And so it begins…
This is the post I’ve been waiting years to write. Well, I made it. I’m finally here. My student loan debt has stalked me from a distance for seemingly an eternity…until now.
Like many battle weary debt warriors before me, I’ve fought and clawed my way past the understudies:
- $30,000+ in credit card debt? Ha! I carved my name on its coffin.
- $10,000+ in medical expenses? Bam bam! Pummeled into oblivion.
- $700 unexpected dental bill? Karate chop! No sweat.
Now, I step forward to face the giant, the master. The task before me is to defeat a monstrous mountain of debt bondage and despair; to destroy it piece by piece; to pay it down dollar by dollar. Nothing else is in my way now. The tide has turned and I am now stalking it. It will be a long battle, but hopefully not a bloody one.
I’ve been studying my opponent…
The Student Loan Leviathan
I did some math and recalculated all of my student loans. The original loan plus capitalized interest accumulated during school and after graduation during forbearance (1.5 years) totalled $112,258. My current balance typically hovers in the $111k range depending on how much interest has accrued so far in a given month. Over $650 of the $750 minimum monthly payment I make goes to interest.
This is the stuff of nightmares. Children, avert your eyes. I have 12, count ’em, 12 loan groups. The interest rates range from 4.625 to 8.25. Balances of these groups range from $1,561 to $39,418.
|Loan Type||Interest Rate||Original Loan + Capitalized Interest (2013)||Current Balance
(varies w/interest calculations)
Now that I have a minimum level of savings in the bank to keep me from losing sleep over minor unexpected expenses (woohoo!), I will send a test extra payment of $100 to see how making additional payments to a loan group directly on the loan servicer’s website works and if it does indeed reduce the loan principal. I will be following the debt avalanche method, so first up for my attack will be Group C which has an interest rate of 8.25% and a balance of $3,035.02.
I’ll admit, I’ve had a passing interest in looking into one of those refinance companies (SoFi, CommonBond, etc.) to get lower interest rates, but everything that I’ve seen says that you need to practically have a 2:1 income to student loan debt ratio among other criteria to qualify. Ummmmm, yeeeaaahh. I have a regular job, so that’s not going to be a possibility for me any time soon. So…
“In the red corner is Student Loan Leviathan. A heavy weight at $111,000+, it is a notorious killer of dreams, hope and aspiration with many victims left in its wake.
In the black corner is DDSW. A flyweight with only $30k in assets, but boasting a string of debt victories in recent years.
Let’s get ready to RRUUMMBBLLE!”
Oppressive Student Loan Debt, I’ve sacrificed having retirement savings, my own place to live, my health, my own transportation, and more because of you. You stole lives that I could have led; the people that I could have become with more exposure to opportunities that come from taking risks, professional and personal, and by being able to travel etc. Behind you is the beautiful and sweet, sweet land of debt freedom. I’m going forward and you are going down!
Ding! Ding! Ding!