As you can probably tell by now, I love making these announcements. It was about two or so weeks ago now when I announced that my student loan debt had fallen from about $96 thousand to $94 thousand. Well, the balance just keeps on decreasing! My student loan debt is now clocking in at about $93 thousand and that is before I make a big payment that I planned for later this month.
Earlier this month I was talking to a friend of mine about this student loan debt burden that I carry around. We were talking about this strict repayment plan that I put myself on and how I project being able to repay my New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJHESAA) loan within the next 16 – 18 months. She asked me if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel yet and I had to answer honestly and say no, I can’t see that light yet. Announcements like the one you are reading today are a good source of “feel good” news for me and some of my close friends and family that read this blog, but just because I’m happy that one of my student loans is on the fast track to getting repaid doesn’t mean that I can see/sense/feel the end of this repayment journey.
However, I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel with respect to successfully repaying my NJHESAA loan!
I should define what “success” is for this repayment plan. You may have become aware of this little italicized blurb that I’m including at the end of each student loan repayment-related entry (scroll down and read it if you want). You’ll see that I talk about both of my loans – the NJHESAA one and the United States Department of Education (USDOE) one. You’ll also see that the USDOE loan figure (currently at $55 thousand) doesn’t really change much. There’s a reason for that – success in this repayment plan doesn’t anticipate accelerated repayment on the USDOE loan.
In other words, you’ll know when I’ve achieved success when I have somewhere between $52 thousand to $55 thousand left outstanding in my total student loan debt. When I reach that amount outstanding it means that I probably paid off my NJHESAA loan in full, leaving me with just the USDOE loan. And since the USDOE loan is on a repayment plan that triggers an automatic forgiveness of outstanding debt after 10 years of payments (for me, that will occur in October 2017), I have time to sit back and let that one hang around for a little bit longer.
Or accelerate its repayment. Who knows?
Anyway, since you’re all going to be following my student loan repayment story right here on JerseySmarts.com, you will all be along for the ride as the NJHESAA loan gets smaller and smaller. You’ll know when my repayment plan is almost complete because JerseySmarts.com will erupt in a celebration when that loan is paid off!
In May 2006, I graduated from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree and $120,720 in student loan debt. I currently owe $93 thousand, which breaks down to $38 thousand owed to the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and $55 thousand owed to the United States Department of Education. Follow my student loan repayment story on JerseySmarts.com.