[$0] And So It Ends… DDSW Defeats the Student Loan Debt Leviathan

My first post focusing entirely on my student loan debt

 

And so it ends…

It’s done.

It. Is. Finally. Over.

It was 2:20 AM on a weeknight. I was awake… and working. I had a big deliverable due the next day. I was pissed off. I’m usually a very mellow person, but I get cranky when I have to work overnight and can’t sleep like everyone else. I look at the clock and know that I’m not going to get any sleep. I have too much work to do. I know that the whole day at work is going to be stressful… Ugh.

I also know that my paycheck had already hit my account. It hits every payday immediately after midnight. I knew my account balances and knew what I wanted to do. I couldn’t destroy this job, but I COULD destroy the one thing I hated more … this damned student loan debt.                 

I put down my work laptop and got on my personal laptop. I pulled almost all the money from my Life Fund (minus $50 to keep the account open) and moved it to my checking. Then I logged on to my servicer’s website. I passed by the ‘”Pay” button and clicked on the button that said, “Calculate payoff amount”. Then I saw the total payoff amount. It was indeed less than I had in my checking account.  Next to the payoff amount was the “Payoff” button.

As my mouse hovered over the payoff button, I started to cry. Tears of pain.

This was it. All the years of being a slave to this debt. All the sacrifices. All the bullshit I had to put up with…  How I’d hated this debt. This was it…

I hovered over the payoff button again… and clicked…

…and cried some more. Tears of joy, this time.

I was free. I AM FREE!

After pulling myself together, I felt … I wasn’t sure how I felt. Relieved? Satisfied? In shock and disbelief, maybe? Unfortunately, I couldn’t even spend time celebrating. The clock was ticking and I had to get back to work. But I vowed to take some time off work the day after I turned in my work in order to do nothing but bask in the glory of being debt-free. And I did. The following day, I left work early, had a nice meal, but then went to sleep crazy early, because I was so exhausted. So not much basking time, but it was good nonetheless.

I have about $600 in my checking account right now, and that’s ok. I’m not worried. My Emergency Fund ($10,000k) is intact and untouched. $600 can more than carry me until my next check.

Before I published this post, I had to make sure it was really gone. (And I was also too busy with work).  A few days later, I see this beauty:

Isn’t it glorious? I should make a poster out of it and hang it on my wall. LoL.

My student loan over the years

3 years and 8 months ago, in March of 2016, I’d finished paying off over $30,000 of credit card debt and was finally able to turn my attention to my monstrous $112,258 in student loans. I was a little bruised from slogging it out with my infernal credit card debt for a couple of years before that point, but I was ready for the fight.

By April, I’d refinanced my 12 federal (subsidized and unsubsidized) loans with a range of moderately-high interest rates, down to one loan with a significantly lower interest rate. Soon thereafter, I made my first payment, a payment that felt large and small at the same time.

By July of 2016, I’d chopped the balance down to below six-figures, my first of several milestones. I started celebrating every $10,000 drop in my loan amount. I continued my fight and in 2007, I was named a Student Loan Conqueror!

Things started to shift in 2018. By February 2018, I’d paid off half the student loan and could finally feel the load starting to get lighter. By the summer, my original variable interest rate had started to climb quite a bit. In June, I did my second re-finance to get a low fixed interest rate now that my balance was significantly smaller than what I’d started with.

By November, my once super-cool servicer had been sold to Navient, which was bad news, so I refinanced a third time to take my business elsewhere. I got an even lower interest rate as my income had increased a bit by that point. This year, 2019, I refinanced what was left of my student loan for the fourth and last time, because of job uncertainty. And the rest, my friends, is history.

Key Posts about my student loan debt pulled straight from the DDSW Archives.

Thank you!

Thank you, guys. I couldn’t have done it without you.

From advising me to refinance, which is not the best decision for everyone, but it was for me, to supporting me when I fell off the track and succumbed to debt fatigue, to talking me down when I wanted to run screaming from my current job and headlong back into school and likely more student loan debt. You guys told me to take care of myself, but to hold on and stay the course a little longer, if I could, to get this debt paid off. And I did. The student loan monster stalks me no longer. Thank you.

What is next for DDSW?

