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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



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About This Episode

Dr. David Russak, creator of MoneyMobilizer.com, joins the student loan podcast to share how he paid off more than $350k in student loan debt. 

David is a full-time practicing physical therapist who personally understands the hard word and discpline it takes to pay off student loans. David doesn’t just gloss over his experience but shares what he wishes he would have done differently if he were to do it again. 



  • How exactly David paid off over $350k in student loans;
  • What David would have done differently if he were to do it all over again;
  • The importance of the often overlooked expenses that add to your student loan debt total; and
  • much, much, more…


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Dr. David Russak (00:00): I did have the opportunity, uh, to live with, uh, classmates. I just thought, you know what? I, I, if I live by myself, I'm gonna have the best, most optimal studying environment I could study as much as I want when I want. And that's what school's about. So I was just a hundred percent focused on that, but if I could go back in time, I mean, the cost of living in an apartment by yourself for three, or is versus maybe a cost of noise canceling headphones, would've probably made a lot more sense.

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:27): Welcome to the student loan podcast.

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:30): Here. You'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:36): And inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where you're host Daphne, Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez (00:43): And Shamil Rodriguez,

Daphné Vanessa (00:46): Please rate, review and subscribe to the student loan podcast by visiting the student loan podcast on apple podcast or wherever you find your podcasts.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:56): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinion.

Daphné Vanessa (01:02): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:16): Welcome back to another episode of the student loan podcast, everyone. And today we have a very special guest, someone who has paid off over $350,000. Hold on, let me just let that sit in for one second and repeat that one more time. A mortgage is worth of student loans, $350,000 in student loans. That's Dr. David roec. He is a physical therapist and I mean, honestly, I don't even know what else to say except great job. And congratulations, David, on paying off that amount of student loans at. So, uh, if you don't mind, uh, go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. David Russak (01:53): Sure. Yeah. And a mortgage is a great way to think about it. That's definitely would've felt like, but without the roof over your head.

Shamil Rodriguez (02:00): Uh,

Dr. David Russak (02:01): So, uh, I guess I'll start from, from college. So after high school, uh, I decided to go to a out state private college and not the least expensive option, but, um, I was fortunate enough to get a significant academic scholarship, so that helped. And while I was in college, I also decided to work part-time as an athletic there for the schools, sports teams. And, uh, those two things helped a lot so that when I graduated, I still had debt. It was still tens of thousands of dollars of student loans, but it could have been much worse. Um, and then after that, I decided I wanted to get my D P T uh, doctorate and physical therapy. It's a clinical doctorate. And I got in and decided to attend the university of Southern California, USC, uh, which was the number one program at the time. So I was very excited to be able to go.

Dr. David Russak (02:54): And also I'm from Southern California. So it just made sense. And, uh, also not the least expensive option. So, uh, I, I could have lived at home. Uh, I could have done things that would've made it less expensive. I'll get into that in a little bit. Um, but I wanted to get the full experience and I really wanted to give myself the best possible environment to be able to really hone in on my studies and become the best physical therapist that I could be. So while I was in school, I lived on my own in an apartment all three years. Um, I rarely cooked if ever and, uh, and all those really made my student loans add up. And by the time I graduated, um, I, uh, passed my state boards. I passed my national boards and I could practice as a physical therapist, uh, but again, wanted to be the best physical therapist that I could be.

Dr. David Russak (03:47): I decided I wanted to specialize in neurologic physical therapy. So I gotten and attended a, uh, physical therapy, neurologic residency. And that was a year long. Uh, I, again, lived on my own, uh, rarely cooked. And, um, during my first six months there, uh, I did deferment for my student loans, so that definitely did not help. And then the second six months, I, uh, just made the minimum payments. So it didn't even keep up with the accumulating interest. And by the time I was done with, uh, all my schooling and training, I remember looking at my balance and going, wow, okay, well that's a lot. And, uh, how about I just go in the income based repayment plan and, uh, it'll just take care of itself in 25 years. Oh,

Shamil Rodriguez (04:36): Wow. So

Dr. David Russak (04:37): That, that was basically the route that I, I took and that's how I got out to where I was.

