In just over three and a half years, we’ve been able to take our total student loan debt from around $80,000 to $37,000! It’s a slow process, but all it takes is a little determination to make it happen.
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It’s time for another student loan payoff update! These monthly updates are where I share our progress as we work toward a debt-free lifestyle.
If you’re new around here, let me fill you in on our particular student loan situation. If you’ve been here before, feel free to skip this section.
Our Student Loan Story
I graduated from college without any student loan debt. My cosmetology diploma, associate’s degree in business administration, and bachelor’s degree in business administration all came from affordable schools. I even took most of my classes online, so I didn’t have to pay for expensive student housing!
My debt-free education was a blessing since Josh had enough student loan debt for the both of us. Growing up, he didn’t have the same support system I had. He didn’t have anyone there to help him pick an affordable school, so he ended up at a very expensive for-profit university.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re very grateful for his education. His bachelor’s degree is in computer information systems, so he was able to get a good job one month after graduating. But that education came with a hefty price tag, one that he wasn’t fully aware of when he signed up.
The Grand Total
In all, he ended up with $75,000-$80,000 in student loan debt. We aren’t sure what the exact amount was because he had been making payments toward the private student loan before we got married. I didn’t keep track of his payments back then, and he doesn’t know how much he paid from March 2014 to August 2014.
When we got married that September, I began paying the bills and keeping meticulous payment records. That month, we paid off the remaining $11,000 private student loan out of our savings account and focused all of our energy on the federal loan, which totaled $64,000.
Side note: Dave Ramsey is the financial expert who gave us the information we needed to pursue financial freedom. His book The Total Money Makeover can help you too!
It’s kind of cool to see how much we’ve been able to pay from year to year. Here’s what our payments in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 looked like:
So let’s talk about our most recent payment!
When I made April’s payment, the student loan balance was $37,782.57.
I made a payment of $680, which brought the balance to around $37,102.57. This is just an approximation since the loan still accrues interest during the few days it takes for our payment to process.
Thoughts on April
April was another good month for us. We didn’t pay as much on the loan as I originally expected when I made April’s budget, but I’m still happy with our payment amount. Each month gets us closer to our big dream of being debt-free, so I can’t complain!
Also, I have high hopes for May’s payment. If all goes as planned, we should either reach, or be very close to reaching, a new milestone!
Wrapping It Up
Well, that’s another student loan update for the books! Even though our progress seems excruciatingly slow sometimes, I’m still happy that we’ve been able to make it this far in a relatively short period of time.
Let’s face it, $75,000-80,000 worth of student loan debt isn’t going away overnight. I just have to remind myself that becoming debt-free is a long-term goal that requires discipline and patience.
If you’re trying to pay off debt too, focus on how far you’ve come and remember to celebrate the small victories along the way. It’s a slow process, but it’s so worth it to achieve financial freedom!
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