How This 27-Year-Old Repaid $73,000 Of Student Loans In 3.5 Years

Logan Marston, an accountant based in Durham, North Carolina, likes numbers.

It’s no wonder then why he put his financial knowledge to work, and developed a strategy to repay $73,000 in student loans.

Only three-and-a-half years after earning his master’s degree in accounting from James Madison University – at age 27 – Marston was debt free.

Here’s his story.

Zack Friedman: How did you pay off all your student loans so quickly? What strategies did you use?

Logan Marston: My overall strategy was pretty straightforward: live humbly, minimize expenses and use extra cash to further pay down my debt.

I also took advantage of small interest rate reductions (0.25%) offered by my loan servicers for opting to make my monthly payments via direct-debit.

Lastly, I made sure to pay off my loans in the order of highest interest rate first, to maximize my interest savings. This one can really make a difference depending on your range of interest rates and how quickly you’re paying down your debt.

But, regardless of those variables, as a general rule: whenever you’re able to make an extra payment, the loan with the highest interest rate is the one you want to hit.

Zack Friedman: When did you commit to yourself to repay your student loans more quickly? What was the turning point?

Logan Marston: I definitely wanted to become debt-free as early as possible, but what motivated me most was saving as much money as I could on interest.

When I first began repayment, I was accruing over $300 in new interest every month. That fact alone was enough to throw me into panic mode.

I couldn’t just sit back and watch all that money fly out the window, so I decided that the standard repayment plan alone wasn’t going to cut it.

Over the next 3.5 years, around 90% of my discretionary income would be used to make extra payments toward my student loans.

Paying this aggressively was challenging to say the least, but it definitely paid off. I saved a total of $16,527 in interest by paying off my loans in 3.5 years verses the 10-year standard repayment plan. This was the reward I was after, and boy was it worth it.

Zack Friedman is Founder & CEO of Make Lemonade, a personal finance comparison site that helps you save money and live a better financial life. He is also an inspiring keynote speaker.