Cindy Zuniga, 30, Paid Off $215,000 Of Debt In 48 months In Order To Help Support Her Parents. Cindy Zuniga, 30, and her two sisters were raised in a 1-bedroom apartment in The Bronx, a borough of New York City. Growing up with her parents’ income hovering around the poverty line meant Zuniga faced many obstacles as she progressed through childhood and into adulthood. However, the same discipline and grit that she relied upon to excel academically served as her blueprint to quickly repay the $215,000 of debt that she owed.
As the global community grapples with COVID-19, many of us are understandably worried about the economic ramifications and what it could mean for our financial wellbeing. While Zuniga has worked arduously to earn a high wage, the strategies and habits she used to quickly repay her debt will serve anyone worried about their financial future well, regardless of income.
Racking up $215,000 worth of debt may conjure images of financially inept decisions and free-spirited spending. However, anyone who has gone to college or a graduate school in the last decade won’t bat an eyelash to learn that $203,000 of the total sum (including interest) was from student loans. The fact that the price of a college education in the U.S. has increased eight times faster than wages have means that this trend will only worsen.
As a corporate attorney, Zuniga’s starting post-law school salary was $160,000. It’s clear that to be able to repay $215,000 in four years you’ll likely need to have a high income in the first place. However, to end the story there would sell Zuniga short. As the NYTimes highlights, doctors face a similar challenge as lawyers, often graduating with crippling levels of student loan debt unless they have wealthy parents willing to help them financially.
As a Latina woman raised in a low-income immigrant household, Zuniga is an outlier. Finding a young lawyer or physician who started with over $200,000 in student loans and is debt-free by the age of 30 is like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding one who is a female person of […]