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Why Commit to a Fast Debt Pay-Off?

You CAN pay off your student loans in 1-3's why you should.



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by Jared MacIlvaine in Out of Debt ASAP Chapters

Alright, today is day #1 of blogging out my new book, Out of Debt ASAP, live every Thursday! Enjoy Chapter 1!

I want you to imagine yourself waking up 1-3 years from now, and you’re completely debt-free.

No more student loans. No more monster monthly payments. There’s nothing holding you back from achieving your personal or financial goals. You are FREE to pursue the life of purpose and happiness that you desire.

Imagine that the earnings from all your hard work are actually yours. Sure, you’ve got bills, but you’re no longer stuck paying back an intangible asset that can’t be sold second-hand and, at times, feels more like a liability. Imagine your debt is GONE and with it, the form of indentured servitude that you’ve come to hate so much.

What is it like as you imagine this freedom? Can you feel it? Can you taste it? Your payments are gone. You’ve broken up with Sallie Mae, who was never the right one for you anyway. You are FREE. You’re free to go where you want, spend where you want, and pursue the life of happiness and purpose that you’ve been dreaming of for years. You’re no longer a slave to your payments. You’re a willing servant of the must-attain vision you have for your life.

Let me ask you something. What is the accomplishment in your life that you’re most proud of? Think about it for a second.

Why are you so proud of it? My guess is that it’s because you had to put in an extraordinary amount of work, and probably overcome a lot of adversity, to make it happen. Was all that work worth it? Did it make you a better person?

Ok, now imagine waking up–full of gratitude–on the morning after paying your last loan payment. You grasp a hot cup of coffee and think back over the 1-3 years leading up to this moment. You worked hard, and you committed to what seemed like an unlikely or impossible goal. You took some risks, and you overcame significant challenges. At times you wanted to give up, but you weren’t willing to let momentary struggles knock you off your destiny.

As you look back on your major accomplishment and your journey getting there, you realize that you haven’t just paid off your debt quickly; you have gone through a complete transformation. You have achieved a modern-day right of passage; destroying your student loans and empowering and preparing yourself to confidently pursue the life of purpose and happiness that inspired your debt pay-off in the first place.

In my book Grit Vs Debt, I shared the story of how my wife and I went through this same transformation. On August 11th, 2012, we got married and had a combined student loan balance of $72,500. We felt completely weighed down by the massive debt.

On our honeymoon, we decided that we were going to commit to paying off the whole entire balance within 1-2 years. The goal scared us, and we knew we were slightly crazy for making it. We had marginal salaries, making about $45k/year combined, and lived in Seattle, which has a very high cost of living.

BUT, we were committed to freeing ourselves, because we had better things to do than to give our creditors $800 a month for 10 years.

On May 1st, 2014, we woke up, and our reality was all the things mentioned above. After just 20 months, we had paid off our last loan and were completely debt-free. Wow, it’s hard to describe the feeling. We went to the top of the Seattle Space Needle that day with our “debt-meter” and felt on top of the world. There are many elements that feed into this idea of a fast debt pay-off being a transformation, but the biggest of all is this empowering thought that has permeated our thinking ever since that day:

“If we could do that, we can do ANYTHING.”

That thought sums up the empowering transformation that comes from committing and succeeding in paying off your student loans as soon as possible. It’s a transformation that has completely changed my life and mindset, and I will show you in this book exactly how you can make the morning you just imagined, a reality.

No, this book is not some fluffy motivational speech, nor is it a collection of random, unrelated tips that, in the end, aren’t going to help you set a strategic plan in motion to become debt-free.

Rather, this book contains a highly practical, step-by-step, comprehensive strategy for paying off your student loans on YOUR timeline. Its steps are clearly defined, but infinitely customizable so that you can tailor your plan to your specific needs, wants, and life situation. The over-arching principle is simple: sacrifice now in the short-term, so that you can reap major benefits (and not just financially!) in the long-term.

