FitBUX Stories is a collection of articles written by Members and Non-Members of FitBUX. The purpose is to provide positive encouragement to others who have found themselves owing a lot in student loans. Some stories also detail “Student Loan Horror Stories” so we can learn from each other.
If you’d like to contribute your story be sure to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Student Loan Hero Helped Me Repay $100k In Two Years!
By Kara Azotea PT, DPT
A good friend of mine and I were enrolled in a Health Occupations class in high school. I initially thought I wanted to pursue nursing school following graduation. My friend, on the other hand, knew she wanted to be a physical therapist.
I spent hours shadowing various health occupations as well as being s Certified Nursing Assistant. It didn’t take long for me to determine nursing was not a good fit. Therefore, I explored other career paths and was initially intrigued by the work of athletic training after shadowing an athletic trainer.
Shadowing an athletic trainer was a blessing because it led to me shadowing a physical therapist. I spent several hours shadowing various PT’s to ensure this is what I was truly passionate about. My excitement grew with increasing exposure to the rehab world.
Enhancing someone’s mobility is truly the most rewarding job out there, I’m unbiased of course! At that point I knew I wanted to purse PT school after graduation. I was still only a junior at that time.
The DPT Program I Choose
My friend knew for some time that she would go to St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. I would have enjoyed following her. However, I knew that St. Ambrose was a University I could not afford to attend as it was 1) out of state and 2) private.
I ultimately chose the closest university to my hometown of Quincy, Illinois that had the cheapest PT tuition—The University of Missouri-Columbia. The atmosphere and college life rave was persuasive too.
Introduction To Travel Physical Therapy
The summer after my first year in Mizzou’s physical therapy program, I began my first clinical. During this time I was educated on the possibilities of pursing travel physical therapy. One of my patient’s casually had a conversation with me during her treatment about it.
Her daughter was a travel therapist right out of school. My interest was sparked. I utilized every minute that day of my patient’s treatment for Q&A in regards to what she knew about her daughter’s experience traveling.
Life Post Graduation
Soon after graduating PT school I committed to travel PT and began my first contract a couple months after boards. It has been the best decision! Not only do I get paid to travel, I get paid to meet new friends and professionals, to experience new dynamics and cultures, and I get paid well.
My top priorities upon graduation were (in order) 1) pass board, 2) find a job in travel therapy and 3) aggressively pay back my student loan debt.
After completing my top two priorities, I knew it was time to prioritize something none of us want to face. I could no longer avoid the dreaded student loan debt.
The Intro To My Student Loan Hero
I posted on the ‘Doctor of Physical Therapy Students’ Facebook page (in the summer 2016) seeking financial assistance with student loan repayment. This post led me to FitBUX, specifically Joe Reinke.
Joe and I scheduled several calls to get on the same page and to establish a repayment strategy that would work for me. This included student loan refinancing, using FitBUX’s free student loan refinancing service, and their Tracking Solution that makes sure I’m making payments correctly. One big thing is Joe informed me as to why I shouldn’t consolidate the student loans I didn’t refinance at my Federal loan servicer.
Since day one Joe has guided me towards financial wealth, been receptive to any and all concerns, communicated in a professional and understanding manner, and has offered up his expertise relentlessly for my benefit. That is why I refer to FitBUX as my student loan heros.
Now, a little over 2 years later, I have paid off over $100k dollars of student loan debt. This includes roughly $7k that was forgiven with the help of FitBUX.
I am so thankful I reached out when I did so I could have their assistance from day 1. Their expertise, support, and accountability has been so comforting throughout the process and I can’t thank the team at FitBUX enough!
Most of all, the plan we developed gave me the peace of mind that I could accomplish my goals and focus on being a PT instead of worrying about debt.
If you’d like to read more articles about money, be sure to check out the FitBUX blog.