It was just a little bit earlier this month when I wrote about how my student loan debt was sitting on the brink of another big break. That big break was smashing through the $50 thousand threshold and entering the $49 thousand area. And, well, I’m pleased to report that I’ve crossed over the brink and managed to successfully reduced the remaining balance of my student loan debt to below $50 thousand!Things are clearly starting to pick up a little bit in terms of my student loan repayment. While I’m not as crazed this year as I was last year in my goal to eliminate the NJHESAA debt, I’m still pretty focused on building a solid financial base for when I do begin to rev up and attack the balance of my USDOE debt. What it comes down to for me right now is making sure that before I start any large, monthly student loan repayments that I’m in a position where any major life change doesn’t knock me on my butt.
For example, let’s say that for some reason one of my roommates has to move out. That would bump my portion of the rent an additional $300 per month or $3,600 per year. Well, before I begin to send thousands of dollars down to Washington, DC to repay my student loan debt, I want to be sure that I’m in a position to be able to pay for any increased costs that may come my way. A more likely example of an increased expense is having to purchase a new car. As I wrote about on here a few years ago, my Chevy Blazer died in August 2008. Since then, I’ve been driving my Mom’s old Honda Civic. I’ve managed to run up the mileage on the Civic to about 140,000. And while I understand that Civics are built to last a long time, 140,000 miles is still a lot of mileage for a car. In the event that I need to buy a new car, I want to be sure that I can put a substantial down payment on the purchase instead of just a few thousand bucks.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time and effort bolstering my cash reserves. Thus far (and without going into any detail), it’s been a pretty successful enterprise. The end result of this success is my being able to slowly shift my focus from building up the reserves to decimating the remaining student loan debt… and that’s what I’m beginning to do.
Stick around at JerseySmarts.com because I’m going to start kicking the balance of this student loan’s ass really soon!
In May 2006, I graduated from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree and $120,720 in student loan debt. After completely repaying over $61 thousand in student loans (not counting interest) from the federal Perkins loan program, the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, and CitiBank, I currently owe $49 thousand to the United States Department of Education’s Direct Loans program. Follow my student loan repayment story on JerseySmarts.com.