Some people with seemingly insurmountable student loan debt spent a good portion of 2011 crying about their debt burden and whining that their dream job wasn’t waiting for them when they graduated. They are in the same “nowhere land” that they were when 2011 started. Other people saddled with insane amounts of student loan debt occupied areas around the nation and accomplished absolutely nothing of significance in the process unless you count spending taxpayer dollars on excessive cleanup and security measures as significant. I opted to spend 2011 focusing on dramatically reducing my remaining student loan debt to a manageable level that would perfectly position me to eliminate the debt in 2012.
Where the student loan burdened crybabies and occupiers failed, I succeeded.
When 2011 began I had $54,385.85 in total student loan debt remaining payable to the United States Department of Education. When 2011 ended I had $34,911.14 in total student loan debt remaining (still payable to the USED). The reason why I share these numbers is because I want people out there with incredible amounts of student loan debt to know that you can defeat your debt and you can do it without the dream job or the six figure salary. You can defeat the debt by working hard and giving up many of the luxuries of life until you can afford them.
I’m not going to recount my point of view on these topics because I’ve done so over and over again in 2011 (and prior years). However, what I thought would be helpful is if I put together a brief list of links to other student loan entries from 2011 that focus on certain topics related to repaying student loan debt.
- January 2011: The Year Begins
- April 2011: Repaying Student Loans Versus Spending Money on Other Stuff
- May 2011: Quoted in USA Today – Again!
- August 2011: Responding to Dumb Comments
- August 2011: Pondering Post-Repayment Financial Goals
- October 2011: Thoughts on the Movement to Forgive Student Loans
- December 2011: The Power of Focus, Research, and Action
Personally, I think that the last entry linked above is a really good one. If you have a few minutes and you haven’t read that one yet, then I recommend giving it a go. Here are some other interesting tidbits regarding the repayment of my student loans in 2011…
- Daily Interest. When 2011 began I was accruing $6.71 every day in interest alone. Today, my student loans accrue $4.30 in interest on a daily basis. It’s not great, but I’ll take a $2.41 reduction in interest accruing everyday! Over the course of a year, that’s $879.65 saved in interest alone. Still think that it’s not worth it to drastically overpay your monthly bills?
- Principal Repaid. In 2011, I repaid a total of $19,474.71 in principal.
- Interest Repaid. In 2011, I paid a total of $2,133.68 in interest. Also, because the tax code is written to reward lazy people with a redistribution of wealth from those of us who work their asses off (i.e. people who aren’t rich, but still work like crazy to earn enough money to repay their debts), I won’t be able to count the full $2,133.68 as a tax deduction. Why? Simple – I worked too hard in 2011 and earned too much money so my eligibility to count the $2,133.68 as a tax deduction is nullified. Think about that – I worked extra hard to earn extra money that I did NOT keep or stick into an account somewhere. Instead, sent that money to the government to repay this loan and that same government is going to penalize me for that hard work in repaying their loan by not allowing me to count the $2,133.68 as a tax deduction. Now tell me how this government is working in the best interests of the hardworking middle class again???
Look folks – either you get busy repaying your debts or you get busy occupying public space and/or crying and whining about something that only you can really change. Getting busy repaying your debts works – my experience proves that time and time again. Bitching and moaning about how your debt is someone else’s problem isn’t going to get you anywhere – the public displays of childishness proved that throughout the latter half of 2011.
Here’s to pushing harder than ever to have my student loans totally repaid by the end of 2012!