If the thought of working hard or making sacrifices in the short-term makes you uncomfortable, that’s totally normal! When I began planning my fast debt pay-off, at times I would feel a knot in my stomach that was almost as strong as the knot I felt when I thought about our $72,500 loan balance. However, I want you to imagine this absurd thought:

Go back to imagining that morning 1-3 years from now when you’ll wake up completely debt-free. Can you imagine waking up that day with regret?

Can you imagine thinking to yourself: “Wow, I may be debt-free, but I worked a little too hard these last couple years. If I could take it back, I would trade in my debt-freedom for eating out a little bit more, for spending an extra hour or two per day on social media or watching tv. I wish I wouldn’t have made big goals and then accomplished them. I wish I would have taken just one more trip and had a little bit more sleep and fun. All of that would be totally worth still having my student loans over my head. Oh, what hardship it is to be debt-free! What am I going to do with all this disposable income?”

Yeah, I’m not sure many of us personal-freedom-loving people would go there in our minds after feeling the ecstasy of clicking “Submit” on our final student loan payment. That moment pretty much looks like you jumping up and down like a crazy person, pumping your fists in the air repeatedly, throwing a party, and planning out how you’re going to move the heck on with your life now that you’re free from that disgusting debt.

Ok, now I want you to imagine one more thing that will probably bring us back to a sobering reality. Let’s say you wake up on that same morning 1-3 years from now, but this time, you never did anything significant about your desire to get out of debt.

Sure, you found this book and read some of it. Sure, you hated your debt and wanted it gone. But on this morning, you wake up a person that said no to the rewarding challenge of attaining financial and personal freedom. You said no to short-term sacrifice in favor of temporary ease, or buying in to excuses that result in you not getting where you want to go. On this morning, your student loan balance is only slightly less than what it is right now, yet you’ll have contributed plenty of profit to your lender(s) in the form of interest payments.

Is it possible that you would wake up on this morning 1-3 years from now, think back to today, and NOT have regret?

There’s an old proverb that says “bear a heavy burden while you’re young”. I’m not sure how old you are right now, but I do know that you are currently the youngest version of yourself that you’ll ever be. Your future self will always thank you for saying yes to audacious goals that guide you to where you want to be later in life. And that same future self, will always wonder “what could have been” when your goals are merely intended rather than rigorously prioritized.

Now, you may be thinking, “Jared, this is all well and good, but even if I DID commit to paying off my debt this fast, my income is too low and my debt is too high. I have no idea how I could accomplish this.”

Well, you are in the right place! The chapters that lie ahead in this book outline my step-by-step strategy that you can customize to your specific situation to get it done. Again, we’re leaving the fluff behind and diving into a sequential series of highly practical and effective action steps that will lead you Out of Debt ASAP.

I recently sent out a survey to some of my readers and students who have been able to conquer their student loan balances in a short amount of time. As you prepare to embark on one of the most rewarding & challenging adventures of your life, I think you’ll find some of their answers encouraging.

Will and Kelly from Seattle, WA paid off their $44,000 debt in 24 months. Here’s what Will had to say when I asked what some of the unexpected benefits he’s noticed since becoming debt-free:

“So much extra disposable income. Inspiring others. Positive momentum in our marriage. We feel invincible and that we can take on any challenge. Not once have I wished I invested more instead of paying off debt. Not once have I wished I could have gone on that trip or eaten that meal out. I’m so glad we are out of debt.”

I also asked Will what he would say to someone who wanted to commit to a fast debt pay-off but might be a bit scared of the workload or concerned whether or not they could actually do it. Here’s what he said:

“I’d tell them they should be more afraid of the decades of bondage. You will feel so much momentum in your life by tackling such a big obstacle!”

Jeff and Betsy from Houston, TX paid off their $25,000 debt in 18 months. Here’s what Betsy had to say about whether or not they regret committing to their goal:

“Not at all. Most of our friends from college will be in debt for years, even decades. It’s like they have to put their dreams on hold because they can’t afford to work toward them. We’re completely free to put our time, energy, and resources wherever we want, whenever we want.”

