Personal finance

This Millennial Used a $40,000 Starting Salary to Pay Off $102,000 in Student Loans in 6 Years

Mike Arrison | Mike Arrison Photography

Paying off student loans can feel like a lifelong battle.

Federal loans are designed to be paid back in 10 years but often take nearly 20 years to repay.

For Mandy Velez, the calculations were even more dire.

Velez graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 with more than $75,000 in student debt.

The Pennsylvania native had taken out a total of five loans ranging from $7,500 to more than $32,000, with interest rates of between 6% and 11.75%.

Velez calculated that if she made only the minimum monthly payment of $300, it would take her until 2046 to pay off her loans and cost an extra $96,000 in interest.

Velez's first journalism job out of college paid $40,000. Subtract New York City rent, along with living expenses, and she would not have much spare money to throw at her debt.

Watch the video to learn more about the method Velez used to pay off her student loans. 

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