Updated: Apr 20
Omar is a current practicing PA in Neurosurgery in the Houston, Texas area. He graduated from PA School in 2018. Omar was a medical doctor in India prior to moving to the US in 2009. After much research and years working, he found becoming a PA was the most logical and direct way to transfer his skill set and education to the US healthcare system. It took Omar 5 years to complete his prerequisites and graduate from PA school.
At the time of graduation is 2018, student loan debt: $120,000
Motivation to Pay Off Student Loans
When Omar lived in India, he was taught and lived a lifestyle to buy whatever you want and not save for the future. “You make what you spend. You try to live beyond your means and achieve all the luxuries”. He was never taught any concepts of saving or investing. This was his mentality growing up and while living in India. After moving to the US and meeting his wife, Omar realized there was a different way of thinking: spending money responsibly and intelligently. His wife was determined to aggresively save and live a life without constant debt. Omar and his wife agreed this was a much better way to live. They listened and watched Dave Ramsey while slowly transitioning their family mindset to limit debt and build for the future.
In order to graduate from PA school, Omar accumulated $120,000 of student debt. This included undergraduate, PA school and living expenses. Not only was Omar supporting himself, but he had a wife and child! The motivation to eliminate debt and make the best life for his family was real! Was there a way to quickly pay off loans and not sacrifice years of his life?
Paying Off Student Loans
His strategy was rather simple: lower expenses and increase income. When Omar graduated, his salary was $95,000. By virtue of hard work and becoming an efficient PA, his salary quickly and progressively increased. By the time he paid off his loans, he his salary was around $140,000. He was able to pay off $120,000 of student loans in 2 years!!! He worked a lot more hours then and learned a tremendous amount as a PA during this period increased hours.
Since that time, Omar has continued to increase his salary. He has a full time job working 9-5 as well as two part time jobs. This gives him stability for his family and allows for extra income, when and how he wants. Omar happily reports an annual income of approximately $180,000! There is no longer any pressure to work more than he wants. There is no more stress of monthly loan payments. Nice work Omar!!!
Contrary to popular belief, Omar did not have to sacrifice much to pay off his loans in two years. Cutting unnecessary expenses was his secret to success. He was able to take one vacation each year of his loan payoff period. He truly believes there was not many sacrifices during this short period of his life. Yes, it can be done without huge sacrifices!
So, what does Omar plan to do since he paid off his loans so quickly and now has a much larger annual salary? PAY OFF HIS HOUSE! Some people believe in living their life, paycheck to paycheck. This mostly comes from their parents and peers who do not have money managing skills. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is a true problem in our society. You don’t have to live your life like others you see at work or social media. Follow your dreams and do the things that give you the most enjoyment. For Omar and his family, it is paying off debt!
Advice for Students and Practicing PAs
· Keep expenses low! Most commonly, people have a spending problem! Or, they don’t realize where they are unnecessarily spending. You don’t have to sacrifice everything in order to pay off your loans! Start by budgeting to cut unneeded expenses.
· Paying off student loans can be achieved while living a normal life! You do not have to deprive yourself of the things you enjoy. Find a way to take a simple vacation rather than an extravagant one. You can get quite a bit of enjoyment in your life and career by focusing your efforts to build equity, pay off debt and make appropriate money decisions. Sacrificing years of your life in order to pay off debt is a myth!
Check out the PA 4 Finance website for more information about becoming financially literate, growing wealth, and making the most out of your hard-earned money! Email Andrew@PA4Finance.com for any additional questions or to inquire about PA 4 Finance’s services.