Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Grad pays off $114k student loan in cash

The law school grad, now a successful businessman, posted a photo of the bank receipt on the Internet and it went viral.

By Karen Datko May 24, 2012 7:57PM

Image: College graduates (© Ariel Skelley / Blend Images/Getty Images)A Canadian man paid off his $114,460 student loan debt in one lump sum -- of cash. That's $111,350 U.S. 


How many university grads, unemployed and overburdened by student loans, would be jealous of that? 


In fact, maybe envy motivated some of the snarky online comments after a photo of the $114,460 bank receipt he posted on his Facebook Timeline surfaced elsewhere on the Internet. Commenters, particularly anonymous ones, can be so rude.


Alex Kenjeev of Toronto had accumulated about $190,000 in student loan debt while earning an undergraduate diploma, an MBA and also a law degree, which he received in 2009, according to an ABC News story and other reports. He got the money to pay off the balance when he sold a start-up software company. Kenjeev is now president of O'Leary Ventures, a venture capital firm. (Post continues below.)

Kenjeev said he thought paying off the loan in cash would be both memorable and fun. That's not exactly how it turned out. First, his bank didn't want to give him so much cash. Several days later, when he got the money, he carried it in a canvas shopping bag two blocks to the other bank, and got more resistance there. 


He said being debt-free made him happy. (Actually, he has a $30,000 government student loan he's not paying off right away because the interest is tax-deductible, he posted on Reddit.)


Many people congratulated him -- as they should. But some were critical. One person said on Facebook, "Where on Earth did you get that kind of cash?? Am I the only one who thinks that's a bizarre thing to boast about?"


After the photo appeared on Reddit, some readers there speculated that a person with that much cash must:

  • Be dealing drugs.
  • Have rich parents.
  • Have won the lottery.

Others said he should have invested the money. A few said it's crazy to borrow that much to get an education. (Even in the U.S. it is unusual. Only 3.1% of student loan borrowers here owe more than $100,000.)

Said one commenter at Business Insider:

He did this so that he could get the picture and post it on Facebook, thereby using this as a means to indirectly brag to his friends about how much money he is making. Had he made a wire transfer, he couldn't have bragged about it without sounding like he was trying to brag.

Cut the guy a break. Kenjeev told Business Insider: "I was feeling very good about finally being debt-free. Some people have taken it pretty offensively. I actually think they have a point. It hadn't really occurred to me."


More on MSN Money:

May 25, 2012 11:38AM
Just never ceases to amaze me how mean, envious and blatantly jerks people can be.  First, the guy went to school for an education, and actually used it to advance himself!  Second, he PAID OFF HIS DEBT!  How many whiners are bellyaching about $20,000 loans??  Most people these days would just say how unfair it is to have that much debt, that they'll never get ahead, and what is the govn't going to do about it...   He made it.  And now everyone else is jealous, or thinks HIS money could be put to better use elsewhere.  Like their pockets. 
May 25, 2012 11:17AM
Who cares... its your money to do with as you see fit... it's not anyones business what you do with it...... way to go......
May 25, 2012 7:32PM

Good for him..... he made it a priority to do what is right and pay his obligations to his creditors.

May 26, 2012 7:07PM

Or are they just mad they didn't think of it first?

May 30, 2012 2:11PM
With fame, comes danger. Now that the entire world knows he has loads of cash he may become the target of other things he has not thought of: kidnapping of himself or loved ones; extortion; identity theft; home invasions; burglary; etc. There is a reason why many wealthy people prefer complete anonymity. Perhaps he is too young to understand this, or too stupid to have never thought of it.
Jul 22, 2012 1:10PM
This illustrates perfectly why college has no value.  He obtained a law degree and he paid it back by...selling a software company. Obviously that had nothing to do with the law degree. He shouldn't be bragging, he should be kicking himself that he wasted  $111,000 dollars.
May 25, 2012 12:45PM
He was probably hoping they would turn him away and he could argue in court that he offered them legal tender and was refused thus the debt would be null and void. 
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.