Shamil Rodriguez (04:42): Right. I think, thank you for sharing that, that, that beginning, cuz a lot of people take that path. It's a very traditional path, right? I go to school, I take out loans, go to grad school, take out more loans, get even more professional degree, take out more loans and then hope that, you know, I'm making my minimum monthly payments will just, you know, end up paying it off. Right. It just seems it's a very logical and reasonable way to go about paying off for student loans. Unfortunately it sounds like you fell into the trap that a lot of people fall into. Right. Which is what I call negative compound interest, but it's not compounding in your favor is compounding in somebody else's favor.

Dr. David Russak (05:19): Yeah. That's a good phrase. I like that.

Shamil Rodriguez (05:22): So what, so tell, tell me a little bit, I know you said that the, um, food added, uh, ne uh, you know, the living alone. So what was the, you had said six months of making, uh, minimum payments. What changed your mind? I mean, what, what was the catalyst to just say, like, you know what, let me take a look at this and let me, you know, approach this in a different way.

Dr. David Russak (05:43): Yeah. So, um, my better half, my now wife, um, I, I was on that 25 year forgiveness plan. I settled into my first full-time job doing really well. And, uh, I met my now wife and we got engaged and we had a lot of the same life goals. We wanted to have a nice wedding, go on a nice honeymoon, settle down by our own place, start a family. And all I could see were dollar signs, all these awesome life, milestones cost a lot. And, um, I just kept seeing my student loan balance escalate what you expect with the forgiveness track, but so is my monthly payment. And, um, at its peak, my balance hit $352,000. And my monthly payments approached a thousand dollars a month. So I could just see this continuing to rise. And I didn't see how I was gonna be able to hit these life, my milestones, the way that we wanted to, or at the speed that we would want to. So I decided to switch gears and try to start paying them off.

Daphné Vanessa (06:44): Amazing. And you speak about just switching gears and deciding to pay it off. Did you have a strategy for what you wanted to tackle first? And before we get into that, if you don't mind sharing what was make of your student loans? Were they mostly Stafford? Just share a little bit about that please.

Dr. David Russak (07:04): Yeah, they were all federal, uh, subsidized, thankfully. So, um, when I decided I wanted to start paying them off, uh, I knew mathematically, I wanted to be able to start with the highest interest rate and I know about the snowball method and all the motivation behind that. And that's great for me. It was just kind of do what mathematically made sense and don't stare at them. Don't look at it every single day. I know people that will graph it out and make really cool art designs. And if that motivates you, that's fantastic. But me staring at every single day would drive me crazy. And, and, uh, I'd rather channel that energy into generating more income or doing something that was more productive to get out of that situation faster. So that's what worked for me.

Daphné Vanessa (07:48): Love it, love it. So you use the avalanche method and for, as a reminder to everybody, the avalanche method is when you prioritize the highest payments and you pay those down first before paying down the rest of your loans and over time you paid less interest. Isn't that right? David?

Dr. David Russak (08:08): That was the goal. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (08:10): Amazing, amazing. Love that. Um, thanks. So I'd love to do a little rewind actually, because you have a very niche career. This is the student loan podcast, but a lot of people are aspiring students or in school and figuring out their career, your career is very interesting. How did you get to wanting to be a doctor of physical therapy? What is that? What does that mean? Um, and explain the residency process in terms of, from a cost perspective, are you paying for your residency or are you being paid?

Dr. David Russak (08:45): Yeah, so I've always enjoyed sports, uh, and with sports comes injuries, they seem to go hand in hand and, uh, I've always enjoyed seeing people get better from something, um, work their way uphill in some sort of life achievement. And, uh, I saw that side of sports and, uh, I saw people that I knew go through injuries and, and rehab and get better with physical therapy. And I thought, wow, I wanna do that. I want to be somebody that can help somebody else achieve their goal dream. Uh, so that drew me towards physical therapy and it's very, uh, science based, but not just any kind of science. It's very hands on science. And I've always enjoyed doing things with my hands rather than like looking through a microscope or, um, having to just read a textbook. So, uh, I've was drawn to the profession because of that.

