Alexa Oswald remembers her first day at boot camp vividly. Feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy clouded her head. Her experience as a taekwondo instructor hadn’t prepared her for this.

As she entered the classroom for the first time, her class advisor held open the door and said something that made Alexa scoff: “Get ready. This class is going to change your life.”

“At the time, I thought it was cheesy,” Alexa reflected. “But it turns out she was really right.”

Enrolling in the Trilogy-powered University of Richmond Coding Boot Camp really did change Alexa’s life, guiding her toward a new career and greater financial security—and none of it would have been possible without the help of a loan.

Before boot camp, Alexa juggled multiple restaurant server jobs and worked evenings as a taekwondo instructor. She wasn’t struggling to pay her bills, but she knew there was more out there for her.

“I felt like I was a wheel in a rut,” Alexa said. “I wasn’t exactly moving backward, but I also wasn’t moving forward. I needed a big push.”

Alexa’s push came in the form of a Facebook ad for coding boot camps. She asked a few of her computer science friends for their thoughts on the program, and they encouraged her to give it a shot.

As she investigated further, Alexa realized boot camp was the perfect path forward for her. When it came to the cost, however, she was at a loss. The boot camp would put a significant dent in her savings, which almost completely ruled it out as a possibility for her.

Undeterred, Alexa contacted the University of Richmond to learn about her options. They let her know that companies like Climb Credit offer private student loans to people across the U.S. to support additional educational opportunities, including boot camps.

“I researched their website some more and decided it was the best option,” Alexa said. “Their customer service was great and it was easy to understand exactly what I was responsible for.”

Alexa applied and was soon approved for a loan. She was now on her way to boot camp.

Boot camp kept Alexa busy. She worked diligently on group projects and take-home assignments, tackling each task as it came along. As Alexa’s skills began to increase, so too did the demand of the boot camp, ensuring there was always a fresh challenge for Alexa to sink her teeth into.

While the boot camp was in session, Alexa was only responsible for the interest on her loan. This gave her some much-needed financial flexibility, allowing her to focus on her schooling rather than her banking.

“I didn’t have to worry about carrying the full weight of the loan during boot camp,” Alexa said. “That took such a burden off my shoulders that might have otherwise derailed my future.”

After completing boot camp, Alexa reached out to friends in her professional network to look for opportunities. She now has a job at Capital One as a contract developer—a role she never would have envisioned herself in before boot camp. Looking back, she’s proud that she took the leap and is thankful the loan made it possible.

“If I hadn’t been approved for that loan, my life would be so different,” Alexa said. “Since I was approved, I was able to get the education I needed to start on an exciting and fulfilling career path.”

Financially, she’s a lot more comfortable these days.

“I feel a lot more secure in my future now,” Alexa said. “I’m not as worried about having to balance multiple jobs—I still have time to teach taekwondo after work, but now it’s purely passion. I feel much more balanced now.”

Nothing should stop you from taking control of your future. Explore Trilogy-powered programs in web development, data analytics and cybersecurity and see if one is right for you.

Article by Trilogy Education, originally published in the T60 blog. Reprinted with permission.