Paying Off $7,200 Of Student Loans In 3 Months Taught Me This
- by DoggedFI
- posted June 8, 2017
I hate student loans with the fire of 1,000 suns. Thankfully, mine weren’t long for this world.
Many friends of mine have large amounts of student loan debt. Fortunately, both sets of parents and grandparents funded the vast majority of my college expenses and I will forever be grateful to them for that. This definitely gave me a leg up on my FI/RE journey. Right after getting accepted into the nursing program, I did have to partially cover tuition and living expenses with two loans.
From that point forward, I carefully contemplated how I would destroy this debt after graduation.
Finally, the day I thought would never come – graduation! Working as a nurse extern (glorified Certified Nurse’s Aide) during the RN program had teed me up for a solid RN job a few short weeks after graduating in May of 2010. Once the money ball began rolling in June, it was the beginning of the end for poor ole loans. They didn’t stand a chance. I managed to pay off $7,261.04 worth of loans and interest in a little less than 3 months.
I probably checked that Nelnet account balance every day, if not multiple times a day. Seeing my account display any numbers above zero intensely fueled my desire to annihilate my loans as soon as possible.
Important Takeaways For Me
1. Fixating on your goal makes it nearly impossible to not achieve it.
I made it my personal mission to destroy those student loans immediately after graduation. Acting with this in mind made me very conscious of my finances and how I could reach my goal quicker. Every expense was carefully considered and some sacrifices were made in order to make more headway on the debt.
2. Not everyone will understand your goals. Find like-minded people who do.
Many people are perfectly okay staying in debt. Furthermore, it can even make them uncomfortable to see you paying your loans off faster than “normal”. Nowadays, a plethora of online forums and blogs that are available for debt killers to congregate in. Syncing up with other kindred spirits on your debt slashing journey can be highly motivating.
3. Having zero debt is an incredible feeling.
The day I made that last payment and became debt free again was spectacular. I felt like I had the proverbial cloud hanging over my head whenever I would think about my student loans. I imagine this feeling is even more magnified at higher loan balances.
4. Continue setting aside money even after the loan is paid off.
Should you celebrate after paying off your student loans? My opinion – absolutely. It’s a great achievement. Hell, buy yourself a nice toy even (within reason!). After you get that out of your system, buckle down and continue saving much, if not all, of your ex-student loan payment and either funnel it toward other debts, build up your emergency fund, or invest in either retirement or taxable accounts.
You don’t have to be a slave to student loan debt. Remember, the minimum payment ≠ the maximum payment on any debt. So for all you fellow debt killers out there…
Share below about how you obliterated/are obliterating your student loans!