An accident with a broken shower door permanently damaged his hands, but a graduate from the State University of New York at Albany made the most of a bad situation and used an insurance settlement to put it on the path to financial stability.
A Business Insider report allowed Kiersten Conway to share the story of how she handled her finances after graduating from college and the wise decision she made that changed her life after the unfortunate accident .
When Conway graduated with her bachelor’s degree in May 2018, her first concern was how she was going to pay off her student loans, Business Insider reported. She found a job, earning $ 35,000, and was living at home with her grandparents. She said she treated the money she earned or saved as if it wasn’t her own and spent “every penny available” on her student loan debt.
A life changing accident
In September 2019, while visiting her boyfriend in Manhattan, Conway was injured when the bottom wheel of a shower door popped out and the shower door shattered, cutting off both of her hands. ” wide open ”, according to the story.
The injury, which required stitches, x-rays, a consultation with a neurologist, a meeting with an occupational therapist and several follow-up appointments, left her with nerve damage to her right thumb and permanent scarring, Conway said. .
Conway urged her boyfriend to file a claim with his tenant’s insurance to help cover his medical bills. She eventually settled with the insurance company for $ 23,250 – “just a few hundred dollars less” than her student loan balances.
“This money has changed my life,” said Conway.
She’s been building her net worth ever since.
After using the settlement money to immediately pay off her student loans, Conway said she started putting her available money into savings and investments “to build my net worth,” she said.
Since telling Business Insider US, she has saved around $ 50,000, opened a 401 (k) and Roth individual retirement account, and is now able to put money aside for the future.
“My goal is to maximize my Roth IRA each year so that I can have a chance to retire,” Conway said.
She is debt-free at 25 and has said her credit score, which continues to rise, is 793.
Conway said being student loan debt free at 25 was worth “all the pain and suffering, plus the permanent scarring and nerve damage.”