Dr. David Russak (09:33): And then when I was in, like I mentioned, I work part-time as an athletic trainer, I got a little bit of taste of what some of that might be like. So that just reinforced that. And, uh, that really helped me be on the track, uh, of wanting to become a physical therapist, uh, when it came to residency. Um, it's not something that we necessarily pay for together. There is a fee typically, um, it's typically minimal, but the, I think the major financial hit is you take a significant pay cut and that's because you are, um, newly licensed or you're awaiting for, um, the boards to get back to and tell you that you will be newly licensed, hopefully. Um, so it's a little bit of being caught in limbo there where you're just hoping that you make it and you pass, but, um, it's a learning experience still. So part of your time is actually work in treating patients and part of your time is being mentored by those who have been there and done that and are already specialists. So because of that, you do take a significant pay cut.

Daphné Vanessa (10:36): Interesting. And with that pay cut, your student loans were phasing in, right. So you were in your residency, your student loans, phased in during your pay cuts. How did you feel, how did you feel going through that?

Dr. David Russak (10:50): Honestly, at that point, it, I don't think it really sunk in yet. Like I said, my first six months, I just deferred. Um, and it was just easier to kick the can down the road, uh, and continue to focus on just trying to hone my skills and become the best clinician that I could be. And, uh, I think school reinforces that there's just so much to learn in such a little time and you just wanna be able to absorb all of it as much as you can. And you're so excited and you're so motivated. I think all that's great, but I think there's more than one piece of the whole puzzle and being, uh, uh, aware with eyes wide open on your financial state, I think is really crucial, not just for that day, but for years. And it,

Shamil Rodriguez (11:29): Can I ask a follow up question on that, that part of your journey? I want to make sure we tackle yeah. Um, something cuz I thought I wrote down here, my notes, the, uh, living, you know, living alone, uh, versus having roommates, uh, you know, eating out. I just wanted to ask you, uh, just to walk through what your mindset was then and would you change it now knowing what you know?

Dr. David Russak (11:51): Oh yeah. There's a lot. I would change hindsight's 2020, right?

Shamil Rodriguez (11:54): Yeah, exactly.

Dr. David Russak (11:56): I, I think a, a lot of, uh, I, I think a lot of the spotlight shines on tuition for schools and for programs and not to discount that at all, but I think very rarely does anybody really focus on living expenses? So it's easy. I think to go to a cheaper program, whether it's college or graduate school and just expect everything will be okay. Uh, but if you don't manage your living expenses, you could still come out behind somebody that went to a, a more expensive school. So going back, um, I think I would've managed my living expenses a lot better. Uh, like I said, I chose to go to a graduates school that was in Southern California, which is where I'm from, uh, Southern California with our freeway system and driving. It's still not an easy commute, but I would've either tried to manage that or I did have the opportunity, uh, to live with, uh, classmates. And, um, I just thought, you know what, I, I, if I live by myself, I'm gonna have the best, most optimal studying environment I could study as much as I want when I want. And that's what school's about. So I was just a hundred percent focused on that, but if I could go back in time, I mean the cost of living in an apartment by yourself for three years versus maybe a cost of noise canceling headphones, would've probably made a lot

Shamil Rodriguez (13:12): More. I like that. I like yeah, a lot actually.

Dr. David Russak (13:17): So I, I definitely would've managed, uh, my living expenses better. Um, in regards to food, I mean, I could have brought a lunch to school. Um, I, I could have done the same thing in residency. I could have done the same thing when I started my full-time job. I kind of carried those habits over when I started work. Uh, it was kind of a social thing with coworkers. Oh, it's lunch, let's all go out and hang out and get to know each other better. Let's go to this restaurant. And I finally started to realize where my money was going. Uh, and I started just packing a sack lunch instead and still going out and spending time and socializing with them. But I think changing the habits of where your money goes is essential.

