I’ve realized that I have yet to really lay out my loans for the world to see. I always like seeing these posts on other people’s blogs. It makes you feel like you’re not alone with your debt. So today I’m going to show everyone how much I owe, where I owe and what I have paid off so far.
Stafford 2: Original balance: $5,500.
Remaining balance: $3,815.11
Stafford 3: Original balance: $5,500
Remaining balance: $4,185.83
Original balance: $7,302
Remaining balance: $4,765.64
Total debt: $12,766.58
Loans I’ve Paid Off
Oct 24th, 2014– Paid off first Navient loan.
Original balance: $3,500
December 22nd, 2014– Paid off second Navient loan.
Original balance: $3,500.00
Looking at all my numbers now, the main thing that comes to mind is “Why did I take out a loan for $3,500? That’s nothing!”
I wish I had understood more about what I was getting myself into when I signed up for my loans. I knew I would have to pay them back someday, but I didn’t understand interest or have any idea of how long it would take. What bothers me about my debt now isn’t so much the paying of it (though I do think higher education is grossly overpriced) because I think personal responsibility is really important.
Update for 2017: Hey all! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this post but I wanted to let you know where I’m at with my loans. In the last two years I only have about $4k left in student loan debt. I have paid off all of my private student loans, which was relieving. These loans typically have much higher interest rates and fewer benefits than federal student loans, if you weren’t aware, so I attacked those first. As for my federal student loans, I am continuing with my debt avalanche method. With this, I pay off my highest interest rates first. So I am almost finished paying off my 5.35% interest rate loan and will soon switch over to my 4.25% interest rate loan. Has anyone else used this method? Let me know what you think about it in the comments below!
The fact that I, like so many very young people was basically hoodwinked into this debt and taught nothing about how to manage it bothers me. We are given no tools or education on managing money in this country. We learn nothing about money, finance or debt in public education, leaving it up to our parents. Parents who may or may not have any knowledge to give, depending on what their money situation is. It’s a vicious circle and one where being in debt is seen as a normal way of life. It doesn’t have to be! I look forward to getting myself out of this debt and being debt free for the rest of my life.
By the way, if you’re looking for a good resource on the basics of paying off debt, a lot of people are saying Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover is a go-to source for paying off debt. The book has sold millions of copies and helped hundreds of thousands of people, so his perspective has some value – check it out if you get a chance. It sells on Amazon for like 16 bucks, or you can get a copy at your public library.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.