- Kelan and Brittany Kline graduated with a combined student loan debt of $ 40,000.
- In 2018, they had $ 25,000 left and together they decided to focus on repayment.
- They drastically cut their expenses and made as much money as they could to pay off the debt.
- Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.
Student debt is crippling America. Total student loan debt in the United States currently hovers at a staggering $ 1.7 trillion, and the median amount of unpaid student debt for an individual is between $ 20,000 and $ 25,000. This is why, unfortunately, it is not surprising that people continue to pay off their debts until their sixties and beyond.
But what if you could crush your debt sooner rather than later? That’s what Kelan Kline and his wife, Brittany Kline, managed to do. After graduating from college, the couple struggled with a combined student debt of $ 40,000. While they did what they could to keep their student debt to a minimum during their studies, like the hustle and bustle and financial aid, in 2018 they decided to crush their debt as soon as possible.
Here’s how they managed to reduce student debt by $ 25,000 in just five months.
1. They are on the same wavelength as a couple
In 2018, the couple had just over $ 25,000 of the original $ 40,000 in student loans left. At the time, they had enlarged their blog, The wise couple, which started out as a side business, into a lucrative business. Kelan had quit a job he hated at the county jail to work full time on the blog.
They sat at the table and talked about Brittany’s dream of quitting her job to work for the company. “I knew for this to happen we had to get rid of our debt and pay off the remaining $ 25,000 of debt we owed,” says Kelan. “Brittany was very against paying so aggressively.”
So they cleared it up. “It was a difficult conversation, but one that completely changed our lives,” says Kelan, who is 31 years old. “We aligned our goals and dreams in life and it allowed us to start working as a team rather than playing tug of war against each other. But she trusted me and the dream we have. created, and the wheels were set in motion. “
2. They increased their income thanks to their parallel activity
In 2018, the Klines blog, which shares tips and tricks for saving money and living sparingly, hit its first $ 10,000 in monthly income. When their secondary business turned full-time business hit the $ 10,000 mark, the Klines realized they could be more aggressive with their student loan payments and pay off debt sooner rather than later.
It took a lot of work and time, as it wasn’t until after nine straight months of scrambling that the couple finally earned their first $ 50 on their website. “We firmly believe that if you really want to have total control over your time and money, you have to start a small business,” says Kelan. “Owning your own business is the only fast track to financial freedom. ”
3. They made paying down their debt their priority
By making debt repayment a top financial priority, the couple were able to use every available dollar toward their goal. Some months they allocated $ 5,000 for student debt repayment, other months they paid $ 11,000 for student debt repayment. In the beginning, up to 90% of their blog income went directly to paying off their student loans.
“We made debt elimination our # 1 goal and we only focused on achieving that goal,” says Kelan. “We knew that a small, temporary sacrifice was going to have an everlasting effect on our entire life.”
4. They reduce their expenses
As the Klines were determined not to go into debt, they cut back on restaurant meals, groceries, entertainment, and investments in order to spend more money on their goal. They would cook on weekends with friends, cook at home, and find areas of their lives where they wasted money.
In turn, they were able to find $ 500 to $ 1,000 in their monthly expenses to direct directly to their student loan debt. “Looking back, our quality of life really didn’t change much as we aggressively paid off our debts,” says Kelan. “We just got creative and found some cheap or free ways to have fun.”
5. They jostle each other
The Klines were quite familiar with the side scuffle, as they had done odd jobs to earn some extra cash from college. They sold makeup through Avon, dropshipping on Amazon, and returned items to eBay. In any given month, it earned them an additional $ 100-200.
“Besides launching our personal finance blog and turning it into a thriving online business, the side hustle has really given us the power to dramatically increase our income in a very short period of time,” says Kelan. “Owning a business gives you the power of passive income and saves you the trouble of always having to trade your time for money. “
For those who want to get their student loan paid off quickly, Kelan first suggests getting on the same page as your spouse. Determine what you want to achieve in the end and break it down into smaller goals.
“You can’t both go in different directions and do your own thing about your finances,” says Kelan. “Sit down, talk about what works and what doesn’t, set a realistic budget that you both agree on, talk about long-term goals, and start creating your dream life together. “