Mandy Velez is My New Motivator for Life after College

Please allow me to introduce to you the absolutely fantastic Mandy Velez. She is a 28-year-old journalist for the Daily Beast in New York and former HerCampus alumni. But here’s why she’s a really big deal: in just six years alone, she paid off all $102,000 of student loans.

SIX. YEARS. And to get specific, she paid $32,00 in just EIGHT MONTHS ALONE. She has posted about her journey in paying for her student loans for a while on Instagram and now that she paid off all her loans, the world has started to learn her name. From being on featured in People Magazine to being on Insider Edition and the Tamron Hall Show, Velez has been able to share her story with the world on how she accomplished the goal she had set for herself two years earlier than expected. 

*Courtesy of Twitter

I actually got the chance to meet Mandy when I attended the Her Conference this past summer in New York. I was able to have a conversation with her about what it was like for her moving to New York (I had never been and had dreamed of maybe moving to New York someday), how to be a boss myself and create opportunities for myself as well take advantage of those available to me, and how to better myself and prepare myself for the world. She was very kind to me and I’ve been following her on Instagram ever since.

In her interview with Tamron Hall, she talked about how she got really serious about paying off her student loans in January of this year. She buckled down, pulled off every side hustle that she could and worked for 24-hour-straight days to get to where she wanted to be. And even with the criticism that she’s received from people on being handed things and the assumption that people helped her buy her way out, she did it all on her own - and she’s not apologizing for being proud about it. 

*Courtesy of Facebook

In her instagram post, she wrote, “My hope is that my story inspires people to say “no more” the best way they can. Maybe it’s by finally getting sick and tired and paying their debt off if they’re able. If you can do it, I support you. Maybe it’s by voting for policy that makes the system much more fair. Any little bit of action helps. All I know is, this nightmare, this crisis, needs to end. Being open about my debt, and the hoops I had to jump through to get rid of it, is how I'm trying to help.”

So let Mandy Velez and her story be a vehicle of motivation for you to keep following your path and the dream that you want, because it is possible. Congrats on being debt free, Mandy! And in her words, “Ding dong, her loans are dead.” Oh how sweet freedom is.