How We Ended Up Over $300,000 In Debt


Source: Noahpinion

I should start from the beginning. When we were both in first year university we, like many students, were offered a credit card. A really pretty one with a picture of our campus on it. It was great, personalized just for us, sign us up! And so it began…

Her Story:

I wanted to go to university, actually it wasn’t an option, I was going to university, I just didn’t have any money to pay for it. Or maybe I should say there was money at one point that was left in an estate that didn’t get executed properly, leaving us to scramble to pay for said education very last minute. When the time came for post secondary every single penny went on some form of credit, be it line of credit, student loan or credit cards. I had a part time job but not enough to pay for anything more than my books. By the end of my undergraduate degree I managed to rack up $32,000 in student debt and probably $2,000 in consumer/credit card debt. By the age of 21, I had $34,000 debt.

What’s even worse is that, although no education is wasted, my degree wasn’t going to get me much beyond a minimum wage job, the only option I had n my mind was to further my education. Back to school I went and although I have  a great career now, and zero regret, by the end of my second degree I managed to add another $20,000 in student loans, another $10,000 in lines of credit and about $13,000 on…credit cards…Yup. I put over $10,000 on credit cards to pay off tuition and books that my loans and LOC’s wouldn’t cover. My program was over $13,000 per year, not including books and other incidentals and maintaining a part time job while in this program was not optional. I couldn’t do both and focusing on my (overpriced) education was priority. By the end of my second degree, before my life had started, I now had $77,000 in debt.

His Story:

His story is a lot less scary. Hubby went to university, then college, racking up a total of about $12,500 total in line of credit and student loan debt. He had a credit card maxed at $2,000, not a huge deal. Then he went and married me and my $77,000 deficit bank account, he must really love me!

Our Story:

To top off my $13,000 in ‘school credit card’ debt, his $2,000 credit card, together we also owe another approximate $5,000 in various credit that we can’t really account for, overspending if you will. We have a vehicle loan together, outstanding at approximately $29,000 and a mortgage currently outstanding at about $233,000. We both have good careers and are now working on getting this debt paid off.

Join us on this long journey to freedom and no longer worrying about money!


  1. WOW! That’s all I can say. You are certainly on a journey to debt freedom although you are not alone. There are many other Canadians out there that end up with tonnes of debt after school. Hopefully during your journey you can lead the way in hopes that other students may learn a thing or two from what you went through. Cheers and a pleasure to chat to you on Twitter! Mr.CBB

    • Thanks so much! It’s sickening how much a good education cost in this country. I have no regret about the education I obtained and like I said have a good career but it’s frustrating. My daughter had an RESP set up before she turned 6 weeks. This is not going to happen to her.

      • May I ask what is your degrees in–both you and your husband?

        • I have hold a BSc in Biology and Dental Hygiene (twice graduate). Hubby went to university for a year then switched to a technology institute (private college) to become a Mechanical engineering Technologist-he is a Project Manager and Commissioning Agent for an engineering firm.

  2. I believe any journey starts with a few steps. I started chronicling my debt payoff efforts 5 months ago. I plan to have my 42k of student loan debt paid off in 36 months / by the time I turn 32. I’ve been chipping away at 3k of credit card debt too (under 1k now). It takes a system and some sacrifice but if you stick to the plan I think you can make lots of progress.

    We have a mortgage but I don’t lump that into the same category as my other debts. We likely will move in a couple years and money that would go toward a mortgage can often be better allocated elsewhere such as retirement, investments or long-term savings. Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy if it ever came to that, but you can always give the house back to the bank and do a short sale or foreclosure.

    I guess my last bit would be to make sure the debt consolidation company is doing right by you. Some don’t pay creditors, making your credit suffer and then after you get behind they do very minimal negotiating once a portion of the debt has already been written off. Not to mention fees. I’m referring to the US, maybe Canada is different. Best of luck to you all!

  3. Good luck in your journey. I think it all seems so overwhelming when you hit your debt rock bottom, but it looks like you’ve made good steps and are making great progress. I look forward to following your journey.

  4. I wanted to say a friendly hello 🙂 🙂 I found your blog via a really nice mention from the lady over at A Time for Everything on Facebook. I am a blogger myself…and I’ve decided that I”m going to start blogging about my journey to get out of debt….because it’s what I want and need to do for myself. I’ve been completely credit card debt free since 2007. It’s an amazing feeling…but I still have pesky student loans hanging around my neck like a big fat albatross. So I asked about other bloggers who are doing what I want to do…and she gave me your website 🙂 🙂 I signed up to follow your posts via email 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 😉
    Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂 recently posted..IT’S BEEN AWHILE & SOME NEWSMy Profile

  5. Wow that’s a lot of debt and to think that’s after you had already paid some off! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blog from beginning to current. I just recently started my own blog and my own debt repayment journey and I’m like a sponge – soaking up as much information and reading as many blogs as I can.
    Shoeaholicnomore recently posted..Thing Thursday 3/20/2014My Profile


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