In The News: Debt free at 23: How this woman paid off $20K in loans in just one year

July 18, 2019

By Sofia Pitt


Paying with paper instead of plastic helped Kristy Epperson eliminate $20,000 in student loan and car loan debt in just one year.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wright State University in 2017, Epperson owed about $16,000 in student loans from multiple borrowers with interest rates of between 3.6% and 6.8%. She also had roughly $4,000 left on her car loan, at an interest rate of 4.2%.

Even as Epperson began slowly chipping away at that debt, she managed to achieve another financial goal: homeownership. She was able to buy a place in Dayton, Ohio, with only 5% as a down payment. Becoming a homeowner forced her to take a hard look at her expenses and reevaluate her spending habits — which made her more determined to wipe out her student loan and auto debts.

“If something happened, if I lost my job, I’d have no way to pay my bills,” Epperson tells Grow. “I needed a better long-term plan.”

In addition to getting a second job as a substitute teacher, which brought in an extra $100 to $300 a month, Epperson created an expense spreadsheet and began tracking her purchases to help her pay down debt faster. She used her Instagram page, @DebtFreeAtTwentyThree, to share her setbacks, strategies, and accomplishments.

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From IOU To I Forgive You

“Don’t seek to ascribe your internal value by external means.” Where the words my wife used to remind me that I’m not alive to be popular. Throughout my student loan repayment journey I found it necessary to often forgo shopping, dining, and traveling with friends.

As a husband and father of two, it’s difficult placing the needs of my family before my own desires. However, this is exactly what Jesus Christ has called me to do. I am called to love my wife as Christ loved the church as found in Ephesians 5:25. This means even when she is disagreeable (as I can be too), I must show her love.

I must also imitate Christ in humility as found in Phillipians 2:3. By no means does the Bible call for believers to be doormats. The Bible provides us with “Fruits of the Spirit”- desirable qualities we should look for in ourselves and others. With that said, how will my decisions affect others?

In the context of this blog, life isn’t about paying off debt; and this doesn’t make it okay to become a spendthrift. I regret not “seeing the forest for the trees” in pursuit of debt repayment. I’ve sacrificed putting Christ on display by holding onto resources, and forgetting 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread were more than enough for Him to work with.

I must acknowledge my own moral failures and extend forgiveness; even if my loan servicers won’t do the same hahaha. Forgiveness is not for those who hurt you, but for you. Holding onto hurt is like a bad rope burn, let it go. So this post is to my 18-year-old self, I forgive you for signing the promissory note unwittingly lol.

For my readers, what regrets do you still hold on to? What do you need to forgive yourself and others of? Join me in starting the journey by commenting below.

Until next time everyone, stay strong… fight on… and have no debt but love. Peace and blessings.

In The News: Making the FAFSA Mandatory

July 15, 2019

By Andrew Kreighbaum
For Inside Higher Ed

In a bid to boost the number of students receiving financial support for college, Texas will soon become the second state to require high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before graduating.
A handful of states have looked at making FAFSA completion mandatory for graduating high school students. Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, Texas will provide a serious test case for the policy after big successes in Louisiana, which enacted the requirement last year.

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Completing the form is a leading indicator of college enrollment. And there’s ample evidence that more financial aid is associated with outcomes like college completion. Actually achieving big gains in FAFSA completion, though, requires significant investment and outreach by schools and state officials.
During the past academic year, Louisiana saw FAFSA completions by high school students climb by more than 25 percent. College access groups say high school seniors leave millions of aid dollars on the table each year by not completing the form — often because it’s too difficult or they don’t believe they’ll qualify for aid.
“As the forerunner of this kind of policy, the early successes that Louisiana has seen with mandatory FAFSA has to be encouraging for other states,” said Bill DeBaun, director of data and evaluation at the National College Access Network. “We shouldn’t assume Texas will see the same effects Louisiana did. But given the scale of the state, even a modest effect could make a big splash on the FAFSA completion cycle.”
If Texas has 25 percent of the growth Louisiana saw in FAFSA completions, that would mean an additional 12,700 students submit the application, DeBaun said.

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Why You Should Pay Off Your Student Loans Early

Hello and thank you for stopping by to support No Debt But Love! This site represents a movement to live out Romans 13:8 as we leave no debt outstanding, but the continuing debt to love one another. This means we will pay off all our debts: student loans, home mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.

