Amber and Danny Masters thought they would never pay off their debt. After grad school, their student loans came to a whopping $600,000, or more than 17 times the average for individual college graduates in their 30s.
Still, the couple decided to try. They set a goal of paying it all off in five years, and they've made significant progress already toward paying down the total, which is now, with interest, around $650,000.
CNBC Make It first spoke to the Masters in August 2017. Back then, Amber, a public-service lawyer, and Danny, a dentist, were focused on completely eliminating their debt by 2022. By implementing some shrewd budgeting tactics, saving strategies and old-fashioned discipline, they've paid more than $200,000 so far and are well on their way to achieving their goal.
Here's a look at how they dramatically reduced their debt burden in just over a year.