- Kelan and Brittany Kline graduated with a total student loan debt of $ 40,000.
- By 2018, they had $ 25,000 left and decided to focus on paying them off together.
- They cut their spending dramatically and made as much money as possible to pay off the debt.
- Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.
Student debt is destroying America. General student loan debt in the US is now hovering at a staggering $ 1.7 trillion, but average outstanding student debt for an individual is from $ 20,000 to $ 25,000. This is why, unfortunately, it is no surprise that people continue to pay off their debts even after 60 years.
But what if you could crush your debt sooner rather than later? This is what Kelan Klein and his wife Brittany Klein managed to do. Upon graduation, the couple were saddled with $ 40,000 in student debt. While they did their best to minimize their student debt while in college, such as working hard and using financial aid, in 2018 they decided to pay off their debt as soon as possible.
Here’s how they managed to knock down a $ 25,000 student debt in just five months.
1. They hit the same page as a couple.
By 2018, the couple had just over $ 25,000 left of their original $ 40,000 in student loans. At that time, they expanded their blog, Savvy couplethat started out as a side hustle and bustle, into a lucrative venture. Kelan left the county jail job he hated to work full-time on a blog.
They sat down at the dinner table and talked about Brittany’s dream of quitting her job and going into business. “I knew that for this to happen, we had to get out of debt and pay off the remaining $ 25,000,” says Kelan. “Brittany was very against paying so aggressively.”
So they figured it all out. “It was a difficult conversation, but it completely changed our lives,” says 31-year-old Kelan. “We aligned our goals and dreams in life, and this allowed us to start working as a team, rather than playing tug-of-war against each other. But she believed me and our dream, and the wheels got off the ground. “
2. They have increased their income from a side business.
In 2018, the Klines blog, which shares tips and tricks on how to save money and live modestly, hit its first $ 10,000 in monthly income. When their full-time side business hit the $ 10,000 mark, the Klines realized they could be more aggressive with student loan payments and get their debt repaid sooner rather than later.
It took a lot of hard work and time as it was only after nine straight months that the couple finally earned their first $ 50 on their website. “We strongly believe that if you really want complete control over your time and money, you need to start a small business,” says Kelan. “Own business is the only fast track to financial freedom.”
3. They have made paying off debt their priority.
Calling payment of a debt being the top financial priority, the couple was able to channel every extra dollar towards their goal. In some months they put $ 5,000 in student debt payments, in other months they contribute $ 11,000 in student debt payments. In the beginning, up to 90% of their blog income went straight to paying off student loans.
“We made getting rid of debt our # 1 goal and focused solely on achieving it,” says Kelan. “We knew that a small temporary sacrifice would have an eternal impact on our entire lives.”
4. They cut costs.
Because the Klines were determined not to be in debt, they cut back on food, food, entertainment, and investments in order to put more money into their goal. On weekends, they cooked with friends, cooked at home, and found areas of their lives where they wasted money.
In return, they were able to find between $ 500 and $ 1,000 in their monthly expenses to use directly to pay off student debt. “In hindsight, our quality of life really didn’t change much while we were aggressively paying off our debt,” says Kelan. “We just got creative and found cheap or free ways to have fun.”
5. They fussed about
The Klines were very familiar with the part-time job, as they worked part-time from college. They sold cosmetics through Avon, did dropshipping on Amazonand flipped items on eBay. On any given month, this earned them $ 100 to $ 200 extra.
“Along with launching our personal finance blog and turning it into a thriving online business, the side-effects really gave us the opportunity to dramatically increase our income in a very short time,” says Kelan. “Owning a business gives you the opportunity to earn passive income and eliminate the need to constantly trade your time for money.”
For those looking to pay off a student loan quickly, Kelan suggests going to the same page as your spouse first. Determine what you want to ultimately achieve and break it down into smaller goals.
“When it comes to your finances, you can’t go in different directions while going about your business,” says Kelan. “Sit down, talk about what works and what doesn’t, create a realistic budget that you both agree on, talk about your long-term goals, and start creating the life of your dreams together.”