We’re in the process of paying off a massive student loan debt. Keep reading to see where we are now and how we’ve been able to make such quick progress on one income!
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I’m posting this a little later than usual, but it’s time for another student loan update! As you may already know, we’ve been working so hard paying off student loans. If you’re new around here, let me fill you in.
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.
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 January’s payment, Josh’s student loan balance was $39,361.96.
I made a payment of $560, which brought the balance down to roughly $38,801.96. This is only an estimate since the loan accrues interest during the few days it takes to process our payment.
It’s so satisfying watching that balance get smaller and smaller. Paying off student loans isn’t how I like to spend our extra money, but it’s a lesson in discipline for sure!
When I look at how much we’ve paid on the loan since September of 2014, I’m amazed. It’s hard to believe that we’ve put $45,380 toward the loan in just 41 months!
It’s been a tedious process, and we still have a long way to go, but I can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel.
Related: Student Loan Update: December 2017
Related: Student Loan Update: November 2017
We’ll be done paying off student loans when…?
Back when Josh and I first got married, I used to estimate when we’d have his student loans paid off. However, since our payments fluctuate so drastically, I gave up that task a long time ago. Honestly, I really don’t know how long it will take for us to pay this thing off. My big fat goal is to have it paid off sometime next year.
Mathematically, this goal is impossible. We’re a one-income family, and we already keep our expenses super low. There are only so many expenses we can cut out or reduce and still live like civilized humans. 🙂
Even so, The Lord always has a way of surpassing my goals, even when they don’t make mathematical sense. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received unexpected funds, either in the form of a raise or promotion for Josh or in the form of a check in the mail. (The legitimate kind, not the kind scammers send out!)
So even though it looks like it will take us around 3 more years to pay off this student loan debt if we continue at our current rate, I have a feeling that The Lord is going to give us exactly what we need to make it happen sooner. Hopefully we’ll be done paying off student loans sometime next year.
…Assuming the Money Drain that is Our House Cooperates!
I don’t want you to think our financial situation is all sunshine and rainbows. In addition to the abundance of unexpected blessings, we also get our fair share of unexpected setbacks. Just since we bought our house two years ago, we’ve had to tear out the guest bath due to mold and rot, buy a new air conditioner, replace 30-year-old carpet with hard floors because of my allergies, and fix extensive termite damage under one end of our house. We’re still waiting for the bill on that last one!
It got to the point that I had to sit down and watch The Money Pit just so I could feel better about our house! Which I do, by the way. Sure, I get frustrated with all of the unforeseen repairs, but I’m still grateful that we get to live here instead of our former spider-infested apartment. And it really is a cozy little money drain. 🙂
So assuming 1) we get a break from unexpected home repairs, and 2) we continue to manage our money wisely, I believe we’ll see the end of this student loan before we know it.
- 4 Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund
- How to Budget Using the Cash Envelope System (and why you should!)
- How to Know Which Financial Advice to Follow
- Want to Take Charge of Your Finances? Dave Ramsey Can Help
- 6 Tips to Score Big at Thrift Stores
- How to Afford a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
Recommended Financial Resources
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
What about you? Do you have any tips for paying off student loans?
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