New York City

Here's How This Woman Leveraged a $40,000 Salary to Pay Off Her $102,000 Student Loan in 6 Years

Mike Arrison | Mike Arrison Photography

Americans have nearly $1.9 trillion in student loans.

And it will take 18.5 years for the average person to pay off their college debt.

Mandy Velez did not want to wait that long.

Velez, 28, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 with more than $75,000 in student loans.

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

She calculated that if she made only the minimum monthly payment of $300, it would take her until 2046 to pay off her balance 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 above to learn more about the method Velez used to pay off her student loans. 

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