Hello and welcome to Woman Vs Loans! My name is Emily and I started this blog to hold myself accountable in my fight to pay off my student loans. If you’d rather jump right into the start of my debt-fighting journey, click here. Keep reading for the long version:

I graduated from the University of Colorado in 2012 with $30,000 in student loan debt and no job. I was a good student, but I spent so much energy on getting through school that I didn’t stop to think about (or plan for) what my life would look like after graduation. Cue moving back in with my parents and working at Starbucks.

I had always wanted to travel so after making enough Frappuccinos to last a lifetime, I landed a job as an ESL teacher in South Korea in the fall of 2013. My paycheck wasn’t large but it allowed me to pay off over $10,000 in two years.

I moved back to Colorado in 2015 with that familiar I-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-my-life feeling. My time in Korea was a wonderful experience but I couldn’t see myself being a teacher in the long-term. Over several months of research, soul-searching, and wine nights, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in International Education (for everyone wondering, I define IE most succinctly as: education as a means of promoting cross-cultural understanding). IE takes many forms, but my ideal career path involves working with study abroad or international students.

With this newly found career clarity came the choice to pursue a Master’s degree. This meant that a) I would be moving to Washington, D.C., America’s 4th most expensive rental market, and b) I would need to take out more student loans, erasing and then some, the progress I had already made.To those that say you should just pay your own way through school (Dad): What is this magical job that pays enough to cover tuition and living expenses? Seriously, what is it and are they hiring?

I’m about a year into my degree program and while I truly believe it was the right professional decision for me, it’s been a tough one financially. Though I am working full-time, I spend the majority of my income on housing and rely on loans to pay my tuition. I budget but aren’t able to save. Instead of managing my finances, I feel controlled and restricted by my loans. By the time I graduate in May 2018, I project that I will have around $73,000 in student loan debt. It hurts to think about.


I’ve decided to take a stand. I’m sick of being scared to check my Great Lakes account because the interest is piling up. I’m tired of creating my monthly budget and realizing there is nothing leftover to pay down debt. I’m over telling myself that I’ll tackle my loans after I graduate or after I leave D.C.

I’m dealing with it now. I pledge to myself and to you that I will hustle, side-hustle, and hustle some more.

My goal is to be loan-free (also, mostly wrinkle-free) by the time I turn 30: June 24, 2020.

I will stumble. I will slip up. But my hope is that this blog with be a space of motivation, learning, and rooting for one another as we take on our debt. A sincere thank you to everyone who has visited this site and to those blogs that have come before me. We are not in this alone.

This is Woman Vs Loans.