Shamil Rodriguez (13:56): That's, that's really well said. And thank you for sharing that for everybody who's listening. You really want to think about those expenses that David is mentioning that you don't think about when they come. And I oftentimes think tuition and books. Right. But there's so much more to how you actually going to live day to day. So, David, um, when you, when you made that switch, did you, I, anyone in particular before we, we go on to the, how you paid it off, but did you follow, you know, like a, a specific, um, guru in finance? Or did you just say like, Hey, I'm just gonna figure this out myself.

Dr. David Russak (14:28): Uh, I got turned onto Dave Ramsey by a friend and, uh, it's actually a great transition that you said that because when it comes to paying them off, I learned the phrase, I need a bigger shovel and that's something

Shamil Rodriguez (14:39): That he does a

Dr. David Russak (14:40): Lot. I'm like, okay, I I'm making good income. I'm doing well, but I, I need more if I wanna be able to pay off this amount. And, um, that's why I first started looking into side hustles. And I know you guys have had tons of people on that talk about rideshare and food delivery. And there's a lot out there that, uh, a lot of people can do, but I thought I just worked so hard for this degree. Just gotta be a way I could leverage my skillset as a physical therapist to potentially make even more. And, um, I started looking to different aspects that physical therapy offered that maybe I wasn't exploring yet. And a friend suggested a checkout PRN home health and PRN just means per diem. So you work as much or as little as you want on your own terms. And to kind of explore this a little bit more at my full-time job, I was working in two D from settings.

Dr. David Russak (15:31): One was in the hospital. So patients that are admitted, they had a stroke, they had a heart attack, they had surgery and they're fresh out. Uh, so I was seeing patients in the hospital and then I was also seeing patients in the clinic where patients would walk in, see you for like half an hour, 45 minutes, and then they leave. So home health is a setting that kind of falls in between maybe they were in the hospital. Well recently, but they're not doing well enough yet to be able to go to the clinic. So they need healthcare providers to come to them. So in school, um, I had plenty of rotations where I had completed in the hospital. I completed in the outpatient ambulatory clinic, not any in-home health, uh, it's actually not as common. So it was really intimidating when my friend suggested yeah.

Dr. David Russak (16:14): Do home health. That could be a good option, do that per diem. Um, and I initially balked at it because I thought that's a whole nother world. Like logistically, what documentation system do you use? I have to set my own schedule. I gotta call patients. I gotta drive to them. And, uh, eventually knowing my goals financially. I all right. I'm just gonna jump in with both first and, uh, let's just see how this goes and that changed my life. I'm so glad I did because, um, wow. I started, I started really making my schedule efficient and really bringing in a lot more money. Uh, I think at my peak, I was working for like five different companies and I was making as much as I like $8,000 a month extra just from side hustling.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:57): Love it.

Dr. David Russak (16:57): So, and then another aspect that I did was I worked for a company called Luna Luna physical therapy, and that's also treating patients in the homes of the patients except it's on an outpatient basis. So, uh, what I mean by that is I was able to leverage my outpatient physical therapy skillset from my full-time job, from school that I had already developed and just apply that to the home setting. Um, so it wasn't like everything was a whole new world. The home health aspect was, but working for Luna was not. So I found a way to kind of leverage the skills that I definitely already had and leverage the degree that I had, but develop new skills in relation to that. And that's what made that a success

Daphné Vanessa (17:40): That is fantastic. I really, we, we haven't heard that yet. And people speak a lot about, like you said, side hustles that are non-degree specific, but way to go finding a way to back, quantify your degree, quantum leap your degree into paying off your student loans. That's amazing. First of all, why did you choose to do that? I know you said you worked hard, you wanted, but, but what made you do the work of actually saying, I already do this all day. You must actually love your job. I'm only saying that because not everybody.

Dr. David Russak (18:18): Yeah, no. And, and I think that there's definitely people that also love their job, but they just can't do it that much. I was working like six, seven days a week. Um, I think first it depends on your per personality. So some people, they just need an outlet. Like they still wanna generate more money, but they need an outlet away from what they already do every day. Um, I would say I'm still related to that group of people because just my full-time job that I was at previously, I would work between the hospital and the outpatient setting, like I said, and I did that on because it wasn't the same thing every day. So even my full-time schedule, I was switching up, uh, different aspects of my skillset that I was using E even in different buildings with different coworkers.

