Culture

27-Year-Old Pays Off $30,000 Worth Of Student Loan Debt In Pandemic

27-Year-Old Pays Off $30,000 Worth Of Student Loan Debt In Pandemic

She’s creating a new generational legacy!

A 27-year-old paid off $30,000 worth of student loan debt during the pandemic, Blavity reports.

Dominique Jackson is a rising journalist who first embarked on her cancellation journey a few years ago. After being laid off twice before the age of 25, Jackson began to re-evaluate her relationship with money and started researching the methods of finance wizards Dave Ramsey, Tiffany the Budgetnista, and Leo Jean-Louis. Inspired by a co-worker who had paid her student loans off, she began implementing a three-year plan to build up her emergency funds all while working as a journalist on a $65,000 annual salary. 

“My whole life is dependent on getting a paycheck, spending it, saving it, getting a paycheck, spending it, saving it. I realized my life was just so entangled in a job to be my provider that I didn’t have savings. I had no money, no savings -- it was terrible. So when I got laid off, there was like a moment that clicked for me like, ‘You need to get your life together financially,’” Jackson told reporters. 

She started by keeping a debt-free journal, writing down affirmations, prayers and scriptures that would help her change her mindset about money. She then focused on creating a structure she could follow starting with a six-month savings plan that allowed her to tackle her debt $100 at a time. Eventually she landed her current job at The Daily Beast, opting to work remotely by staying in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, saving her more money and paving the way for her to pay off all her debt in December 2020. 

According to a Brookings Institution study, student loan debt is a national crisis with Black students facing $7,400 more in student debt on average than their white counterparts. As a result of the pandemic, the Biden administration has paused student loan payments and interest accrual through September 2021 with plans to eliminate a portion of student loan debt in the future. Jackson credits her ability to maintain a job during the pandemic and creating a debt cancellation structure with her success.

“I think many people wing it when it comes to their student loans, and they’re not on a solid strategy. Also, knowing your interest rates and how it impacts your student loans is very important. I deeply understand that our financial situation varies, but if you’re throwing money at your debt with no plan or strategy, you’ll probably never see a dent in it,” Jackson said. 

Jackson is using her new found knowledge to help other women via her digital platform Girl Around The Globe, an online community providing coaching, resources and content that focuses on helping women pay down debt and travel the world. She hopes that the government addresses student loan issues but also prioritizes solving racially-based financial disparities. Jackson is confident that her story can inspire other people to break free from debt.

“I think we talk a lot about breaking generational curses, and I cry every time, feeling like, ‘wow, I just broke one.’ One day, my future kids won’t have to struggle with money or will have a completely different relationship with money because of a decision I made in my twenties. Crazy. It’s sometimes hard for me to truly comprehend how powerful that is. Now, my dream and heart is to help other people get out of debt,” Jackson said. 

Congratulations, Dominique!

Photo Courtesy of Abby Kamagate/Blavity