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How one couple paid off $126K debt in under four years

(ATLANTA) — An Atlanta couple who have achieved their debt-free dream is sharing the five-point plan that they said helped them shed $126,000 of debt in less than four years.

Jasmine and Jay McCall say they were saddled with two types of common debt. “We were in about $126,000 of debt. 96,000 of them were student loans. And about 30,000 of that was credit card debt,” Jay McCall told Good Morning America.

The McCalls say tackling debt is as simple as following five key steps.

1. Create a budget.

When they decided to tackle their debt, the McCalls’ said their first step was to customize a budget to their needs.

“We found out that you can create a budget based on your lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be so restrictive,” Jay McCall said.

2. Live off one salary.

The McCalls both work so they decided to divide and conquer. They said they made the decision to live off one income — Jay McCall’s $85,000 yearly salary. Jasmine McCall was earning an $88,000 salary, so they put her income toward debt and paid off student loans and credit cards.

3. Sell stocks to pay off debts.

Another tactic the McCalls used to pay down balances? Turn to the stock market. “My stock portfolio was valued at about $40,000 so I decided to go ahead and take that money to put it towards our debt,” Jasmine McCall told GMA.

4. Negotiate lower interest rates.

When it came time to manage credit card debt, Jasmine McCall said she started a conversation with her card issuer. “I just decided to call my credit card company,” Jasmine McCall said. “They actually cut the interest rate in half. So just that alone, saved us a couple $100 per month.”

5. Get a side hustle.

In addition to her full-time job, Jasmine McCall started a YouTube channel called “Life With Jazzy Mac,” which gives her a second income stream. “My YouTube channel is all about educating millennials and Gen Z on how to build their credit, how to pay off debt, and overall, how to build generational wealth,” she said.

The McCalls also share their money lessons through the website and blog called “Stack the Wealth.

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