HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Big Island man just accomplished a goal that once seemed impossible. Kamaka Dias paid off $50,000 in student loan debt in less than a year.
It all started as a New Year’s resolution to get rid off his student loan debt as fast as possible.
“Aloha everybody! My name is Kamaka Dias and if you don’t know me, I’m that crazy guy trying to pay off $50,000 in student loans in one year,” he said in video on social media.
Dias started the race to $50,000 at the beginning of 2020 and documented all of it on his Instagram account.
“I think I looked at it and they had repayment plans,” Dias said about why he was so motivated to pay off his loans so quickly. “I think it would have been like $500 dollars a month for like 10 years, and I would have paid like $70,000, so I was like, ‘Nope! I’m not going to do that.'”
Dias worked almost every single day of 2020, doing all kinds of odd jobs, as long as it was legal.
“I made videos, I planted trees, shipped things, delivered things, doing yard work,” Dias said, listing off some of the jobs he did to make money.
Dias even dressed up as Buzz Lightyear for a 3-year-old’s birthday party to make money.
The 27-year-old man chose to live with his parents to save money. Of course, he had to help out and he lived very frugally.
“I did focus myself,” Dias explained. “‘Like, man, that acai bowl looks so good, but you know maybe after I’m done, I can treat myself.'”
In December 2020, Dias made his final loan payment.
“I asked for it, so yeah it’s on me,” he said. “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.”
In total, Kamaka Dias paid off $53,757 in 11 months.