May 14, 2020

How I paid off $22,680 of my husband’s student loan debt in two years

How I paid off $22,680 of my husband's student loan debt in two years


  • When Mary Wheeler first learned that her husband had nearly $34,500 lingering in student loan debt, she was determined to help him pay it off as quickly as possible.
  • Wheeler learned everything she could about her husband’s loan types, interest rates, and due dates before creating a repayment action plan.
  • After two years, they had finally paid off the entire balance together — $22,680 of which Wheeler paid personally. 
  • “People may say paying off someone else’s debt is enabling them,” Wheeler said. “But I didn’t see it this way. Student loans are different from other debt. By paying down his loans, I was building our net worth as a couple.”
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Before I married my husband, I knew he had student loan debt. But I didn’t know exactly how much, nor did I ask. One day, I was sorting through some paperwork when I stumbled across one of his student loan statements. After reading it, I was shocked to see a balance of almost $35,000. In the eight years since we had graduated from college, he had only chipped away at $15,161 of the principal and paid $14,924 in interest.

Shock turned to anger.

I wasn’t angry at my husband. I was angry at the student loan servicer. How was it possible that he had paid $30,000 to date, but still owed an additional $34,500? I naively thought.

While anger doesn’t get rid of your debt, it can be a great motivator. So I got focused, did my research, and created an action plan to eliminate his debt in two years.



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