Some people go to great lengths to eliminate their student loan debt. Such is the case of Brandon S., who works as a software engineer at the Google campus in San Francisco.
Meet the guy who lives in a truck!
Brandon recently graduated with $22,434 in student loans and has already aggressively paid it down to $16,449 in just 4 months, according to a profile on BusinessInsider.com. The key to Brandon’s strategy is…get this…living in a 128-square foot truck in the parking lot at Google. A truck that he bought used for $10,000, I might add!
Brandon gets a lot of perks for working at Google — free wireless service, three free meals a day, free access to showers and bathrooms at the company gym, free access to plugs to charge his electronics. And he uses no electricity inside his truck. ‘I don’t actually own anything that needs to be plugged in,’ he writes on his blog. ‘The truck has a few built-in overhead lights, and I have a motion-sensitive battery-powered lamp I use at night.’
So his only monthly expense? $121 for truck insurance. I’m pretty sure he can afford that on a software engineer’s salary!
As for the future, ‘I’m going for a target of saving about 90% of my after-tax income, and throwing that in student loans and investments,’ Brandon notes.
I’m not telling you to do this. But I bring this crazy story to your attention because a lot of college costs are discretionary. We’re not paying the money out, so it doesn’t seem like a burden at the time. Then poof! Tou finish school or you drop out and those bills come due.
Here’s what I am saying: Maybe you go to community college to cut the cost of a degree in half, or you work while in school. Whatever it is, be careful taking on the student loans. Because not only do you have the debt, but some lenders actually don’t play it straight.
Discover is the latest private student loan outfit to get in trouble for illegal collection tactics and inflated bills. When you owe money, you always deal with people who might play it dirty. But I don’t want you to end up with a mountain of debt in the first place!
For more money-saving info, see our Education section.