Finance / Opinion

Man Pays Off $50,000 in Student Loan Debt Within a Year by Doing Over 300 Odd Jobs

loan

(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

A Hawaiian man has achieved a feat that many students may deem impossible. He has paid off over $50,000 in student loan debt in just 11 months by saying “yes” to an incredible array of odd jobs.

Kamaka Dias, 27, graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and made the decision to pay off his debt as quickly as possible after calculating what his expenses under a loan repayment plan would look like.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

“I think it would have been like $500 a month for like 10 years, and I would have paid like $70,000,” the Hilo native told KHON2, “so I was like, ‘Nope! I’m not going to do that.’”

Dias then launched his mission at the beginning of 2020, calling it “The Race to $50K.”

He worked almost every day, documenting every job, gig, chore, and milestone on his Instagram page as the dollars mounted. Rather than charging for his time, he asked employers to give what they wanted.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

Working between Hilo and Oahu, Dias’s list of odd jobs soon grew diverse. “I picked up groceries, cupcakes, flowers, food, weed-whacked, planted trees, cleared bushes, raked leaves, painted, did dump runs. Everything!” he told Hawaii News Now.

However, it wasn’t all manual labor for the industrious graduate. He even officiated a close friend’s wedding, walked and bathed dogs, and even dressed up as Buzz Lightyear of “Toy Story” fame for a 3-year-old’s birthday party.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

During this period of time, Dias lived with his parents to save money and used every opportunity to be frugal like not opting to eat an acai bowl that looked tempting until he finished his goal and could finally treat himself. Word of mouth of his mission earned Dias more and more job opportunities, and by the end of the year, he had logged over 300 different assignments.

“People have been inspired by the hustle,” he said, crediting huge community support for his success even during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, pandemic. One kind donor even gave Dias a car to drive himself to jobs.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

To give back to his supportive community, Dias even donated his stimulus check toward gift packs for hundreds of high school seniors.

Dias made his final loan repayment in December 2020. In total, he paid off $53,757 in just 11 months, proving to graduates with loan debt everywhere that where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

“[T]his journey finally comes to an end,” Dias wrote on Dec. 6 on Instagram. “I’m finally free, the weight is off my shoulder and I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my life…DEBT FREE!!”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

“I asked for it, so yeah it’s on me,” he said of his student loans. “It’s my responsibility to pay it back. So, I wanted to show people that if you live a certain way, and you just work hard, you can do it.”

Dias plans to write a book about his experience to further inspire others.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kamaka Dias)

Reprinted with Permission from - Epoch Times by - Louise Bevan

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Nick
4 months ago

He supports BLM and wears a mask. So, hope those are inspirations to everyone here as well.

Miranda
4 months ago

Congrats Kamaka! you are an inspiration.

Dnthink2ic
4 months ago

Congrats to him. Sad however that this is even a story. Fifty years ago it was common and certainly never newsworthy for kids to work their way through college and never have any debt to begin with. Of course back then universities were only beginning to figure out they could charge anything they wanted for increasingly worthless degrees.

Nick
4 months ago

Just like how the banks worked odd jobs to pay off the $800 billion they lost on bad subprime mortgage bets instead of begging to be bailed out by the government

Oh wait

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Nick

Could I ask you a few simple questions? What is a 42 year old Democrat doing on a web site that is focused on adults 50 years and older? Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable hanging out on the myriad of so-called progressive web sites focused on SJW issues that most of your peers congregate on?

Nick
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Using “social justice warrior” as a pejorative implies you are against the concept of social justice. I was raised Catholic and social justice is a key component of Catholic philosophy.

As far as the rest of it, that’s really none of your business, is it?

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Nick

Sounds like you have a very poor understanding of what true social justice is as opposed to the politically bastardized version that is promoted by most socialists / communists. You should really make the effort to do an extended visit (6 or 7 months) to one of the many countries that have adopted your brand of social justice. Either that or simply spent a few days discussing what life is really like in such socialist Utopias with people that have lived though it. You might learn something, but then again probably not. At 42 years old, if you are still looking to be taken care of, that is kind of baked into your mindset.

I’ve been to a number of these so-called socialist paradises or Utopias over the years and in virtually every single one, the people all regret having gone down the path being so heavily promoted by your progressive idols in the Democrat Party. The people in these countries all realized, far too late, that equality of outcome doesn’t actually lead to the outcome they had been promised. They all thought their lives would be lifted up as opposed to being dragged down. So I guess they all are mistaken and don’t see the wonderful benefits of their lives being reduced to continuous fear, misery and poverty.

My other questions were quite rhetorical actually. I am quite familiar with your type. So I really didn’t expect an honest answer to those.

Kim
4 months ago
Reply to  Nick

And who was asleep at the wheel when all that happened, Nicky? Frank, Dodd, Schumer…all dems!

Nick
4 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Don’t call me Nicky outside of an intimate setting, mkay?

And I agree, Democrats deserve a good share of the blame for failing to impose proper regulations in advance of the meltdown, or punish those responsible after the fact. Corporatism runs rampant through both parties, and the vast majority of Democrats (including Biden) are roll-over-and-show-their-bellies centrists, not true progressives by any stretch. I’m glad we have people like Katie Porter, AOC, and (sometimes) Elizabeth Warren to hold the line against pay-to-play politics, but we need a lot more of them in there to make a difference.

Kim
4 months ago

Congratulations, Kamaka! How refreshing to hear a young man claim responsibility for his own college loan debt when so many others expect the government to bail them out. “No job too small!”

Since I don’t visit Instagram, will someone tell us what he majored in?

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Kim

There are many young people out there that believe in self responsibility. A good 10 to 12 percent of his generation’s population on average from what I’ve seen over the years. The problem is the media NEVER focuses on them, as they conflict with the narrative the MSM is selling to the other 88 to 90 percent of his generation. They are also largely shunned by our public school system, as their beliefs in personal responsibility run counter to the prevailing ideology taught in most classrooms today. None the less, they are out there and they want to be part of something productive in society, instead of expecting “to be taken care of” by society.

Kim
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Thank goodness there are some! There have been many times when I felt that the country is secure going into the future, and will not be entirely lost to socialist ideals.

One was while attending a nephew’s graduation from West Point. Everyone there was so respectful and helpful. The graduates themselves, as well as ushers, those who helped with directions, and even the gift shop volunteers, showed an extraordinary level of courtesy, patience, and love of country.

Another time was outside a CPAC (?) conference in D.C., where, among other guests, high school Republican clubs attended. During breaks, they ventured outside to watch boorish Occupy Washington fools sweep in. I was one of only a few who supported conservative candidates, and those students made a point of asking if we were okay. It was wonderful to hear them speak of patriotism and responsibility to their families and to the country.

Yes, they’re out there, those who take responsibility, are willing to work, and get their hands dirty. And, yes, they deserve to be pointed out.

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