I’ll make an official Debt Free post and then start figuring out what ‘life after debt’ will look like for me. 🙂
In the meantime, I’ll be busy walking on sunshine…

.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

64 comments

  1. After The Party · 29 Days Ago

    Yay! This is so amazing, and so inspirational! I’m proud of you! ❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  2. kimncolumbia · 29 Days Ago

    Wow, this is fabulous news. Glad this debt is off your shoulder. Onward to building wealth!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 29 Days Ago

      Thanks, Kim! I agree. For me, it’s the best news in years. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • AW · 27 Days Ago

      Congratulations!! Now when you walk into work there’ll be so much more power for you. It’s really just great to look at the world now and have options, freedom to choose what path truly works for you. So happy for you. Would love to hear how the next few months go.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vikingtantan · 29 Days Ago

    OH. MY. GOD!!! Congratulations!!! I’m soooo incredibly happy for you! I’m kinda crying a bit myself out of happiness for you. It’s been a long journey, and I’m so proud of you, my friend. I know I didn’t have nearly as much debt as you had to slay, but remember that feeling of freedom and relief once my numbers were all zeros. Once you’re able to relax a bit from the job, I hope you get time to celebrate and let it soak in. You’re amazing, DDSW. Can’t wait to see where life takes you now. Welcome to the other side. 😀

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 29 Days Ago

      Awww! Thanks, vikingtantan! I’m so glad to finally be on the other side! I need to figure out what’s next for me, but I’m not in a rush. I’m going to catch my breath first.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous mess · 29 Days Ago

    AWESOME! You are such a freaking rock star, DD. And now you’re not just free from debt — you know you have the strength to make the hard choices and stick to them over the long term.

    I’m grinning maniacally, and a little mistily, in glee for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 29 Days Ago

      Ha! Ha! Thank you! Know that you aren’t the only one grinning maniacally and mistily in glee these days. 🙂

      Like

  5. Solitary Diner · 29 Days Ago

    So excited for you! That’s a huge amount of debt to pay off in under four years. Amazing!

    Like

  6. Frugal To FI · 29 Days Ago

    So freaking happy for you! Amazing journey to Debt Freedom. Now to building big financial blocks. Does this give you more freedom to now find a better job more fitting to your happiness? Congratulation DDSW!

    Like

  7. A million congratulations! That’s a staggering amount you’ve paid off in a short period of time. Now every dollar you earn that isn’t committed to other fixed expenses is YOURS TO KEEP (and save and invest). Yaaaaaay!!! All the confetti for you!

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 29 Days Ago

      Ha Ha! Thanks! I love having all the confetti! 🙂
      It will feel weird to be able to keep my paychecks for the first time ever.

      Like

  8. nicoleandmaggie · 29 Days Ago

    Woooo!!!!

    Like

  9. Jane Nuttall · 29 Days Ago

    Well done, you’ve done it. You are an inspiration to others. For keeping going no matter how badly things are. I hope you keep blogging as I’ve enjoyed reading your posts.

    Like

  10. Jillian Ashby · 29 Days Ago

    I’m very happy for you. I feel the same struggle. I hope that you will still write here and there to let us see that being debt free isn’t the end and what it looks like to “do” life without a pulley being attached. Thank you for writing!

    Like

  11. Eri · 29 Days Ago

    CONGRATULATIONS! You finally made it! I am so grateful that you’ve shared your journey and all of the challenges that have come along the way. You’re story is incredibly inspirational! I always looked forward to your posts, and reading them always lit a fire in me and kept me going to! I hope you do something awesome to celebrate! You deserve it!! You are free!!!!

    Like

  12. Terri · 29 Days Ago

    Omg omg omg omg!!!!!!!! I am sssoooo happy for you!!!!! I want you to know you have inspired me so much these past few years. I want to slay my debt like you have done. It will be slower of course but wowwww i cannot imagine how that feels!!!! Yayyyy!

    Like

  13. SharonW · 28 Days Ago

    This may sound weird, but I’m going to suggest you treat yourself by getting a haircut. Your hair is probably long and has been growing all during your epic debt battle. By cutting it off, you free yourself of all the stress history in your body and can feel free and light. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, you deserve to enjoy your freedom.

    I have so enjoyed following your blog and cheering you on from afar.

    Like

  14. tranquility0801 · 28 Days Ago

    Congratulations!! I am beyond excited for you!!

    Like

  15. onevictoryeachday · 28 Days Ago

    ✨OMG!!
    Congratulations!!!!

    I am so so very happy for you ✨

    Like

  16. Maria · 28 Days Ago

    Omg, the monster is finally dead! Congratulations! So very happy for you!!

    Like

  17. czanclus · 28 Days Ago

    Woohooo!!! Debt freedom at last, and may it lasts forever from here on. How does it feel? – I ask a fellow (ex)debt-prisoner. Is it like in the movie Gravity when Sandra Bullock’s character finally returns to Earth after a dizzying saga in outer space, and can barely lift herself up, but she’s back home/free at last?

