She is seriously “killing him”.
New York woman recently celebrated the ‘death’ of her student loans with an inspired funeral Photo shoot in a historic cemetery. This, after paying $ 102,000 in six years.
Last week Mandy Velez shared on Facebook that she had finally repaid the loans that covered her tuition fees at the University of California, Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh, after graduating from college in 2013 with $ 75,000 in debt, ”Hello america” reports.
The 27-year-old’s story – she brought it “to life” with spooky images featuring Velez in a black outfit, happily posing with “102K” balloons in Manhattan’s Trinity Church cemetery – is starting to win some ground on social networks, with 1,400 likes and more than 230 actions as of Tuesday afternoon.
“Ding dong, my loans are dead,” Velez began. “It is with great pleasure that I announce the death of my student loans. On August 2, 2019, after 6 years, I finally killed them. It was a slow death but worth every part of the fight.
The author explained that she moved to the Big Apple after graduation ready to work hard to pay off the debt. Comparing the $ 1,000 she owed as a monthly minimum to “another rent,” the woman said she “rushed like hell” and never missed a payment, persevering even despite being downgraded. walked away as she took “jobs not based on what I really wanted but what might help me survive” for five years.
“Then last fall, something inside me broke.… I didn’t want to owe anyone anything anymore. I wanted to start saving for my future. A house. Kids. A life,” Velez said. So I made a decision – I would be debt free at 30. I’m proud to say that I reached my goal two years earlier. “
Doubling her goal, Velez, who works as a social media editor, said she lived on less than a third of her monthly salary, ate a diet of salad, eggs, chicken and rice, a said ‘no’ to spending – even avoiding some projects with loved ones – and had multiple jobs including babysitting, night work as an extra on TV, and dog walking ‘until my feet literally bleed In all weather to make his dream come true.
“Nothing was below me,” Velez wrote.
With her eyes riveted on the ultimate prize, the steadfast woman was able to pay $ 32,000 in just eight months.
“Was it easy? No. Is it worth it ? I smile in a cemetery. 102K lifted from my back. You tell me, “she wrote on Facebook.
Going forward, Velez said she hopes her story inspires others to realize that they can break free from student debt on their own terms – if they are able to work hard and make sacrifices. .
“I hope that if [others with student debt] are capable, they are inspired to look after their student loans in the best possible way, “Velez told GMA.” Or if people don’t have student loans, I hope they understand the burden that it represents for the people who have them and the ridiculous things it takes to ultimately kill them. “
In addition, she recognized that her position as a “single, childless, able-bodied woman” made it easier to “kill” impending debt and expressed empathy for others who are burdened with student loans while still caring for them. of their families or by dealing with other unpaid debts. responsibilities.
“All I know is this nightmare, this crisis, has to end. Being open about my debt and the hurdles I had to go through to get rid of it is how I try to help, ”Velez wrote online.
“But after six long years, it’s time to celebrate. I got my life back. I changed my life. I changed the life of my future family, ”she said. “I ended the cycle of literally ‘paying’ just for wanting a better future. … I’m free.”
Velez’s boyfriend, Mike Arrison from Photograph by Mike Arrison said he liked the idea of taking his friend’s happy but “horrible” photos to draw attention to the issue and spark a larger discussion.
“When people talk about student loans, it’s rarely in a festive and inspiring way,” he told “GMA”. “Seen that [102K] number next to his youth… I want people to be horrified that this is something that is cause for celebration.
Unpaid student loan debt topped $ 1.6 trillion in the United States, double what it was just a decade ago.
Nick Giampia of Fox Business contributed to this report.