Daphné Vanessa (19:01): Great idea. And,

Dr. David Russak (19:03): And then when I did the, uh, side hustle stuff, uh, that was still physical therapy, but again, a very unique skill set different than what I was doing for my full-time job. And what I also loved about it was I was out and about, I was on the road. Uh, I, I, I got fresh air. I gotta see sun, I gotta change my setting cuz every, every hour I was at a different patient's house. And um, my car became my office. I mean, I could listen to music if I wanted to. I discovered podcast. I discovered your guys' podcast actually. Oh,

Shamil Rodriguez (19:35): Oh man. That's great.

Daphné Vanessa (19:36): And that was Luna.

Dr. David Russak (19:37): It was really motivating. Yeah. So, um, it was, it was, again, it was leveraging my degree, but in different ways so that it was not monotonous every day. I was basically switching it up and doing something different.

Daphné Vanessa (19:50): Love it. You love it. And that is inspirational. I think just for our audience to hear that you chose to find a way not to let your day job be boring, you found a way to be different. And in addition to that, you found a way for it to generate more money for you to pay off your student loans. So I, I love that let's stay on that to topic and try to see how long it took you doing all of those different, um, pivots we'll call them, we'll call them pivots of your degree to get to a place where you paid off 350,000. It's a ton of money.

Dr. David Russak (20:28): Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I basically, uh, took a few years from when I finished residency and settled in my full-time job to really do a 180 financially and realize where I stood and where I wanted to be was quite different. Um, I, I think it took me about four years to be able to fully pay off my loans from when I actually started trying to do so. Wow. Um, but, uh, I, I basically, uh, just kind of kept at it and I, I, again, I didn't really like follow day to day to day as far as am I hitting my goal this day? Am I off of my goal this day? Like when I, I initially started my side hustles with the home health stuff, um, I initially calculated, you know, what if I see this number of patients for this number of days for this number of weeks for this number of years, and that would

Shamil Rodriguez (21:19): Describe me crazy. That's crazy.

Dr. David Russak (21:21): Crazy. So, uh, I, I basically tried to just kind of tune it out. So as far as exactly how long it took me, I, I couldn't even tell you it was somewhere around four years, but I, what worked for me was kind of just putting blinders on and just, uh, pedal to the metal and just keep at it,

Daphné Vanessa (21:39): Love it. So you made paying off your student loans a habit, right. You almost systematized it in your life and, and forgot about it and you just kept doing it. And one day you woke up and your student loans were paid

Dr. David Russak (21:52): Pretty much. Yeah. That's exactly love. Yeah. Love that. Yeah. Thanks.

Shamil Rodriguez (21:57): No, that's great. And I think what's, what's also like, love listening to this and motivating about is that you define what the target was. Right. So even though you didn't always look at those numbers every day, you at least define like what the peak of your mountain was. Right. So you said like, here's my peak. All right. And then you put your head down and you're like, step, step, step, step, step, eventually until you blew right through it. Right, right. Uh, four years later. So where, where, where do you go from there? Right. Did you just stop after you hit that, that point? Or did you just start like, you know, use that laser and just like move it to some other, you know, area of your life, um, you know, all those goals that you and your wife were setting, like what, what did you, and it's such a great skill that you developed in habit. I mean, I'm hoping that you kept it going.

Dr. David Russak (22:44): Yeah. Uh, well, my wife and I welcomed our first baby, so I honestly what paying, thank you. What, what paying my loans off did was it gave me more control over my life, not just financially, but it allowed me to prioritize things. So for me, families first, so what I was able to do was actually leave my full-time job. It was a great job, but it was a set schedule. And what I discovered was I had actually loved my side hustle, working in the homes, uh, doing PR and home health so much that I could do that full time. And I could work as much as I want when I want full time. So it let me set a schedule for work. Uh, that accommodated me being home with my wife and baby more. And for me, that's what life's all about. Being able to prioritize what you actually want to prioritize, uh, and work comes secondary, but I still love what I do and I still get to do it all the time. Uh, but I feel much more in control of my life. So that's why it it's a great accomplishment for me, because it sounds like a big number and it's gone now. But what I focus more on is I actually have control over when I want to work as much as I wanna work. And when I wanna do other things like spending time with my family,

Daphné Vanessa (23:57): I love that. I, that is the most beautiful.