    When I read your Halloween blog where you dropped a large sum on debt reduction, most of it from your Life Fund, I thought to myself: ‘that’s what I’m going to do. Late January of 2020, I’ll just take whatever I have in my Wage Supplement fund (about 8K), and end this last debt.’ And now, I’m even more psyched to do just that. Just need 4 more paychecks till 8K is all that is left of my student loan debt, which I will then end with that final cut. But, granted, I will be then down to just $1000 of my, to borrow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps term, Baby Emergency Fund.

    Still, it’s a meaningful time for me to do this in the month of January because it will have been 25 years since my family and the 17 year old me came to the US, with two suitcases each and $2K in cash. Not much to show for, barely positive net worth, but at least, after 25 years, I will feel the same as my dad did starting out a new career in a new country with a vast uncertainty of any prospect of survival, let alone success.

    I still hope this job serves you well until you have comfortably absorbed your debt-free situation, and even planned out a move to a place on your own. Looking forward to hearing about your future plans and new victories. A true hero’s battle, this debt saga has been.

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 20 Days Ago

      Hey, czanclus!
      Thank you. It feels good already, but will also take time to sink in once I start being able to keep my paychecks instead of sending them off to the debt collector.

      That’s so great that you are close to being able to ditch the student loan debt for good! It will feel like a weight is off your back.

      Yeah, my priority right now is to build up some cash savings again and think about what the future holds.

      Like

  18. Authoress51 · 28 Days Ago

    Wow! Congratulations! If the Dave Ramsey show was still on, you would be one of those callers yelling, “I Am Debt Free!

    Like

  19. maggiemayat50 · 28 Days Ago

    Congratulations!! You have achieved what many will never do. Please bask in the moment and do something special to commemorate this achievement.

    Like

  20. CATHY E. · 27 Days Ago

    You did it! I have no words I am so filled with Joy! You are an inspiration and things can only go up from here!

    Like

  21. coco · 27 Days Ago

    congratulations!!!!

    Like

  22. Tainted Tiara · 27 Days Ago

    Wow!!!!!!! I am so happy for you! You are a freaking BADASS to the nth degree! I hope you continue to share your journey with us. Now go have fun celebrating YOU!

    Like

  23. amanda · 27 Days Ago

    Congratulations from a long time reader! I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to hear about what’s next 🙂

    Like

  24. ASL · 27 Days Ago

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So happy that you have put your student loan debt to bed. Can’t lie, also feeling a little jealous that you scooped me at the end as our numbers have been tracking so closely. I’ve been tempted to use my savings to pay off my remaining debt and be done before my next paycheck and reading this post may have pushed me over the edge. So very happy for you. Enjoy your freedom!

    Like

  25. C@thesingledollar · 26 Days Ago

    WOW! That was really unexpected news! I’m so happy though. YOU ARE SO GREAT. I’m seriously just overcome with happiness for you and find your dedication to getting this thing out of your life to be so, so inspiring. Now save up some more money and quit that job! 🙂

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 20 Days Ago

      Thank you, C!!!
      You and your blog were certainly part of my inspiration.
      And yes, saving money is next up. 🙂

      Like

  26. Paul, London · 26 Days Ago

    A very big congratulations on your conquering this. The feeling of pride and relief will be with you forever after. I have followed your journey for several years and am extremely pleased you have erased this debt. I hope you will still give us occasional updates on how things are going.

    Like

  27. Avery · 26 Days Ago

    Yessss!!! I’m so so happy for you! After everything you’ve gone through especially the last few months, this moment must’ve made you feel like everything you’ve worked for was worth it in the end. Sending you virtual cheers and can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

    Like

  28. czanclus · 24 Days Ago

    What? No high-five for me? Skipped me… just like that. 😦

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 20 Days Ago

      Sorry, czanclus. 😦
      I’m catching up on replying to all the great comments. Rest assured that it was not intentional in any way! 🙂

      Like

  29. Broke designer · 23 Days Ago

    OMG!! I am SO excited for you!!. I’ve been reading all your posts since the first one throughout all this year and it’s been such an inspiration on my own debt free journey (I am only starting). This is it! you made it! I am at the other end of the world (Argentina) and I dont know you but I feel truly happy for you!, you´ve giving us all hope. Thanks for being there, it is really difficult to go through this. Congratulations again, and can’t wait to start reading about your debt free well earned life! you go gurl! Cheers!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 20 Days Ago

      Hey Broke designer!

      Wow, thanks for reading through all my posts. Yes, it took me several years to get here, but there is life on the other side.

      Thanks, gurl! 🙂

      Like

  30. No Debt But Love · 23 Days Ago

    Congratulations! You did it!😃

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 20 Days Ago

      Thank you! Yes, FINALLY!! 🙂
      Yours will be gone in no time. You’re at the end too.

      Like

      • No Debt But Love · 20 Days Ago

        I’m trying my best not to let this stress me out any further😂😂😂. So ready to be over this.

        Like

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