BI | In early 2017, the day came: Horton made her final loan payment. In just over three years, she had put a grand total of $220,561.21 toward becoming debt-free. Though it took longer than her original goal of just one year, Horton's dedication to repayment is nothing to scoff at.
"You have to stick with it," she said. "You have to be willing to make some very drastic sacrifices, and you have to be creative in the ways that you produce extra income."
Now that her loans are a thing of the past, Horton wants to continue buying and renting out properties; she has her sights set on finding real estate in downtown Chicago. Horton is also writing a book, and she hopes to one day speak to high school and college students about how to take on loans and responsibly pay them back.
While everyone's situation is different — not everybody can move back home, and not everybody will have a small rental property gifted to them — Horton's willingness to ditch an expensive city like DC to move back to the Midwest, cut down living costs, and increase her earning power by purchasing more real estate helped her pay off a mountain of debt in just three years, when it may otherwise have taken a decade or more
To anyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on student loans — or paying back any debt they've incurred — Horton has a simple message: "I just want them to feel empowered that they can pay if off. If I can do it, anybody can."