Like many of you, I had to take a loan to pursue my studies and also to pay for my driving license and have enough cash-flow when I decided to leave France to go pursue my studies in the UK in London.
I was 25 when I graduated and started looking for a job. I was about 20,000€ in debt to pay back to my bank. I'd have to pay them back an amount we agreed on every month for the next 10 years after graduation.
I hated that feeling of spending hours doing a job I didn't enjoy to see my money slip from my fingers every month.
I knew the best way for me to fully enjoy my life was to get rid of this student debt as soon as possible so that I could invest that money into myself.
Here is how I tackled my student debt:
I saved as much as I could every month on my salary even if that meant not going out and socializing with my friends
2. Find a job that pay a higher salary.
Don't be afraid to jump from one job to another. It is very common nowadays to stay in a company for a year and move to another one. Don't forget that the system in place uses you, so if you are smart, also use the system to define your means. In 4 years, I worked in 3 different companies. Just try to keep jobs in the field of your interest, mine was marketing. If your current employer cannot give you a raise, there are many other companies willing to hire you out there.
3. Aim for the companies with the perks that can benefit you
In most multinationals and tech companies nowadays you can get amazing perks like free food and snacks, stocks, work phones and laptops. So negotiate carefully depending on your needs and focus on the basic more than the variable. The basic is what you will get every month, the variable will depend on many conditions that do not only depend on your performance.
Regarding the gadgets they lend you, it allowed me to save some money I did not need to invest in a phone, a laptop and even phone bills.
And the RSU or Restricted Share Units they offer as part of your package allowed me to leave some companies with some extra cash. I was lucky that the value of the stock tripled by the time I left my first company, which allowed me to get a decent amount of cash that covered most of the remaining student debt I had.
4. Live closer to your work place
It is not always possible but if you can you will save a lot of money on commuting. I used to commute one to two hours per day by public transport. Not only I was wasting my money but I was also wasting time. By moving closer to my workplace I could get to work by bike or walk within 15 minutes. It was life changing and helped me better appreciate my mornings.
5. Sell everything of value you own that you don't use anymore
We all have shoes, clothes, gadgets we have not used for months but keep "just in case". By selling those, not only you will make some cash but you will also be able to declutter your home. Less clutter has a tendency to improve productivity and creativity. It is a win win situation. And today, with Facebook Marketplace, it just takes couple taps and less than 5 minutes to put any items on sale.
I hope this post will help you on your quest to get out of your student debt. That's my experience and that's been working so far. Living without debt is such a relief. Your mind can focus on things that are important for you in your life and afford more things you always had to put aside.
I graduated when I was 25 and was debt free by 28. Since then I have been investing that money in doing something that I love: Traveling and photography.