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Live Inspired Podcast: Debunking the College Debt Myth (ep. 188)

Anthony ONeal

John O’Leary is joined by Anthony ONeal, author of Debt-Free Degree, on the Live Inspired Podcast to debunk college debt myths.

Student loan and credit card debt are at epidemic levels. It’s weighing us down and stealing our freedom.

Today, Anthony ONeal shares how to get through college debt-free and debunks most of our misbeliefs around finance and success. If you or your loved one need help thinking through smart decision-making around money – you don’t want to miss Anthony’s incredible story. From college drop-out and $35,000 in debt to living 100% debt-free, Anthony’s written the playbook and today, he shares it with you.

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio or listen here:


  • Anthony’s latest book Debt-Free Degree teaches parents how to get their kids into + through college 100% debt-free. Get a copy here.
  • Growing up in a strict conservative family, Anthony focused on going to school + church and was not taught about finance, building wealth or manage + control money.
  • Free pizza + t-shirt: Anthony maxed out his credit card within 13 hours after signing up for a credit card on his first day of college.
  • In his first year of college, Anthony racked up $15,000 in credit card debt. After being kicked out of college + losing his work-study job Anthony was up to $35,000 in credit card debt.
  • Over 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Read a Forbes article here.
  • At 19 years old, Anthony was living out of his car.
  • After months of living in a car, his father brought him back into their house. Anthony’s father gave him 6 months to budget + work on getting debt-free from the principles of Dave Ramsey.
  • “When the mind plays tricks on me, I remember where I was, where I do not want to go and how I’m helping people.”
  • Tough love + train up: Allow your child to fall in your presence, then you don’t pick them up but you show them how to get up.
  • Say no to student loans: The average student will graduate with $30,000 worth of debt, paying nearly 15% of their take-home-pay back to student loans and living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Step toward financial freedom:
    • Choose an affordable school.
    • Choose an in-state school.
    • Drive to school, rather than live on campus.
    • Purchase recycled textbooks.
    • Apply for grants + scholarships.
  • “It’s not about where you go [to college] but about who you become.”
  • “The choices you make today determine the caliber of your future.”
  • Follow Anthony on Instagram @anthonyoneal.
  • Tune in to my conversation with Dave Ramsey on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 6.

If you enjoyed learning about how to earn financial independence, you’ll love my conversation with Rachel Cruze. Rachel gives a clear path to help you win, gain control and lower stress around personal finances. Listen to Rachel on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 83.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Smiling and being a people person.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? The Bible my mother gave men when I preached my first sermon.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Martin Luther King, Jr. and I’d ask, “what made you want to become the man you became?”

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Stop downloading what the world wants you to do and download what God wants you to do.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Leave that girl alone.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Anthony ONeal loved people and he wanted to help everyone become debt-free and build wealth. 


Did you enjoy today’s episode? Subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts!

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