Dave Can't Help Him

Dan is a dentist and has $240,000 in student loans after graduating two years ago. He's making $150,000 a year now. Dave says he needs to live on nothing until he gets this mess cleaned up.

QUESTION: Dan in Virginia is a dentist and has $240,000 in student loans after graduating two years ago. He’s making $150,000 a year now. Dan says it’s going to take a while to clean it up. Dave says he needs to live on nothing until he gets this mess cleaned up.

ANSWER: Cut your lifestyle back. Go rent a one-bedroom apartment and get out of your house rental lease as quick as you can.

I can’t help you, because you don’t want to fix this. You want to live with this loan for the rest of your life. You’ve gotten out of school, and now you want to spend money like a doctor. You’re going to keep this loan around your neck for the rest of your life. Everything I’m proposing to you, you’re not listening to.

What you’re going to have to do is use some of this intellect you’ve got and some of this ability to delay pleasure and apply it to this situation. That’s going to require a deep cut in lifestyle. You’re going to have to live on beans and rice, rice and beans, make $150,000 a year, and clean up $240,000 in three years. That’s what I would do if I were in your shoes. Most of these idiot doctors, though, choose to stay in debt for 20 and 25 years. And yes, if you choose to do that, by definition that makes you an idiot. I’m telling you how to fix this, but you’re going to have to have a different mindset in order to fix it—a substantially different mindset.

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