Two ODs, Two Loans

A three-year strategy

Nicole Trabuc, OD, and her husband Kyle Wainwright, OD, are careful planners. They had to be; between the two of them, they carried $231,000 in debt from optometry school after their 2012 graduation. “The government loan programs outline a 10-year repayment plan, but our goal was to do it in five—and we ended up doing it in three,” she says.

Each worked six days a week, every week. “At the end of the month, after everything else was paid, we put any additional principal payments on the loans with the highest interest rate, which was 6.8 percent,” she says. That student loan interest rate was higher than the interest on the mortgage for their house, so those repayments took priority.

The couple got married about two weeks before they entered University of Houston College of Optometry. They had their first baby in 2013 and a second in 2017. “We were still in our college lifestyle of spending as little as possible,” she says.

Dr. Trabuc is employed, first in two offices and now in one. Dr. Wainwright started Wainwright Optometry in Manhattan, Kansas. The couple is now building a second location, which is expected to open this fall. Dr. Trabuc plans on seeing patients in that office as well, once it’s open. “It’s a growing area,” she says.

Read more from this cover package

The Debt Effect
Dr. Brandi Johnson: Loan Repayment Program Gives a Big Boost
Dr. Sarah Wildermuth: An Accelerated Payoff Plan
Financial Aid Touchpoints
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