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The Debt-Free Scream: Your Inspirational Rally Cry

"I’m . . . debt . . . FREE!"

If you’ve ever caught part of The Dave Ramsey Show, you’ve probably heard that phrase before. But what does it really mean? Did they pay off their credit cards only? Did they pay off every single debt to their name? And how in the world did they do it, anyway?

It’s time to walk through everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the debt-free scream:

Debt-Free Scream 101

What is a debt-free scream?

Yes, it’s really a scream. Or a shout, or a chant, or whatever suits your style. We’ve even had a couple do their very own flash mob!

The debt-free scream is a pivotal moment in anyone’s debt-free journey. It’s the moment each person dreams about while they’re eating beans and rice around their coffee table (probably because they sold the dining room table and chairs). It’s the dream a college grad longs to be realized as they mail away payment after payment to Sallie Mae. It’s a celebration of the hard work, sacrifice and determination they went through to be debt-free. And the scream is their celebration!

When can you do your debt-free scream?

You can do your debt-free scream after you’ve paid off all your debt (with the exception of your mortgage). Some people hold off until they’ve paid for their house too, but you definitely don’t have to wait until you reach that point.

Where do debt-free screams happen?

Most debt-free screams take place here in the lobby of Dave’s company, Ramsey Solutions, in Nashville. Individuals and families travel from all across the world just to do their debt-free scream in person. We’ve even had people come from as far away as Germany and Australia! Of course, not everyone can make the trek. Those who can’t make it here in person can call in and do their debt-free scream over the phone during Dave’s show.

What does it represent?

A debt-free scream is like crossing the finish line after you run your heart out in a marathon, or reaching the top of the mountain after your eight-mile uphill hike. This is the final piece to your debt-free journey. It’s no coincidence you’ll hear a track of William Wallace in Braveheart yell out, "Freeeeeeeedom!" at the end of each debt-free scream.

Four Memorable Debt-Free Screams

John and Maddi paid off $300,000 in 5 years and saved their marriage!

This San Antonio couple had debt tied up in just about everything you could imagine—credit cards, 401(k) loans, a mortgage—except student loans! They were at the end of their rope with their debt and their marriage.

Maddi and John were separated at the time, but they decided to go to Financial Peace University together to give their marriage one more shot. Despite their relationship hanging on by a thread, they began working the plan and eventually paid off $300,000—including their house!

"It was God working in our lives from the moment we started this plan. Everything started getting better," Maddi said. "We were closer together and we were on the same page."

Watch their powerful debt-free scream as a united front.

Cinthya, widow and mother of three, paid of $60K in 22 months

Cinthya’s story began with her husband, Dennis, who faithfully listened to The Dave Ramsey Show. This South Carolina family was in the middle of paying off their house when Dennis suffered a stroke at the shocking young age of 29. In an instant, Cinthya became a young widow with three children—and $60,000 to pay on the mortgage.

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With a fighting spirit, she continued the charge and vowed to become debt-free to honor his memory. "It was our dream to make this happen," she said. "God is truly good."

This one even made Dave cry! Watch this family’s inspiring and unforgettable debt-free scream.

Elizabeth Paid Off $61K of Debt in 2.5 Years While Making $41K

Elizabeth was sick of her student loan debt and monthly car payments weighing her down. She was ready to be free of the debt for good, but she knew it would take longer to become debt-free if she relied on her annual salary alone. So she picked up a side job delivering pizzas seven nights a week! And it paid off. That pizza delivery side hustle made it possible for her to "put 67% of my income toward debt payoff," she said.

Elizabeth’s commitment, dedication and sacrifice lead her to success, and now she is 100% debt-free!

See how she took her future into her own hands and became the hero of her own story!

Desmon and Porsha Paid Off $173,327 of Debt in Less Than 2 Years!

Desmon and Porsha are the poster children for going all in. "We signed up for FPU and I was gung ho from then on," Porsha said. For nearly two years, they stuck to the plan and made temporary sacrifices to reach their goal of becoming debt-free.

They sold their cars, downsized from a 3,500-square foot house to an 1,100-square foot apartment, and even parted with their dining room table! Nothing was coming between this Louisiana couple and their goal of becoming debt-free!

"You have to see beyond your current situation," Desmon said. "You have to see where you want to be more than you see where you are at."

Watch their debt-free scream turned "we will rock you" chant that involved the whole family!

Is It Your Turn?

Whether you’re just starting your debt-free journey, nearing the finish line, or on the fence about the whole thing, know this: You can do it. It is possible for you to get out of debt and know the freedom of not having a single payment in the world! No matter what the circumstances of your situation are, you can become debt-free!

If these people did it, why not you? Start Financial Peace University and take control of your finances today! You’ll learn how to get out of debt, save money, and make lasting changes to impact your future.

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About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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