Believe it or not, it was a little under a month ago when I last wrote about how I was coming to the end of this long, drawn out, extended student loan repayment process. Well, as the headline of this entry suggests I’m now down to approximately $3 thousand left in total student loan debt. That’s a $4 thousand drop in the last month. I wouldn’t be able to make this payment if it was not for the online college where I work part-time as a mentor. Folks, if you stumbled upon this site and you’re wondering how I’ve been able to repay $117,000 in student loan principal in just about 7 years (only half of which where I really focused on repaying these loans), the answer is a crazy mixture of being frugal and spending your free time working more than a typical 9-to-5 job. I expect that I’ll have a few entries prepared prior to the end of this repayment plan explaining in more detail about how I managed to repay this loan so efficiently.For those of you who have been following along on this blog during my repayment journey, you know that I frequently reference the financial discipline that is needed in order to make this whole thing work. I also reference the different tools (spreadsheets) that I’ve created to help me along in this aggressive repayment plan. As of this entry, I’ve used those tools to determine what the date will be of my final student loan payment. According to my plans, that date should be coming right after the middle of this August.
The other somewhat exciting thing that my spreadsheets show is that almost immediately after this repayment plan is over, I’ll be able to finally reap the financial rewards that my many jobs should have been providing me over the years. For example, after this repayment plan ends in the middle of August, I’ll be just two weeks away from a new semester starting. And when the new semester starts, I’ll be teaching again at the local college which means I’ll begin earning the few bucks that they pay adjuncts; in the past I’ve always used that income to repay the loans. Then, two weeks after that job starts, I’m scheduled to receive the next payment from the online college where I mentor students. That’s all the while my regular pay continues to come in and the biweekly adjunct income continues through the week before Christmas.
Since I began teaching part-time in the Fall of 2007, I’ve never really held on to any of that money. Just about all of it has gone towards repaying these student loans. It’ll be a nice change to be able to take some of that money and bolster my savings, investments, and retirement accounts to the levels that they should be for a 32 year old. And that’s an important point to make: I’m not going to squander any excess income that may come from these secondary employment positions. Instead, I’m going to use that extra income to increase my investments and retirement accounts.
The next few weeks should be fun leading into the end of this repayment plan. And the few months following the end of the plan should be fun to say the least!
On May 14, 2006, I graduated from Rutgers University with a master’s degree and $120,720 in student loan debt. In July 2006 I made my first payment on these student loans and, so far, I’ve repaid a total of $118 thousand in principal. My lenders include the United States Department of Education’s (USED) Perkins loan program, the USED’s subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan programs, the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority’s NJCLASS program, and CitiBank. The USED sold my student loan to the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) on April 16, 2012. I currently owe about $3 thousand in principal to MOHELA. To date, I’ve repaid over $35 thousand in interest to these lenders. Follow my student loan repayment story on JerseySmarts.com.