Hey everyone! Today, we have a fantastic dear debt letter with a different take on debt from Kathryn. Kathryn is an Assistant Public Defender in Richmond, VA. When not in the courtroom, she writes as one-half of the duo behind the Dames in Debt blog. The Dames are sisters working off their combined $250,000 worth of student loans and consumer debt. Representing both coasts of the United States of Indebtedness, the Dames blog about millennial budgeting, saving money without feeling deprived, and how to live first-class on coach funds.

Dear Debt,

I know it’s been a while since we last talked, and I know you’re probably really mad at me for spending so much of my time trying to get rid of you. Sorry, it’s nothing personal – it’s just that I feel like we’ve grown apart. But there is something I really need to tell you: Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for making my dreams come true. Thank you for bridging the gap between scholarships and grants and the cost of my college degree. Thank you for buying me that super expensive, business school textbook that wasn’t on the syllabus that I had to pay two-day shipping for in order to receive it on time.

Thank you again for putting me through law school where the Cost of Attendance pales in comparison to what actual living expenses are for twenty-somethings. Thank you for paying my medical costs for those two years where I didn’t have health insurance and for that time my car was making a funny noise and needed a new filter.

Thank you for being there for me when I desperately needed help with no one else capable of helping. Thank you for feeding me, clothing me, and supporting me from ages 18 to 25. Thank you for driving me two hours every day during the summer so I could take summer classes and graduate early. Thank you for letting a 19-year-old old buy a car by herself so I could actually do most of the things I’ve done in life, especially for allowing me to be a Girl Scout troop leader.

Our time together hasn’t been amazing, but it wasn’t the worst either. You didn’t judge me when I soothed my dad dying with a rather large amount of food, and you were there, proudly beaming, when I graduated with my Juris Doctorate (something not everyone in my family can say). You were there for me whenever I needed you, and for that, I am truly thankful.

You’ve watched me grow from the person who worked two or three part-time jobs plus full-time school in to someone who can support herself entirely on a full-time salary and still save a little for the future. You’ve taught me the value of hard work and heck of a lot about compound interest. I’m happy to say that with all of your help, I’ve become a person that doesn’t need you anymore, and I’m sure you’d tell me you’re happy for me.

I know a little part of you will be with me for at least the next ten years (although we’ll be drifting farther away each month). I’m sad to see you go because of everything you’ve stood for these past few years, but I know you’re going to go help some other 18-year-old old make her dreams come true. You were worth every penny, and if I could do things over again, I’d totally take you out again.

I’m glad we met, and I’m thankful for our relationship over the past few years. Good luck with everything in the future – I know I’ll be seeing you around at least for a little while, but I guess I felt I owed you an explanation for why we’ve been drifting apart. You were there for me for so many things, and even though the rest of you will be forgiven in the future, just know that I’ll never forget you and all the things you did for me.




Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at DearDebt.com.

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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10 responses to “Dear Debt, Thanks for Everything”

  1. This is fab. Thanks for sharing this on here 🙂 I will definitely have to do a letter like this too! Very positive 🙂

  2. Assistant Public Defender is an epic job to get student loans forgiven. Just pay the 10 years of IBR payments and everything is forgiven tax free. Even the $250k debt burden is not a problem. Only focusing on the consumer debt would be the way to go I think.
    Millennial Moola recently posted…Promposing Costs Are Out of ControlMy Profile

  3. Liz says:

    I really love this letter. I know when we write about personal finance – we hear nothing good about debt. I feel like debt has its place and it’s not always to be regretted. Sometimes, debt gets you exactly what you need. Then, you can pay it off and move on, even if it is six figures.

  4. Wow what a refreshing take on debt! I honestly had never thought of deb this way. So I guess here is mine, “Dear Debt: Thank you for letting me attend any college I wanted to and to surround myself with bright, inspiring peers despite not coming from the same financial background as them. Thank you for letting me buy a house with my boyfriend (now fiance) that brought us closer together. And lastly, thank you for the wonderful SUV that got me safely to work through snow, hail, and rain for two years – and even sheltering me for 9 hours when I got stuck on the highway during a blizzard. I don’t regret you but I also am happy to see you go.” Hehe
    Millennial Boss recently posted…Til Debt Do Us Part No LongerMy Profile

  5. I like that Kathryn recognized the things that debt HAS helped her do in life instead of just focusing on the negatives. It’s interesting how quickly we can forget how debt has enhanced our lives versus how debilitating it can be after it’s been incurred.

  6. Hannah says:

    I think this can be a helpful view of debt. Most people who have a financial awakening of some sort are too hard on their past selves, but it is possible to work towards financial goals without beating yourself up over decisions you made in the past, especially if you think the decisions were the best options you had at the time.

  7. I was reading this book where the writer called debt “invoices already received” I thought that was an interesting concept.

    Yea good for you! Wooot! ^_^

  8. This is a different way of talking to debt. Instead of focusing on negative effects of debt, the author discussed the positive results of having a debt. This is something I haven’t seen in a while.
    Allan Liwanag @ The Practical Saver recently posted…Great Reads #12My Profile

  9. Lisa says:

    Stories like this are refreshing. Debt may not be good, but it can help you achieve good things. Just don’t let it take over your life!
    Lisa recently posted…What Does Being Rich Mean to YouMy Profile

  10. ZJ Thorne says:

    This is wonderful! I also would not be where I am without student loans. I am so grateful that I was given a shot at life and out of poverty. May your student loan forgiveness go smoothly into the night!
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Net Worth Week 14My Profile

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