16 Millennial Women Who Climbed Out Of Student Loan Debt

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Money is a feminist issue — and yet, women are still reluctant to talk about it. According to a recent Bustle survey of more than 1,000 Millennial women, more than 50 percent of people said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even though 28 percent reported feeling stressed out about money every single day. Bustle's Get Money series gets real about what Millennial women are doing with their money, and why — because managing your finances should feel empowering, not intimidating.  

As you may know, getting student loans is usually synonymous with going to college. Though many people are still paying them off, even for decades, some people pay them off sooner. I spoke to millennial women who climbed out of student loan debt. That's right — they have ZERO student loan debt left. They're living examples that it's possible — more than possible — to get out of student loan debt, no matter how much of it you may have.

"If you aren't having trouble making payments, but are overwhelmed by the thought of making these payments for another 10 or even 20 years, you should consider refinancing," Kat Tretina, expert at Student Loan Hero, tells Bustle. "By refinancing, you can reduce your interest rate and put the money you are saving right back toward paying down the principal. Another way to pay off your student loans faster is to use the debt avalanche method — you order your debts from the balance with the highest interest rate to the lowest. You make the minimum payments on each debt and make extra payments on the debt with the highest interest rate. Once you pay that debt off, you roll what you were paying toward it, including the extra, over to paying down the debt with the next-highest interest rate."

Interesting, right? I was curious how millennial women paid off their student loans. Did they do what the experts above suggested? And what kinds of tips and tricks can they share with others? Here's what millennial women told me. Be prepared to be amazed at how they paid off their student loan debt — I know I was!

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I'm still impressed by all the above stories about how these millennial women paid off not some, but all, of their student loans.

"Student loans can be overwhelming, but avoiding them won't make them go away or save you any money in the end since you’re still racking up lots of interest," Brianna McGurran, student loans and personal finance expert at NerdWallet and fellow female millennial, tells Bustle. "If you're unsure of what to do or feel overwhelmed with student loans, check out your options for federal student loan repayment. You might qualify for income-driven repayment, which will lower your monthly bill to between 10 and 20 percent of your income. Or, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, depending on the industry you work in. Also, find out what motivates you the most when it comes to paying off your student loans. For example, paying off the loan with the highest interest will save you the most money in the long run, but paying off the smallest loan amount first might make you feel more accomplished and empowered to continue paying down your loans. When I started paying extra toward my loans, there were several that carried 6.8 percent interest rates — I paid off the smallest of those first so I would stay committed to paying off the rest quickly, and it worked. I also try to make one or two extra payments a month, depending on what I can spare."

Whatever method you choose to pay off your student loans, one thing is for sure: It is possible. Yes, it may take some people longer than others, but the point is getting it done, right?! Right.

Check out the “Get Money” stream in the Bustle App for more tips and tricks on how to save and spend your money.