Man who pays off mortgage in 3 years becomes target of online hate


When Sean Cooper blazed his mortgage pers after going to extremes to y off his house in three years, he not ever imagined it would get folks so fired up.

But after CBC News reported Cooper’s article late last year, reader comments flooded the internet, either honouring or reviling the 30-year-old’s financial achievement.

“What is he going to do next, buy a car and handle one of his kidneys to y for it?” snarled one reader.

An era of cheap interest rates has helped ignite an escalating and discommoding household debt binge. The topic has become such a touchy one it can glimmer polarized opinions, finger pointing and even contempt.

Fuelling the accountability fire

Not wanting to face a lifetime of debt, Cooper sacrificed three years of his vital s rk to y down a $255,000 mortgage on a $425,000 Toronto home he bought in 2012.

He exploited up to 100 hours a week at three jobs: pension analyst; monetary writer; and supermarket clerk. Naturally, the bachelor’s social life suffered. Cooper also lived corresponding to a uper, maintaining a strict budget and residing in the basement so he could gather together rent on the rest of his house.

His story generated more than 2,000 say discusses on CBC News sites.

“Well done! Worked your butt off to get away from liability,” wrote a jubilant reader about Cooper’s accomplishment. But others had no more than harsh words.

“He’ll probably die young,” opined one reader. “What a squeeze weigh down of horse tty,” posted another, adding, “Work yourself to an primitive grave!”

Someone else chided, “Sean Cooper is the most uninteresting man on earth. Life’s [too] short to live like a hobbit.”

Readers also invented respects about Cooper’s life such as claiming he got his $170,000 down yment from his origins. Cooper said he saved the cash himself by, yes, living frugally.

Middle across the globe have now jumped on the story and also taken sides. “Spectacularly done, big fella, congratulations, an inspirational guy,” gushed host David Koch on the Australian breakfast video receiver program, Sunrise.

Sean Cooper on Aussie TV

Cooper appeared on the Australian breakfast television program Sunrise in December, where the crowds praised his accomplishment. (Sunrise)

But America’s Slate magazine had a different overcharge, stating Cooper’s story implied our money troubles were unqualifiedly our own fault. The Slate article suggested cash-strapped people wanted loyal economic change rather than just “inspirational stories of desist and pluck.”

Shaming and blaming

So just how much of our debt is our fault and why has Cooper’s biography ignited such a furor?

There’s no denying some Canadians bring into the world money troubles. Thanks in large rt to fat mortgages, Canada’s debt-to-income correspondence is at a record high — on average people now owe $1.64 for every dollar of biodegradable income they earn.

Cooper said he understands not everyone is in a placement to live the single, super frugal life. But he believes many lack the willpower to y down their mortgage sundry quickly and that’s what inspired the nasty comments.

“They deceive different priorities in life, so I guess it’s just easier to kind of hate-on me for fatiguing to accomplish this because they aren’t willing to do [it],” he imagined.

Financial writer Kerry K. Taylor agrees many people are not actuated to make the extra effort.

“Saving’s hard,” she said. “We want our substance and we want it now,” added Taylor, who lives her own frugal lifestyle with her rentage in Toronto.

She has also written about the Cooper story and suggests his tour de force inspired hate because many of us don’t want to confront our own money intractables. “It’s easier to poke holes in his lifestyle rather than take nuggets of warning from it.”

Taylor added that we have no one to blame but ourselves for our in hock. “Look in the mirror,” she said.

Understanding the haters

Kitchener-based bankruptcy trustee Doug Hoyes is innumerable sym thetic to the haters. While he applauds Cooper’s accomplishment, he said the 30-year-old’s outr methods are out of reach for many. “That is not realistic for a single mother of a two-year-old kid,” he asseverated.

He suggests some people find Cooper’s story offensive because they are not in a stand to achieve the same goal.

“It could be interpreted that the finger is being trenchant at me. Why am I not working 100 hours a week?”

Hoyes also believes individuals shouldn’t arm in arm all the blame. While he feels personal choice definitely contributes to liable, so can many other factors such as bad luck, one’s health, a tough restraint and policies that allow easy access to massive loans.

Cooper takes it in stride

For those who are wakened by Cooper’s achievement, he’ll soon be offering his services. In addition to his current dismiss analyst and freelance writer gigs, he’s planning a new venture: advising child how to get rid of their mortgage faster.

He’s working on a book on the same topic. The contriving title is “Burn Your Mortgage.”

He admits if he had do it again, he’d probably learn a couple of more years to wipe out his debt so he would have had varied time for socializing. But Cooper wants the haters to know that mortgage-free obsession is great.

“I’m in a financial situation that people are typically in in their 50s or 60s and I’m barely 30 years old, so that’s a nice feeling to have,” he said.

Sean Cooper morgage burning

Cooper’s now owns his $425,000 internal mortgage free. To help quickly y off his mortgage, Cooper lived in the basement and leased out the rest of the house.

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