Wedding Planning while being a slave to student loan debt

Every now and then I get an email from a reader that I think will really resonate and help members of our audience here at BSB, and this post today came as a result of one of those emails. Terri has been a longtime reader of The Budget Savvy Bride and today she'll be sharing a great resource that is sure to help anyone who's got student loan debt — whether you're currently planning a wedding or not. Hope you enjoy learning about Terri's experiences! xoxo Jessica

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As a bride-to-be, there’s nothing worse than struggling with the decision to make a payment towards your student loan debt and spending $600 on those to-die-for wedding shoes. I know because I’ve been there. However, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was the one who purchased the $600 custom shoes and then took on odd jobs like crazy to make that monthly student loan payment. (Don’t worry. I was a total budget savvy bride for everything else in my wedding!)

It really is tough to plan the wedding of your dreams while trying to pay for the pricey private school education you earned. It was especially difficult for my husband and I because we both graduated from the same private school with A LOT of student loan debt.

Because taking on debt for the wedding wasn’t an option, we kept things small with a destination wedding in the Bahamas with 25 guests. We cut back on a lot of things, including favors, a pricey wedding cake, and photographer for the reception. And even with a small wedding in which we bought everything on sale, paying off student loan debt while planning was still a struggle. But we were still able to make it happen.

Now with the wedding behind us and nearly two years into marriage, we no longer struggle with planning a wedding and paying student debt. The new struggle is enjoying dating each other as a married couple while making on time monthly payments. Making high monthly payments makes it difficult to go out for dinner or explore local sights. We've continually cut back on date nights to save money and  we've even picked up as much extra work as possible to make those payments on time. And then I found Gradible.

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Gradible is a free website that allows it’s users to complete simple online tasks in exchange for money to apply to their student loan payments. Tasks include writing blog posts, creating Craigslist ads, taking surveys, posting to Facebook, editing ebooks, transcribing videos and more. When I first found out about the website, I was convinced it was too good to be true. Seriously, why would someone be willing to give me credits towards paying off student loans in exchange for posting something on Facebook that took me all of my five seconds to do? It just didn’t make sense to me.

Still, I figured I’d had nothing to lose and tons of debt to pay off, so why not try it? After a few weeks of posting items to Facebook and creating ads on Craigslist, I had earned enough loan credits to redeem them for a $120 payment towards Discover Student Loans. I remember holding my breath as I hit submit for that payment, because it all seemed way too easy. I checked my online account for Discover everyday to see if the payment had processed. I was totally curious to find out if Gradible was a complete scam that I wasted my time on or if I'd just found the answer to my prayers.

After a week went by, I got anxious and sent an email to administrators of the site inquiring about my redeemed loan credits. I was totally surprised when I got an email back from Grant, the co-owner of the site telling me how the process would work and ensuring me that as long as I input information correctly, the payment would go through.

Finally, by the end of the second week I called Discover student loans and was relieved to find out that the payment of $120 was received from Gradible and applied to my account. Ever since that fateful day, I've gone Gradible crazy completing as many tasks as I could to rack up those credits that can be applied to my debt. Since signing up late last summer (so about 8 months), I’ve earned over $1,000 in student loan payments by doing these tasks online. These payments have been made to Discover, Sallie Mae, Great Lakes, University Accounting services and Citibank without any problems.

Since finding Gradible, my husband and I have been able to pay off debt and go back to partaking in our well deserved but budget savvy date nights! Nothing beats being able to enjoy a romantic night out every once in a while – especially after a long month work and day-to-day chores and responsibilities.

Had Gradible existed when I was getting married two years ago, I would have been able to do a lot more, stress less and buy certain things for the wedding that I wasn't able to due to our debt. Hell, I wouldn’t have had to pick up those extra writing gigs after I spent that $600 on custom shoes instead of my loan payment. Instead, I would have just hopped on Gradible; completed tasks like my life depended on it and continued with my wedding planning with much less stress.

Seriously brides, imagine how amazing it would be to purchase $200 of wedding favors without having to sacrifice that extra $200 you would have put towards paying off your student loans! It would be amazing, right? If you're currently planning your wedding while also paying down student loan debt, I definitely recommend you check out Gradible — if you sign up through my referral link, you’ll automatically get $2 worth of loan credits in your Gradible account once you log in for the first time! Once you sign up, you’ll feel a bit of relief as you find out first hand that planning your wedding and actively paying student debt doesn’t have to be a nightmare!

Happy planning and debt reducing!

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