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Personal finance lessons for the new gilded age

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Struggling with crushing educational debt? You’re not alone. Fortunately, the crack journalism team at Business Insider has published an article profiling one Ebony Horton, who paid off her $220K student loan balance in three years. Lots of helpful tips here! Some highlights:

She had toyed with the idea of moving back in with her parents to save on rent, and when her father had a stroke in 2013, she knew it was time to make the transition.

Back home in Joliet, Illinois, Horton took a job as an operations manager at the nonprofit her mother runs.

Horton’s mother gave the couple a condo that she had purchased at an auction for $13,000 as a wedding gift. It became crucial in wiping away the hefty student-loan tab.

Horton and her husband lived in the condo for three months, but then they decided to move in with her grandparents down the street and started renting out the condo to bring in extra income.

When Horton’s grandparents moved south, she returned to her parents’ house, refusing to live in one of her rental properties because they were bringing in extra income.

And now for the coup de grace, the cherry on top that makes this column so of the moment:

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.

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