“I want my audience to feel that joy that comes along with paying off your student loans.
Everybody deserves that feeling.” -Dee-1


Congratulations to all our winners!

Check out their heartfelt and inspiring stories about college and its positive effect on their lives.

"An unknown author penned a famous quote which states ‘A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.’ My objective in life has always been to exceed my personal best. Emigrating as a teenager from Nigeria to the United States challenged me in so many ways. Adjusting to a culture different from my own, allowed me to start thinking about success. Sallie Mae helped make that happen by allowing me to be the first college graduate in my family and the first to pursue a Master's degree. I am proud of my personal and professional successes thus far, all of which I owe to Sallie Mae and I hope to sing that "Sallie Mae Back" song in the nearest future. Thank you!"

“I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. At ten years old, I missed two months of sixth grade to undergo cancer treatments. My oncologist encouraged me to share my experience with other kids, and for me that translated to a career in medicine. Going to college was my opportunity to pursue this goal. My pre-med classes were not simple, but they challenged me to remain motivated toward medical school. Having earned my MD and completed residency, I am now in fellowship in oncology- my dreams realized. Education has been a long journey, and what I have learned along the way continues to inspire me and empowers me to bring the best possible care to my patients.”

“It helped teach me responsibility and how to take positive control of my life. The degree I received allowed me to accomplish one of my life long goals of becoming an officer in the Army National Guard where I am able to give back to both my community and the soldiers that serve. It also allowed me to continue my education in law school. I am able to do even more for the soldiers I serve with and my community as a whole as a Judge Advocate and Civilian Attorney. I know that none of the things I have managed to accomplish would be possible had I not been able to go to college.”

“I used this loan to go to a post-baccalaureate program at UCSD to increase my chances to getting into medical school. When I graduated college I realized that I wasn't competitive enough to get into medical school and I knew that attending a post-baccalaureate would really help me out. Thanks to the loan I got from Sallie Mae I was able to attend and successfully complete a post-bacc program. I am currently in my second year of medical school at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. Being the son of Peruvian immigrants, I am not only the first to go to college, but the first to attend medical school here in the U.S.”

“Being 1 of 13 kids can make you feel insignificant. Being the first girl in the family to graduate with a 4 year degree, completing it while working and attending school full-time, made me feel significant. Now as I pursue my dreams of becoming a healthcare leader, college has equipped me to feel confident and ready to achieve my goals.”

Dee-1’s tips for paying back your student loans

When Dee-1 finished paying off his student loans, he celebrated by writing the hit song, “Sallie Mae Back.” Now, he wants to help you get on the right track to finishing, too.

1. Know who you owe and how much you owe.

  • Is your loan from the government or a company like Sallie Mae? Check your statement or credit report.
  • Be responsible. Know your monthly payment amounts and due dates.

2. Separate your wants from your needs.

  • Managing your money means managing your lifestyle.
  • Prioritize payments you must make every month, and make sure your student loan is one of them.

3. Exceed your own expectations.

  • Pay more than the minimum amount due each month. If you get a raise or tax refund, use part or all of it for your loan.
  • The faster you pay off your loan, the less you‘ll spend in the long run.

4. Confront reality.

  • If you run into trouble, don’t hide from it, don’t be embarrassed by it, and don’t give up. Stay positive and look for solutions.
  • Call your lender or touch base with your cosigner, if you have one.

5. Get excited about your future.

  • Be passionate about managing your money wisely and effectively.
  • You can’t make your student loans disappear magically overnight, but you can make a plan for paying them off.

Tips to manage student loan payments

If you have questions about student loan interest, paying back your loans, or the benefits of paying off your loans faster, get the answers you need with our short videos.

Watch videos on managing your loans

*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Ends 1/11/2017. See official rules at sallie.cc/PaystoRepayRules


Connect with Dee-1

Join the conversation


Connect with Sallie Mae