhood, cut cable, limited data on my phone and tracked all of my spending. Each month, I have been able to put around $2,000 toward my student loans.

Lindsay

I got into debt by spending more than I was making on things like clothing, nights out, eating out, drinking, cabs and health expenses. I didn’t have a budget. Also, I took a big trip to India that cost me $5,000, and I didn’t save up for it at all.

My debt was about $7,500. Two years ago, I got a budget and began sharply curtailing my spending and paying off my debt. I paid the credit card debt fairly quickly (within five months), aided by a Christmas gift from my parents. But I still had almost $20,000 in student loan debt, so I spent another year paying that off. I felt so much relief when I paid the credit card debt off, but the student loan amount was such a huge sum, I was in disbelief for a month. Now I love the feeling of building up savings instead of paying off past debts!

Frida

I paid off $55,000 in debt in about 5-6 years. How did I do it? I found a book on getting out of debt, read it and set up a plan to pay off my highest interest rate debt first. Once I paid it off, then I put the same amount toward the next debt, until finally my debts were gone.

To free up more money, I rented a room for $400 a month instead of paying about $800-900 for an apartment. Additionally, I cut back on “fun” spending: I didn’t take any vacations outside my immediate area, only ate out at restaurants a few times a year, etc. I rented that small room for four years, until I got married. At that point, we rented a one-bedroom for $800, so my rent could stay the same. All the while, my income kept increasing, which helped as well.

RELATED: I Want a Plan for Paying Off Debt

Hannah

In less than two years, I was able to pay off approximately $35,000 in loans. While I still owe about $53,000, I should be able to pay it all off in another two years.

How did I do it? Although I really wanted a job in politics, I realized I couldn’t make $25,000 or less a year and manage to pay my $525 a month in student loan payments. Instead, I got a job as a legal secretary at a big law firm, and worked at least 10 hours of overtime a week for three years. All the extra money I earned went to my debt. My interest rates were 11%, 7% and 3%; I had a combination of private and public loans.

I’ve been promoted twice at the firm and now have a pretty good job. My advice if you want to pay off your loans is to get the highest-paying job with overtime you can find, keep your cost of living low (I commute over an hour to work in each direction) and don’t count on anyone to bail you out. If you pay them off quickly, you can then be free to get your dream job by age 27 or so.

Lisa

To pay off my debt, I would make multiple payments per month, regardless of the bill’s due date. If I felt like I had a spare $20, $50 or $100 in my bank account, I went ahead and made an online payment. It was so easy, and it was an instant confidence boost as I watched the balances decrease!

 

  • anonymous

    My Name is Mrs. Sandy Mitch, am a citizen of Texas USA, i want to testify of what happen to me last week, my husband left me for good two years now, i have been praying and searching for someone to help me bring him back to me, until i meet Dr Oko (solutionhome@outlook.com) over the Internet who help me prayed and cast spell on my husband, my lost husband came back to me and am happy today my lost husband is back to me as one happy family we use to be as before. this man is specialized in bringing back your ex lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, make you rich, win lotto, solution to any problem. this is a gift from birth to Dr Oko. this man is just too sweet to have and contact him via email: solutionhome@outlook.com

  • sophia andres

    Hello I am Sophia Andres, I am out here to spreed this
    good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going
    crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i met the website of Dr Ikuku
    http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com the great messenger to the oracle how my
    ex love left me and also how i needed to that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Ikuku about a job in a very big
    company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i
    will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i
    need to do,After it was been done,In the next 12 hours,My love called
    me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also
    in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for
    forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr Ikuku at
    the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem
    is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on +2348104181322 and get your problems solved like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com. he is real and very powerful to help.

    Dr Ikuku Mobile Number: +2348104181322
    Email: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com

  • sophia andres

    Hello I am Sophia Andres, I am out here to spreed this
    good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going
    crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i met the website of Dr Ikuku
    http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com the great messenger to the oracle how my
    ex love left me and also how i needed to that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Ikuku about a job in a very big
    company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i
    will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i
    need to do,After it was been done,In the next 12 hours,My love called
    me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also
    in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for
    forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr Ikuku at
    the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem
    is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on +2348104181322 and get your problems solved like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com. he is real and very powerful to help.

    Dr Ikuku Mobile Number: +2348104181322
    Email: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com

  • sophia andres

    Hello I am Sophia Andres, I am out here to spreed this
    good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going
    crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i met the website of Dr Ikuku
    http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com the great messenger to the oracle how my
    ex love left me and also how i needed to that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Ikuku about a job in a very big
    company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i
    will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i
    need to do,After it was been done,In the next 12 hours,My love called
    me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also
    in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for
    forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr Ikuku at
    the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem
    is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on +2348104181322 and get your problems solved like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com. he is real and very powerful to help.

    Dr Ikuku Mobile Number: +2348104181322
    Email: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com

  • sophia andres

    Hello I am Sophia Andres, I am out here to spreed this
    good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going
    crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i met the website of Dr Ikuku
    http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com the great messenger to the oracle how my
    ex love left me and also how i needed to that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Ikuku about a job in a very big
    company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i
    will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i
    need to do,After it was been done,In the next 12 hours,My love called
    me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also
    in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for
    forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr Ikuku at
    the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem
    is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on +2348104181322 and get your problems solved like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com. he is real and very powerful to help.

    Dr Ikuku Mobile Number: +2348104181322
    Email: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com

  • Gloribel Stancy

    Am very happy to tell every one to hear my testimony will say.
    am Gloribel Stancy from united state,am a nurse,this story of my love
    life.I have been married for 4years and on the fifth year of my
    marriage, another woman had to take my lover away from me and my husband
    left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until i met a post
    where this man Dr. Ehi have helped someone and i decided to give him a
    try to help me bring my lover back home and believe me i just send my
    picture to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told
    me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he
    have come to me and the kids and that is why i am happy to make every
    one of you in similar to met with this man and have your lover back to
    your self.You can contact him with this email address {drudebhuluspelltemple@yahoo.com} or {drudebhuluspelltemple@gmail.com} or you can still call him on his mobile +2349038669448 Thank you Dr Ehi. I am sure he will do same to help you too.

  • Dirce Ries

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how PRIEST KUVUKI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her EX whom’s name is Emphrom so i just saw it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that. I and my husband was married for six years living happily before i knew what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, My husband came back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email { Kuvukispelltemple@hotmail.com } now because he can do the unexpected. his email is { Kuvukispelltemple@hotmail.com }

  • John M Holt

    Dr Oduma is the only Dr who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, i have tried almost everything but i couldn’t find any solution on my disease, despite all these happening to me, i always spend a lot to buy HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i come across a great post of !Nicole! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great powerful healing spell doctor, sometime i really wonder why people called him Papa Oduma, i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so i quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing i will never forget that anyone who contacted him is ! always getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you, so i was amazed all the time i heard that from him, so i did all things only to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing Dr Oduma gave to me from the help of his ancient herbs if you have any question for me concerning all i have said email me at:(holt06079@gmail.com) But if you feel like contacting Dr Oduma at once you can email him now for your own healing too at: (odumaspiratualtemplehouse@gmail.com) or call his phone number which is +2347055413648 for direct contact good luck i am john holt…