I don’t know what defines millennials as a generation more accurately – our love of avocado toast, or our crippling student loan debt.

When I graduated in 2015, the average Canadian owed $26,819. Ever the overachiever, my debt topped out at a staggering $130,455 for my undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees.

That was over two years ago, so let me catch you up:

  • May-June 2015: Graduation. Cross-country move. Jobless panic.
  • July 2015: First full-time job! Checking the debt balance … OH FUCK.
  • August 2015-October 2015: Loans in grace period, interest still piling up.
  • November 2015-October 2016: Loan payments begin. Making the minimums (because I ‘couldn’t afford’ to make higher payments) and getting nowhere – $8,500 principal paid in 12 months.
  • November-December 2016: Realized that being shackled to student loans for another decade was unacceptable. Majority of time spent reading Mr. Money Moustache and listening to The Dave Ramsey Show. Started tracking my progress on Instagram @debtstoriches.
  • January-June 2017: Cut down lifestyle, $12,900 principal paid in six months.

So where am I now? $106,300. Still six figures, but not *quite* as astronomical as $130,455.

My plan is to knock out the remaining debt in 2021 and then.. start buying myself the freedom to make choices based on life rather than money.


3 Replies to “Above Average, At Least In Student Loan Debt”

  1. How does a Canadian end up with $130,000 in student loan debt? Would be a good story and helpful to understand. I had a little north of $200,000 when I graduated law school in the Ul. Those were some dark times! You make progress slowly but surely and it looks like you’re doing good! Congratulations for coming up with a plan and executing it. We’ll be cheering you on.

    1. Tuition and fees were approximately $60,000. I completed a graduate degree as well, so I had a higher total cost and was in university for longer than most law graduates. I think I had about $5,000 from my undergraduate degree. The other half was living expenses. I worked part time during the academic year and full time in the summer, but making lower salaries – basically enough to pay rent. I definitely overspent at times, thinking I would easily pay it back later. When it comes down to it, I just didn’t pay enough attention and it all added up!

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