When I graduated with my MBA in December 2014, I had close to $60,000 in student loan debt. Ask me if it was worth it and I’ll eventually say yes…after I complain about the fact my student loan payment is the equivalent of somebody’s rent. I was able to study abroad in Italy and find a new passion while in school. I learned tons and much of it I still use today to write this blog, dish out business ideas to my entrepreneurial friends and manage my own investment portfolio. But in all honesty, I think $60k was actually a fair price tag for my 2 years at East Carolina compared to other business schools that don’t offer study abroad opportunities.
Fast forward a year late in December 2015. At this point I had gotten my student loan down to about $56k. Considering the 6.75% interest rate I was paying, I’m surprised I even got that down as much as I did. But none the less, reality set in on December 12, 2015 when I got engaged. In my head I’m thinking:
I’m about to get married. My debt is what’s going to be attached to my train like this baby was walking down the aisle. (see photo)
As much as I know my fiancée loves me, I know for a fact that kind of debt doesn’t fit into his master plan for financial success for our family. So I’ve made it a goal to pay that down as much as possible between now and December 30th. Here’s how I plan to do that:
- Tax Money – I mentioned in a previous post I was going to put 30% of my return towards my student loan. I did. I also used about 50% of my return last year towards my student loan. That got me digging into the principal balance pretty quickly too.
- Limit Credit Card Usage/Paying with Cash – I am only using my credit card towards wedding expenses that I don’t want to pay out of pocket. My incentive to use it for wedding stuff is that for every 100 points I get for using my card, I get $1.00 in return. I’m hoping to get a check for $100 back in the next couple months that I can use that towards paying down my student loan. Also by using cash to pay for groceries and meals, it keeps how hungry I am in perspective. Sometimes after I work out I want to eat a whole 3 course meal, but the cash in my pocket keeps it down to one. It’s probably best for my waist line getting into a wedding dress too.
- Auto-draft Student Loan Payment – You can lower your monthly payment rate by about .25% by signing up for this. Considering how much my principal balance is I’ll take what I can get.
- Double Payment Amount – Literally haven’t bought anything that doesn’t pertain to a wedding, my health/well being, or my job in 2016. Paying down this student loan is so important that I’ve even cut my Starbucks spending. The savings on not spending in those areas are literally the only reason I can double up payments per month.
Now it’s April 2016 and I’ve dug even deeper into the principle balance of my student loan. My balance is about $53k right now. I’ve basically been paying about $1,100/month January to March. Looking at how crazy that number is, I know I’m paying someone’s mortgage on a $180,000 home. Hopefully our next president can help me at least refinance my student loan at a lower interest rate if nothing else. But all in all, I’m hoping to be at about $45k by the end of the year. Please keep me in your prayers as I try to pay down this student loan and pay for a wedding.
I’ll have another post on how I’m budgeting for this wedding and for marriage soon.
Until next post folks…
P.S.: If you’d like to make a donation to my cause, let me know. I’m always open to charity.