As Frankie sang in My Way, “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.” After last month’s student loan update where I announced that I only had $3 thousand remaining in total student loan debt, you can probably guess what this update is about. As of a few days ago, my student loans are down to just $1 thousand. To be more precise, I’m down to about $1,150 left outstanding on the loans. And yes, I can absolutely tap into one of my savings accounts and repay this balance tomorrow if I wanted to, but the plan to fully repay the loan right after the middle of August remains in place.For some reason, I feel a bit of a connection with this Sinatra song as it relates to my student loan repayment plan. I really did do this whole thing my way. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me over the years that I should slow down my repayment because student loans are “good debt” and the interest rate (which started at 4.50%, but went down to 4.25% when I accepted automatic payments from the United States Department of Education) is a “good rate.” Other people suggested that I should accelerate my payments even more than I was doing (which, frankly, would have been impossible). In fact, ever since these student loans went from a 5-figure outstanding balance to a 4-figure outstanding balance, I could have paid them off with little-to-no harm done to any of my long-term savings accounts.
But that wasn’t part of the plan.
My plan was to make a series of calculated payments that I charted out on a custom-made spreadsheet (a version of which you can download here) and to revisit that spreadsheet as well as my personal financial accounting on a daily basis. That was the plan and that’s what I did. And now here I am with just $1 thousand left to pay on my student loans. Regardless of the funds that I have sitting in any number of savings or checking accounts, the plan dictates that the final payment will be made slightly after the middle of August – and that’s when I’m going to make it.
Researching the situation, creating a plan, and sticking to the plan is what brought me here. I’m not going to change that plan just because I’m steps away from the finish line.
I know I don’t even have to tease the next student loan update, but why not? Stick around, everyone… The next student loan update will be coming in August just after the middle of the month and it’s going to be a pretty big one!
In July 2006 I began repaying $120,603.31 in student loan debt. This debt is comprised of $106,070.00 in loan principal, $12,434.58 in capitalized interest, and $2,098.73 in closing and refinancing fees. To date, I’ve repaid a total of $120 thousand in principal and more than $28 thousand in interest. 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) in April 2012. I currently owe about $1 thousand in principal to MOHELA. Follow my student loan repayment story on JerseySmarts.com.