My personal struggle has been student loans as I have been on this repayment journey for 8 years. I would like to recognize a supporter of No Debt But Love. She is a fellow YouTuber and blogger. Her name is Mary, and her YouTube channel is called “A Merry Life, On A Budget”. Check out the links to her channel and her blog below.
YouTube Channel:

This blog entry will feature a friendly critique of an article I came across titled, “Why You Might Not Want to Pay Off Your Student Loans Early” published by the Motley Fool. Here’s the link below. have also featured this article in a previous post.

The first reason the article gives for not paying off loans early is due to borrower protection and the possibility of getting debt forgiven after 10 years of public service.
However, 99% of applicants for student loan forgiveness are denied. This prospect doesn’t sound promising. Here’s support of my perspective provided by Forbes below.

The 2nd reason…The interest rates on your student loans may be lower than other debt. In my frame of reasoning, debt is the amount you owe to someone else. If any debt you have accrues interest, this means compound interest is working against you and not for you. Lord forbid you experience a layoff, resulting you to defer payments.

The 3rd Reason…You could potentially earn a better return on your money by investing it. Whenever you invest there is risk associated with financial instruments we choose to purchase. Usually, the greater the rate of return, the greater the risk you subject yourself to. It would be wise to consider the opportunity costs should you choose to invest as opposed to not investing.

The fourth and final reason…You’ll be giving up a tax deduction (if you qualify.) To this I would say, why hold on to debt to get a tax deduction? If you are a high-income earner and or owe a substantial amount of debt, the $2,500 would either phase out or wouldn’t make much of a difference. Wouldn’t it be better to have your student loan debt paid off and not have interest payments to make?

This concludes this blog post. What do you think? Should you pay off student loan debt early or on the 10-year standard repayment plan? As for me, I hope to have my student loan debt paid around this time next year, concluding 9 years of torture lol. video… Well until next time everyone… Stay Strong… Fight On… and have No Debt But Love, Peace and Blessings.

A YouTube video corresponding to this blog post is in the works! Stay tuned!

As student loan debt mounts, high schoolers ‘shockingly’ unaware of aid options

July 9, 2019

By Brittany De Lea
For Fox News

Exorbitant college Opens a New Window. costs are a significant problem for Americans, but new research shows prospective college students are unaware of how the financial aid Opens a New Window. process works.

A new study from ACT, which surveyed about 1,200 last year, found that many students “lack the most up-to-date … debt-related information” needed to make enrollment and financial aid decisions.

That’s particularly troubling at a time when outstanding student loan debt has surpassed $1.5 trillion, second only to mortgage debt.

Meanwhile, tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 school year averaged $35,830 at four-year private, nonprofit institutions, according to data from The College Board. At public four-year in-state institutions, the average was $10,230 – and $26,290 at public, four-year out-of-state colleges.

The average borrower has nearly $40,000 in student loan debt.

Here’s a look at what most college students surveyed did not know about the financing process.

  • An “overwhelming majority” didn’t know that the U.S. government subsidizes a borrower by paying interest on existing loans while the student is still in college.
  • A majority of respondents did not know about loan repayment options, which allows students to repay loans based on their earnings after college.

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No Debt But Love: Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

Hello and thank you for visiting the blog No Debt But Love, where we strive to live out Romans 13:8!  I had an AMAZING weekend with my family, and this week is getting off to a great start.  Why do you ask?  No Debt But Love has been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Mr. A @

Mr. A discusses topics on manhood, fitness, social skills, and style… just to name a few.  You all know what to do, visit his blog and show him some love and tell him No Debt But Love sent you!

When I started this blog, the thought never crossed my mind that I would receive award nominations.  Especially, given my topic-student loans.  The Sunshine Blogger Award is peer recognition for bloggers that inspire positivity and joy.  Mr. A. has asked me a few questions, here’s my attempt to tackle them lol.

Image result for sunshine blogger award

1. The goal is to love life, not to endure it. If you’re bound to repeat an endless cycle of your life, are there things you wouldn’t want to repeat for eternity? If there are, have you done anything to change them now? What are those things?

