Admit it: The experience of repaying student loans is pretty upsetting. Getting the balance to zero might even seem impossible, especially to those with overwhelming amounts of student debt — but that's not true. I'm not saying that it's easy, either, but with a little patience, and the right mindset and application, you can pay off those loans. But don't just take my word for it. Here's how long it takes to pay off student loan debt for seven different women, since everyone's situation is different.
According to The Balance, the standard repayment plan puts borrowers on a path to repay their student loans in 10 years — but every situation is different. In reality, according to the outlet, it takes the average college graduate with a bachelor's degree 21 years to wipe their student loan debt. The amount of time it takes to pay off student loans depends on several factors, from the amount of student loan debt to personal income. While some people have secured incomes or inheritances that allowed them to knock their loans down in just a few years, others are taking the repayment process day-by-day, paying what they can, when they can.
And while some of these women have finished paying their dues and are ready to hit the world debt-free, others are still dealing with how to make their monthly payments — so in short, no matter where you are i the process, don't beat yourself up, because you're not alone. With that, let's look at what the repayment process has been like for a few women, shall we?
1. Adeline, 25
The honest truth is, I have no idea how long it's going to take me to pay off all the debt. I know I won't be in debt forever, as I'm fortunate enough to have one of my parents helping me pay off my loans. But again, there's so much anxiety that comes with being in so much debt, so my current mindset has been to just tackle what I can in the present moment, rather than freak out over the future.
2. Laurel, 32
I have two loans, which total to about $125,000. I paid off one which was around $40,000 since that loan carried a high interest rate. My other one is a bit unique in that I signed a contract with New York state, who basically subsidized part of my medical school education, so it's an interest free (!) loan that I have to pay back over a decade. Long story short, I'm taking my sweet time paying this baby back.
3. Taylor, 31
I paid off my student loans about two years after graduation... but I didn't do it on my own. I graduated from New York University with about $20,000 worth of loans, and I made enough working restaurant jobs to keep up with my payments (for the most part). But when I was 24, my grandfather unfortunately passed away, leaving me $30,000 in his will. I used that money to pay off my remaining loan balance and to put some cash away in savings. I know that I'd still be working my way through my debt without the help from my grandpa, and I'm eternally grateful for his generosity.
4. Tina, 26
It took me six years to pay off my student loans, and that's only because my husband and I used the money we got from our wedding to pay them off instead of buying a house like we really wanted to.
5. Alice, 26
It took me a few months after graduating college (graduated a semester early) to pay off my student loans.
6. Flose, 27
It took me four years to pay off $32,762.17 in student loans.
7. Maya, 25
It will take me another decade. I've been paying them for about five years.
Paying off student loan debt may not be easy, but it can obviously be done, whether it's in a couple of years or several. Here are some ways to pay off student loan debt, because it's never too late (or early) to start.