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Karen Akpan owed over $69,000 in student-loan debt, while her husband owed $40,000. Karen Akpan Millennial couple Karen and Sylvester Akpan paid off $118,000 of student-loan debt in one year. Akpan told Insider she was inspired by Dave Ramsey’s “gazelle intensity” method. They took 3 steps: selling their house to buy an RV, creating a budget , and increasing their income. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories . For Karen Akpan , 2020 ended on a high note. She and her husband, Sylvester, finally paid off $118,000 of student debt. And they did it all, amid a historic year of pandemic and uncertainty. The 32-year-old Akpan went to college when she was just 16 to study child and adolescent development, and went on to obtain a master’s degree in family and consumer sciences. The degrees left her with a collective $69,510 of debt, including what she estimates to be $10,000 in interest. She told Insider she regretted getting her master’s, because she was unable to find the kind of good-paying job she thought it would guarantee. She currently runs a lifestyle and parenting blog, The Mom Trotter , full-time. Her husband, who attended vocational school, owed $40,420 in student debt himself. She said they both kept deferring their income-based repayment plans, and eventually stopped loan payments altogether because they couldn’t afford them. “At some point, I thought we’d just die with them,” she said. She said all they knew in terms of a strategy was to “take loans” […]