‘Hustled like hell’: Woman clears $140k
A woman has revealed how she managed to pay off her crippling $US102,000 ($A140,000) of debt in just a few years - becoming debt-free by age 28.
Mandy Velez graduated from university with a degree - and debt.
Rather than pay it off slowly over the next few decades, she decided to work multiple jobs and "side hustles" to pay back every penny, so she could start saving for a house and family, Love What Matters reported.
The 28-year-old graduated in 2013 with $US75,000 ($A102,000) worth of student debt, which, after interest, ended up being $US102,000 ($A140,000).
She decided to pay more than the minimum repayments, which were around $1000 a month, with Ms Velez likening it to "another rent".
The graduate said she took on jobs which could "help her survive", rather than doing what she really wanted.
Ms Velez made the payments without fail for five years, saying she "hustled like hell".
She said: "I walked dogs until my feet literally bled. In the cold. In the rain. In the heat. Nothing was beneath me. I babysat. I cat sat.
"I stayed up for 24 hours straight to make a few hundred bucks as a TV extra on shows they filmed overnight. (I got to be on SVU so I'm OK with that one.)"
She made packed lunches and stopped taking Ubers, living off less than a third of her monthly budget as she cut down her food bill to just salad, eggs, chicken and rice.
Mandy said no to days out with friends and family, in the hope there would be more opportunities to "make memories" in the future.
Her aim had been to become debt-free by the time she was 30, but she ended up getting there two years early.
Ms Velez said she was lucky enough as a "single, childless, able-bodied woman" to be able to work and save so much, acknowledging not everyone would be able to do what she did.
Ms Velez said she's proud she did it all by herself, saying she "carried the burden alone", and no one else ever paid her bills.
After reaching her goal of becoming debt-free after six years, Mandy tweeted about her progress, saying: "Good morning. I just paid off my student loans. All $102,170.54 of it.
"After six years I am finally free."
Despite it being a slog, Mandy said it was "worth every bit of the fight".
This article originally appeared on the The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as 'Hustled like hell': Woman clears $140k