Alumni Pay Off Loans

Taking out student loans may be the only way for you to make attending college a reality. There are ways, however, to decrease the stress that this investment in your future has on your life after graduation.  We offer these positive stories as an alternative to the negative stories often portrayed in the media.

Drew & Chelsea Zimmerman graduated May 2011

Drew and Chelsea Zimmerman were married the November after their graduation, the same month they made their first payment towards their student loans.

After receiving counseling with Bryan’s Financial Aid Department and using an online repayment calculator, they determined that taking the full 10 years to repay the $28,000 loan would cost them an additional $10,000 in interest. They devised a plan to pay off the loan in a year and a half, which resulted in their saving more than $8,000 in interest. While this has made their life more difficult in some respects, they both agree that this sacrifice will be well worth it for their future. “In our marriage counseling, they say, "Dr. Boling told us you can do anything for a short period of time if you know where you’re headed and that the reward is worth it."

One turning point in their journey was Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class led by residential director Jon Slater. It allowed them to create a unified plan to become financially stable as soon as possible and gave them a taste of what life could be like without debt. Paying for their college education quickly has allowed them to appreciate their experience at Bryan even more. But they are also excited about the possibilities that come from preparing and encouraging their future children to begin saving early.

THE GOOD NEWS:  Drew and Chelsea completely paid off their student loans in June 2013!

David and Alli Park graduated May 2009

David and Alli were married in the summer of 2009 during the continued slump of the recession. They struggled finding jobs and mostly worked minimum wage part-time jobs while Alli took required classes to sit for the CPA exam. In hindsight, they realize that they started out married life pretty much oblivious to the amount of total student loans they had. Alli stated, "I knew more about mine, but David basically just signed papers, not knowing how much in total he was accruing. We did not talk about it much before we got married and were in for a big surprise when the bills began to come in." 

Right about the time these loans were coming due and they were feeling the stress of trying to keep their heads above water, Alli stumbled across information about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class being offered at their church and decided to sign up. "It really gave us hope," she explained, "that we could get through this. Because our goal was to become missionaries, we felt that getting rid of this debt was the best plan for a life of lower-income living."

They came away from the class with a plan and the motivation that they needed to plow right through their debt. They "worked like crazy and sacrificed like crazy" to pay off their loans as quickly as possible. Alli added, "We truly felt that God called us to get rid of our debt; and because of our obedience, He multiplied our efforts. We give Him the honor."

Alli reflected, "If we could have a do-over, we definitely would have worked harder before and during college to pay for as much as possible upfront and certainly would have communicated the amount of our debt before we got married."

THE GOOD NEWS: David and Alli completely paid off their student loans in May 2013!