Paying off student loan debt isn’t fun but it’s worth it!
If you are drowning in student loan debt and want to learn how to get out of the student loan nightmare please take this advice. Emily and I graduated with $57,000 in student loan debt and we were able to pay it off in six years all while cash flowing two master programs.
I remember when Emily and I were both sophomores in college thinking about how fast would be able to pay off our student loans. We thought it would be super easy because each of us would be making at least $30,000 a year when we graduated. We were like, oh my gosh… I can’t believe we are going to be making $60,000 a year. We are going to be rich! At the time $60,000 sounded like a ton of cash, especially when neither of our parents made that much a year. But to our disappointment $60,000 doesn’t go very far when you’re trying to pay off the equivalent in student loan debt, add in your taxes, retirement accounts, and living.
When we first graduated we said we wanted to pay off our student loans fast. However, we never created the plan to accomplish that goal. We never even picked a date to pay off our student loans. Without a date how could we even know what fast meant? So for those six years we were just paying off the debt slowly but surely with any extra money that we had at the end of the month. I know had we devised a plan we would’ve been able to pay this off in three years rather than six.
If your goal is to finally get rid of the debt that’s holding you down please follow the steps tried and true steps.
Pick a date and create a plan.
The first step to paying off your student loan debt is determining the date you want to have all your debts paid off. Then advise a plan on how you’re going to reach that goal. Just having a goal in place and written down will increase your chances of achieving it by 42%.
I know for a fact had Emily and I created a plan around a specific date we would have been able to pay off our debt a lot quicker than six years. Because writing it down on paper shifts my mind to think of it as an obligation rather than just a hope or any other half hearted goal I dream up.
Make your debt payment priority.
The second step to paying off your student loans quickly is to make your debt payment the first payment you make in the month. What I mean by this is make your student loan debt payment is your priority above all other expenses for the month.
Like I said before Emily and I were using money we had left over at the end of the month to make our debt payments. This is it took us six years rather than knocking it out in two years, or even shorter. By only focusing on this payment first you’re sure to hit your goal. Make everything else in your budget negotiable. Now, if a life emergency pops up put the brakes on, but make sure it is a true EMERGENCY!
Live like a college student.
Step three of paying off your student loans is to live like you’re in college again. Remember when you were in college eating Ramen noodle. And remember how if you didn’t have the money you didn’t go out. This is how you need to live your life over the next year or possibly two to pay this debt off. You will be making a sacrifice today, but it’ll make everything easier in the future. Also, remember that your sacrifice is some one else’s wish in Africa…that’s what helps me put it all into perspective.
So get in the college mindset and think how you thought back then. If you didn’t have the money you didn’t buy anything. And that’s how you should run your finances while you’re knocking out this debt. In addition look for ways to minimize all of your expenses just like a college student.
By living like student Emily and I have been able to pay off debt, to include our home, and enjoy the things that we do. We never raised our standard of living as far as our monthly budget commitments.
If you follow these three steps you’ll have your debt paid off in no time. And let me tell you, once you make your last student loan payment it feels AMAZING! I believe that you can do this! The question is do you believe in yourself to do this? Start by devising a plan, make your extra debt payment the priority in your budget, and finally live your financial life like you were in college. This might mean you’re eating Ramen noodle once a week. It’s only for a short amount of time and if you made it through college you can make it through life.
I hope this article helps you pay off your debt. Please comment below any tips that you have a knocking out your student loan debt as fast as possible.