Tyler and Robin from Shoreline, WA paid off their $45,000 debt in 30 months ($22k of which they paid off in 13 months). Here’s what Tyler had to say:

“We wouldn’t take back a second of the struggle and sacrifice we put into paying off our debt. It was a great time for us as a married couple because it taught us lessons about how to manage our money well. Before, we were always scratching our heads about where our paycheck went each month. During that final year, we developed important mindsets and tools that would help us be successful with our finances in the future”

Yes, getting out of student loan debt quickly is tough, but the good news is that there’s unanimous agreement among those who have accomplished it that it’s totally worth it!

The people quoted above aren’t people with lots of luck & high salaries. They are people who committed themselves to paying off their debt no matter what. They had a solid strategy in place, and they worked it until they won. I’m confident that as you read the strategy I lay out in this book, you will have no doubt that you can get out of debt ASAP!

BUT this book isn’t the end of it.

I don’t know about you, but there’s been times where I’ve read books, thought they had great ideas in them, intended on applying them to my life, and then did absolutely nothing. I don’t want that to happen to you!

That’s why I have created a 30-Day Challenge that will help you go from being a reader to a DOer. It is free, and it will lead you step-by-step over the course of the next 30-Days in implementing the Out of Debt ASAP strategy.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: The 30-Day Challenge is still in the works! BUT, I’ll tell you how you can get on the waiting list at the end of this article. The best way to move forward starting today is to sign-up to the waiting list, and I will send you a new chapter of my new book every Thursday. Just stay on top of all the action points each week, and you’ll be good to go!)

By the end of the 30 days, you’ll know exactly what your audacious goal is, what your student loan hacking strategy is, what your budget is (& how to follow it), how much extra money you need to earn each month to meet your goal, and finally, you’ll know which smart side-hustle you’ll do & what your target metrics will be for meeting your earnings goal each month.

Whenever you’re ready to get started, you can sign-up for the 30-Day Challenge at Not only will you get more in-depth training on the 9-steps outlined in this book, but you’ll get a complete To-Do List (already filled-in for you with my favorite to-do list tool!), my Mission Control Spreadsheet, and various videos that dive deeper into the execution of the action steps.

Like this book, the 30-Day Challenge and its components are totally free. In the past, I have sold this strategy as a video course for as much as $197 and had several happy students buy it. However, my desire to help more and more people free themselves from their debt has led me to release the strategy in this book and the 30-Day Challenge for free.

At times throughout this book, you’ll see various products, services, or trainings that I recommend that are either for the purpose of helping you save money OR make extra money. Some of these products and services offer affiliate partnerships, and where possible, I have partnerships with those services. If I suggest a product or service that you feel will assist you in getting debt-free, and you grab it through my exclusive link, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

By no means do you have to use any of my affiliate links. I am freely giving this strategy away, because I think our generation is better off being full of people who are free to pursue their greater passions in life. On that note, if you feel you’ve benefited from any of my content and decide to use any of my recommended products, services, or trainings, I would appreciate it if you did grab those through my links so that I can continue to create more valuable content and offer it for free to the graduating classes to come who are increasingly indebted.

Lastly, I would never recommend any products or services that I haven’t either personally used or vetted to make sure you can get the most out of your fast debt pay-off efforts. I’ve done a ton of research so you don’t have to!

Alright, that sums up Chapter 1! If you are just joining me, I am currently writing out my new book, Out of Debt ASAP, chapter-by-chapter live on this blog. If you’re not signed up for my email updates yet, go get on the 30-Day Challenge Waiting List now so you can stay up-to-date as I release each new chapter! The 30-Day Challenge will be available once the book launches this summer.


Also, I’d love for you to help me shape the content of this book! Leave me a comment with any question, comment, or request you have, and we’ll collaborate on this thing together!



Grab my free "5-Step Gameplan to Make a FAST Student Loan Debt Pay-off Inevitable"

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed. No messin' around!