$182K in 2.75 years | Balancing Residency, Future Goals and Aggressive Loan Payoff with Dr. Andreas Zacharopoulos O.D

When we think about paying off student loans, it is hard to couple the ideas of finishing a residency and also knocking out student loan debt quickly. Simply put, a residency provides great experience but comes at a cost – a year of well-below average wages. Despite this hurdle, our Student Loan Success Story and active ODs on Finance member Dr. Andreas Zacharopoulos was able to knock out his debt and start setting himself up for financial success. In this article, Andreas gives us a detailed account of how he paid off his student loans and some helpful strategies for overcoming some common struggles in the quest for financial freedom.

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How Dr. Kala Brown Eliminated $180K While Dealing with Husband’s Leukemia in 7 years #InspirationalStudentLoansSuccess

When it comes to loan debt elimination, Dr. Kala Brown Brewer’s story of eliminating $180,000 in student loan debt over 8 years is especially inspiring and heart wrenching. As a newly minted SCO grad in 2013, Kala first did a residency and then embarked on a career at an ophthalmology practice in North Carolina. Upon arriving at her new job, Kala found out that her husband had a relapse of leukemia.

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10 Practical Tips on How to Pay Off $221K+ Optometry Student Loans in 5 years

Like many optometrists, I graduated from Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) with over $221,245 in student loans back in June 2015. It was a combination of both federal loans ($198,303) and high interest private loans ($22,942) that I took out for other living expenses during my 4th year rotations. In early October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I made my final and last student loan payment, roughly 5 years later.

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How Dr. Justin Jackman Eliminated $220K Through Practice Ownership in 7 years #InspirationalStudentLoansSuccess

My loan payment story is similar to many others out there at first. I started out making less ($100K the first year). I was married and had two kids at the time, so my income based payments were around $150 a month for the first 1 to 2 years. Then my loans jumped to $900 a month (they threaten you that if you don’t fill out the tax return application each year your loan will jump to $2500 a month which sounds terrifying when making $100k).

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