One thing I certainly wouldn’t want to repeat for eternity is student loan debt 😂😂😂.  Student loans are the worst!  I’m currently paying these blood suckers off.

2. Have you ever thought of doing something, but didn’t try to pursue it? Are you glad you didn’t pursue it? Tell us about it?

I thought about pursuing my doctorate.  I regret that I didn’t push harder for it, but perhaps maybe one day.

3. Is there someone out there that you follow with no question, even thou you know they’re wrong? Tell us who and why do you follow?

Perhaps maybe family members?  I support particular individuals because I love them.  If you don’t have family in your corner, who else do you have… right?

4. Is there a thing you’ve been waiting to do? Why are you waiting? Are your concerns realistic?

I’ve been waiting to visit my wife’s home country of Trinidad.  I don’t have any concerns about visiting… well there’s the stress of in-laws.  They are WONDERFUL people; I’ve met them a few times during their visits to the U.S.

5. Tell us something that is you’re supposed to be committed to, but found yourself half-assing it? Why are you holding back? How can you give it everything you have?

I’m committed to working out, but I don’t like to lift heavy weights too much.  This is problematic as I would like to bulk up, the other issue is… I love running.  So as soon as I gain weight, I lose it fast haha.

6. What is your ideal haircut for men that you find very irresistible?

The haircut that’s irresistible for my wife is an all-even with (1.5 guard with the grain).

7. How is your net worth? Are you still living from paycheck to paycheck?

I can disclose my net worth is positive since 2016 and growing.  I am so grateful to not live paycheck to paycheck any longer.

8. What is a guaranteed way to get a better night’s sleep?

Prayer and the Bible set my mind at ease.

9. What are the red flags that you look out for in a romantic relationship?

The big red flag for me is a significant other’s inability to address themselves in a respectful manner.  I don’t condone shouting matches haha.

10. Is there anything that I have written that you consider poor or irresponsible? Is there a topic that I’ve written that you don’t agree on?

Mr. A, keep rocking dude.  Your perspective is unique and very comical.

11.  Mr. A has graciously made question 11 optional!  You are the man, Mr. A!  My wife would kill me haha.

So that’s enough blah-blah from me…


Here are my nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Questions for the nominees:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2.  Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
  3. What is your favorite vacation spot?
  4. What is your favorite movie?
  5. What is your life’s greatest accomplishment?
  6. If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  7. What is the title of the last book you have read?
  8. What is one way you relieve stress at the end of the day?
  9. What cities or towns have you lived in?
  10. Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
  11. Do you own any pets?

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.

Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.


Thank you again for visiting No Debt But Love and please send Mr. A at Mr. A @ my regards!


Why You Might Not Want to Pay Off Your Student Loans Early

July 2, 2019

By Christy Bieber

For The Motley Fool

Owing money on student loans can feel like a major financial burden. After all, you have to send money to lenders each month and tons of debt shows up on your credit report.

While you may be tempted to get rid of your student debt ASAP by making extra payments and throwing as much cash at it as you can, this may not actually be the best financial decision. In fact, there are a few key reasons why paying off your student loans early might be a bad idea indeed. Here are four of them.
Student in graduation outfit with dollar sign hanging from tassel.

Image source: Getty Images.
1. Federal student debt comes with borrower protections you can’t get with other debt.

With most types of debt, lenders don’t really care if you’re facing financial hardship — you have to pay back what you owe on schedule. And you can’t just change your payment plan to reduce your payment so it matches your income, nor can you expect to get some of your debt forgiven if you do work that serves the public.

If you have federal student loan debt, on the other hand, there are unmatched borrower protections available to you. Depending on your situation, these borrower protections include:

Eligibility to get loans forgiven if you work in public service and make 120 on-time payments
The option to put loans into forbearance or deferment, and pause payments if you go back to school, are unemployed, serve in the military, join the Peace Corps, or meet other qualifying requirements
The ability to change repayment plans and pick a plan that caps payments at a percentage of income

The government may even subsidize interest on some of your loans during periods when payments are deferred.

Putting extra money toward paying down loans with all these borrower protections rarely makes sense. After all, if you could pay a small percentage of your income for 10 years and get the rest of your loans forgiven because you work for the government or a nonprofit, why pay off your loans early?

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