Shamil Rodriguez (24:00): That is great

Daphné Vanessa (24:01): Purpose.

Dr. David Russak (24:02): Thank you right.

Daphné Vanessa (24:04): You, no, you, you said it correctly. Family comes first and you, by paying off your student loans, you now have the freedom to spend time with your baby, spend time with your wife when you want. I, I love that. I think that that is a great example for our listeners and for, for just anybody who, who wants to become financially, you've reached financial freedom in a sense, by no longer being chained to your debt,

Dr. David Russak (24:30): Right? It, it's not directing how much I work when I work. It's not controlling my life. I control my life now, which is for me, the most freeing thing I could have ever experienced

Shamil Rodriguez (24:43): Well said, congratulations, David well said.

Dr. David Russak (24:46): Yes. Thank you.

Daphné Vanessa (24:48): And so with all that, you've accomplished, you, you now own your life. Nobody owns your life. No, no Nelnet. Navian no, none of them own

Dr. David Russak (24:57): Your life. Yep.

Daphné Vanessa (24:58): First mark, whoever they do not own your life. You own your life. Now, now that you own your life, you're starting to help other people with money. Mobilizer. Tell us a little bit about that.

Dr. David Russak (25:10): Yeah. So, uh, money mobilizer. I, it's a lot of fun for me. Like now, like you said, that I'm able to own my own life. I have more times for things that I enjoy. So I kind of looked back on my experience and I thought, wow, I learned a lot. And there's also a lot of healthcare that don't really know enough about this stuff. We kind of go through school and school's really good at teaching us what we need to know and how to become good clinicians to treat our patients, do good by our patients. But what about the financial side of things for us? Um, so I remember that feeling of graduating and not knowing it to do with my student loans. And that's why I made all these mistakes previously. And I, like I said before, hindsight's 2020. If I could go back in time, there's things that I would undo and do to make things easier.

Dr. David Russak (25:56): But I think the next best thing is pay it forward, uh, share with other people that are in your shoes or are going to be in your shoes. What, you know, now that's why I started money mobile. It's a personal finance blog. It's directed towards physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nurses, uh, allied health professionals as a group. And I try to share all of the knowledge that I have in these respects. And it's not just student loans. It's what kind of, uh, disability insurance should, uh, allied health professionals be purchasing? What about, about, uh, liability insurance? What about life insurance? What about, uh, retirement planning, uh, mentioned student loans. What about when you have kids and you want to, uh, do right by them as far as paying for their education, if you choose what are 5 29 accounts and, and things like that. So trying to basically not just empower those in our profession, but help them empower their own future generations too.

Daphné Vanessa (26:54): I love it. I think, you know, first responders, you help people so much, but now you've created an outlet for responders to put on their mask first. And I think that is so empowering. So thank you for, for doing that because that help is needed.

Dr. David Russak (27:10): That's a really great way of saying it. Thank you for saying that.

Daphné Vanessa (27:13): No, of course, of course.

Shamil Rodriguez (27:15): So I was gonna say, uh, David to follow up on that because you're paying it forward. Um, you know, it's something that you don't have to do. You decided to do it on your own to help other professionals. What are some of the common questions that people ask you to cover, uh, in the allied health, uh, allied health professional space. That's related to what we're talking about today.

Dr. David Russak (27:34): Yeah, sure. So student loans is a huge one. Um, I, I think when we think about student loans and this isn't just for healthcare profess, but we think about it in a reactionary sense, we think, okay, now I graduated now, what do I do? Uh, I hope that not just healthcare professionals, but we all start thinking in advanced, okay. If I do X, like if I go to this school, whether it's college or graduate school, if I take out all this money, what's my plan. What am I gonna be doing? Not okay. I took it out and I graduated now. What? So, uh, I, I like to tell people when you buy a house, do you buy it? And then afterwards, think about, okay, cool. Now I bought this house. Can I actually afford this? What should I do? How can I actually pay for this?

