When I was 17, I signed papers that solidified my relationship with student loans, but I didn’t really know what kind of relationship it would be. For the last seven years, I’ve been diligently paying back my student loans.

In that time, I also went to graduate school and accumulated more debt at an even higher interest rate.

When all is said and done, I will have paid $81k toward student loans, plus interest. That’s a hard number to swallow, but I’ve learned not to get overwhelmed by it. I believe in my education and I made certain choices, and now I am working my way out.

Read more on GoGirl Finance


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.

10 responses to “Paying Off $80k of Student Loan Debt on a $30k Salary: How I’m Doing It”

  1. Good for you! It may sound like a lot of debt, but nothing’s impossible and once you’ll have paid it all of, the journey will have been all worth it.

  2. Isabella says:

    Great article! I keep rooting for you, Melanie. You are one of the PF bloggers who is going to make it. You are the real deal. Just get that baby under $40,000, and I believe you will have a great mental boost. It’s all downhill then!

  3. Great job! Keep up the good work. You are so motivating 🙂

    • deardebt says:

      Thank you! So glad you find it motivating. I want to create an inspirational space so we can all work together to become debt free.

      • Well, I think you are doing a great job! Reading all these different PF blogs and seeing people begin to make great strides of progress is what inspired me to admit my problem to myself and get a move on with handling it 🙂

  4. Side-hustling is almost essential when you’re young to make sure you can clear debt quickly.
    I’m now looking at new side hustles as I try to work out how to retire a millionaire.

  5. Jacob says:

    Great stuff. Really impressed at how hard you continue to work!

  6. Rebecca says:

    You’re going in with confidence and a great attitude; that will make a big difference in getting it paid off quickly and with less stress. I make your salary and started on a little less than you owe. Six months later and lots of extra in, I owe a couple thousand less and I’m getting a 1.5 interest rate reduction soon. It’s hard work, but in the end it’ll be worth it all!

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