What if you could pay off all your student loans before graduating?

Posted on April 10th, 2013

Most students don’t even start repaying their student loans until 6 to 9 months after graduating. But imagine if you could make your last payment to your student loan lender before even finishing your degree. Impossible, right?

Here’s one student’s amazing story of how he managed to pay off all his student loans–worth about $15,000–by March of his senior year. He’s graduating this year completely debt free.


How to graduate debt-free

Although Thomas Frank was able to pay off his loans within a matter of 6 months, he set himself up for an easier student loan repayment experience before he ever entered college. Here’s how he did it:

  • Worked a job in high school. Frank worked 30 hours a week during his last two years of high school. This gave him some savings to use for his college expenses.
  • Vigorously researched and applied for scholarships. He spent the last two years of high school applying for many scholarships and won enough money to pay for all of his tuition, plus extra to cover some books and fees.
  • Attended a public university in his home state. Frank attended Iowa State University to keep his tuition and travel costs low.
  • Found an on-campus job before starting classes. Frank smartly applied for jobs early in order to increase his chances of getting hired and start working right away. He secured a part-time job for 20 hours a week, which gave him a weekly paycheck to pay for things like food and entertainment.
  • Created his own side job. Frank started using affiliate marketing to promote other companies’ products and services on his blog. He earned commissions from his blog posts by leading people to buy from these companies. He earned enough money off this venture to pay off his $15,000 debt, and he continues to live off this income.

Reduce college costs as much as possible

innovationsFrank’s story highlights the importance of reducing your college costs and need for student loans years before you even start college. By minimizing the amount of loans he’d have to take out, Frank made his goal of repaying his student loans before graduating more feasible.

While everyone can’t start a blog and pay off all their loans, the most helpful takeaway from a story like Frank’s is to remember there are other methods for making money outside of traditional employment. Most college students can’t work full-time and earn a hefty salary from an employer. But maybe you can take on a freelance or side job to make extra cash or start an entrepreneurial project. If you’re a musician or artist, try selling some of your work.


Get creative and keep hustling

By capitalizing on your unique talents and living as thriftily as possible, you may be able to pay off several of your loans, or at least set yourself up for an easier repayment experience after graduation. Creativity and hard work can go a long way in reducing your student debt, especially in an economy where landing a high-paying job immediately after graduation has become difficult and unlikely.


Category: Financial Aid

Tags: , ,