First things first, I’m probably not the first person you should take financial advice from. I am not a financial guru, I can barely add, except when someone owes me money, then I’m Einstein! It took me almost a decade to pay off my student loan, but guess what, I’m here with a degree and zero regrets… and it feels so, so good!
The purpose of announcing this milestone is to not only celebrate accomplishing a very long-term goal but to serve as an inspiration to others in the very same position. A few years ago, I could not imagine closing out this chapter, the burden seemed too heavy. There were many days I wanted to burn my degree and many days spent wondering if the debt was at all worth it. Trust me, it was. College was one of the best experiences of my life, filled with invaluable lessons and lifelong memories with friends that I consider family.
So, how did I do it? Slow and steady and on my terms. I met my monthly payments and doubled or tripled whenever I was able to. When I was fortunate enough, I dropped a chunk of money and had help from my inner circle. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were many months when I was late and Sallimae/Navient would harass my mother and me, and I’m sure it was illegal because they were relentless! I never sacrificed living and booked every trip I wanted to and bought every bag I wanted to.
The route that I took may not necessarily work for you if you’re faced with debt but my advice for you remains the same, do it on your own terms. Don’t ignore your responsibility, learn how to manage living life while in debt. If you’re not as responsible to get the job done on your own, think about enlisting the help of a financial manager, a family member or friend to help chart the way forward. It’s possible, just look at me!
So, what now? The next goal on the list! If I put myself through four years of college, paid off my debt there’s nothing I can’t do! Dream big!