In 2007, Guen Garrido left UCLA with a bachelor's degree and a tab of $40,000. By the end of 2014, her total debt had grown to $68,600, thanks to a car loan, a few personal loans and credit card debt. But three years and three months later, the San Diego-based millennial had paid off every cent.
She tackled her debt using a strategy popularized by money expert Dave Ramsey: the "snowball method." With this strategy, you prioritize your smallest debts, regardless of interest rate. For Garrido, that meant starting with $50 she owed Target.
The idea is that you'll appreciate watching debts disappear as you would watching a snowball grow bigger and bigger, and that will help you stay excited about the process. As Garrido puts it: "Psychologically, when you hit the smallest one, you're winning."
After paying off her credit cards, she moved onto personal loans and her car loan before eventually tackling her biggest debt: student loans.