Shamil Rodriguez (28:20): That's a great way

Dr. David Russak (28:21): Of our loans. A lot of our loans, like you said, are like mortgage size. So, um, think about it like a house. Think about before I make this decision, just like any other business decision or big decision in life, what am I actually trying to do here? What's my plan. So, um, a big question that I get from, uh, students and from new graduates is how do I manage my student loans? Say, think about it as early as you can think about it yesterday. Um, if you're a student, for example, in, in a physical therapy graduate school program, let's say they already knew that they wanted to do the public service loan forgiveness program. Awesome, because you gotta complete rotations in graduate school. So wouldn't it be great if you pursued rotations with employers that qualified for that program. And then once you graduated, a lot of those rotations turn into potential job opportunities.

Dr. David Russak (29:14): You can just slide right into a job and have those start counting, uh, have those years start counting for you as opposed to, oh, I didn't realize I wanted to do that. Now. I ended up at the wrong job, but let me say, settle into this job first. Okay. Now I gotta find the job that does qualify for that. And it's just years and years lost. And, uh, I, I think this smoother, you can make that track for yourself, the easier it's gonna be. And it all just starts with knowledge and planning. So money mobilizers is really just about get as much knowledge out there as possible so that healthcare providers can be empowered with it and be again, in more control of their lives,

Daphné Vanessa (29:50): Well said, control of our lives no matter. Cause you think you would assume, right. People who are helping you right as a patient, they, they have everything together, but you've now created that outlet to make sure that that happens. So yes, yes, yes. Everyone visit money mobilizer. So do you have any parting words of wisdom for the audience that you'd like to share?

Dr. David Russak (30:16): Uh, I think, uh, first off, uh, if you get on the money mobilizer email list, it will get, you started on the right track, cuz I have a freebie for you that outlines all these different things to look for. So you don't just feel like you're just overwhelmed with all this information you've never seen before, have a starting point. And that's what that will act as. So if you go to the homepage and money mobilizer in the middle, uh, you will see an email sign up, sign up for that and get that free. And that will get you started on the right track that I wish I had when I was back in school and coming outta school. Uh, so that's how I created that. Thinking back on that, but parting words would be no matter where you are right now, it always helps to control your living expenses. I think about it as a Seesaw on one side is your expenses, the other side, your income minimize those expense. And there's so many, uh, people saying, oh, skip that Starbucks. That saves you $5. Think about what you're spending on, where you live, think about what you're spending on meals regularly. Those are your big expenses usually. So if you can control those, then you can get that Starbucks. That's probably gonna get you through that class or that work shift. That's gonna be really hard. Right? Yep.

Shamil Rodriguez (31:21): And then,

Dr. David Russak (31:23): And then on the other side of the CSAW increased income, uh, a lot of new students and current students, they get scared to try to work while they're just trying to get their bearings in school and study or while they're getting settled into their first time job. Uh, there are so many opportunities, especially that you guys have covered on different episodes. Uh, side hustles exist that are super flexible. You don't have to make it a full-time job. You don't even have to make it an official part-time job. You could Uber one day this week and not do it again for months, if you want to, but find ways to just increase income a little bit. Because even if it doesn't feel like it's a life changing amount, that's still more than you had yesterday and that can make an impact or that can make you afford that $5 Starbucks. That's gonna get you through that next day. So decrease your living expenses, increase your income and have a plan like I talked about before the earlier you plan, it's gonna exponentially help you years from now.

Daphné Vanessa (32:19): Amazing. Amazing. Thank you so much, David, you brought a wealth of knowledge and you speak from experience. Having paid off over $350,000 ladies and gentlemen days and Z of student loans. That is an accomplishment,

Shamil Rodriguez (32:37): Uh, for more information on today's episode, visit the student loan podcast.com four slash episode 63. That's the student loan podcast com.

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