Any day now I should be achieving two separate student loan milestones. As you might imagine from the opening of this entry – yes, I’ve reduced my student loan debt once again. This time around my total outstanding debt has dropped another $2 thousand to go from $34 thousand down to $32 thousand. Again, considering that I began my repayment during the summer of 2006, I think that this much of a drop is pretty damn impressive – but I would think that about my own accomplishment, right? 🙂The real stories here, though, are the two big repayment milestones that I’m closing in on: repaying a total of $90 thousand in principal and breaking through the $30 thousand threshold. Both of these milestones are incredibly close to being a reality. For example, after my next thousand dollar payment I’ll have repaid $90 thousand in total principal and over $30 thousand in interest. Shortly thereafter (or possibly at the same time), I’ll break through the $30 thousand threshold and my student loan debt will be sitting in the $20 thousands for the first time since the end of my Sophomore year in college (that would be way back at the end of the Spring 2001 semester).
Much like my last few student loan entries – there’s no major words of wisdom for me to impart right now. Like I wrote a few months ago – I’ve reached this point because I put the brain that the good Lord gave me to work in figuring out a solution to my student loan debt versus crying about how much debt I accumulated while in school.
Like Morgan Freeman says in the Shawshank Redemption – either you get busy living or you get busy dying. In this case, I could have gotten busy bitching about my debt or gotten busy working my ass off so I could repay it. After a few years of making the minimum payments, at the beginning of 2010 I chose to get busy working my tail off so I could repay the debt. And I’m clearly in a better financial place because of that decision.
If you’ve got a ton of student loan debt, then you need to make the decision that works best for you and don’t wait. Hopefully, my experience proves that getting busy repaying your student loan debt is the best choice.
In May 2006, I graduated from Rutgers University with a Masters Degree and $120,720 in student loan debt. Since I started repaying my student loans in July 2006, I’ve repaid a total of $89 thousand in principal to various lenders including the federal Perkins loan program, the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, and CitiBank. I currently owe $32 thousand in principal to the United States Department of Education’s Direct Loans program – a loan which started repayment in July 2006 with a balance of $59 thousand. To date, I’ve repaid well over $30 thousand in interest to these lenders. Follow my student loan repayment story on JerseySmarts.com.