Even though tapping your 401(k) is often a bad idea, the interest rate on the student loan was higher than the rate he would pay for borrowing from his plan, Walton said. The repayment comes directly from his paycheck.
At the same time, the couple slashed their spending to save for a home. They downsized from a two-bedroom apartment rental to a single bedroom.
"The larger goal was to get rid of some of this debt as fast as possible and still allow yourself to be able to save," Walton said.
The couple closed on their new home in Brockton on Valentine's Day in 2011.
"It was incredible because we don't come from a background of people who buy homes," Walton said.