A Canadian law school graduate thought it would get a few laughs if he paid his $114,000 law school debt in cash.
The story of Alex Kenjeev, from Montreal, first surfaced when a Reddit user reposted a photo of the $114,000 receipt Kenjeev had posted on his Facebook account on the Reddit website. Under the photo was the caption, Someone I know just paid their student loan, in full... in cash.
Business Insider tracked down Alex Kenjeev, a 2009 law school graduate of the University of Toronto, and asked him what motivated him to pay off his six-figure debt in cold hard bills.
As for why he paid in cash, Kenjeev said he wasn't proving some point about the dangers of credit cards or trying to show off. He just thought it'd be really funny, wrote Business Insider.
It was stressful enough to carry such a big debt load. I thought it would be worth getting a few laughs out of it, Kenjeev, who works for venture capitalist firm O'Leary Ventures, told the news website. Neither bank thought it was as funny as I thought it was.
The lawyer spent years dragging out his student loan payments as he invested his money into a start-up. But, he finally decided to pay off the last $114,000 chunk of his $190,000 loans just one week ago.
When he went to the Royal Bank of Canada to withdraw the hefty amount of cash, management at the bank initially refused him, according to Business Insider. When they finally obliged, they said he would have to pay for armored truck delivery.
Eventually, Kenjeev was able to finagle out of the fee but he had to wait three days for the $114,000 in cash. After so many years of carrying student debt, a few extra days didn't bother me, he told Business Insider.
Once he had the cash in hand, he put it all into a canvas bag, walked to the Scotiabank where his loan was held and handed over the money.
I just plopped the bag down (on the counter), he said. They also didn't know how to handle it. At first the manager didn't want to accept the money.
Although management was at first skeptical, once he showed his official RBC $114,000 receipt, the tellers at Scotiabank got to counting the bills.
Alex Kenjeev's actions were unusual for sure. But he did get some online fame. His story began trending Thursday morning and continued through the afternoon as people search for the story of the man who paid his $114,000 debt in cash.
Did NOT expect all this media but I find it hilarious! he tweeted to his 558 followers on Wednesday.
Whether he would do it all over again is debatable.
I was pretty naive, Kenjeev told Business Insider. I didn't really realize how much of a hassle I'd cause for everybody. You just look at things and you figure cash is simpler than anything else. It took him two-and-a-half hours at the bank before he could leave debt-free.
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.