You need to pay off your student loans like you’re life depends on it… because, it does. Don’t end up like Bob, pictured above. Bob is 80 and still has student loans. Bob’s sad. Learn how not to be like Bob below.
Okay, you probably don’t appreciate my poor attempt at humor because you recognize how much student loans suck. Student loans can literally slurp the life out of you during your 20s, 30s, and even beyond for some.
If you are anything like me, you were a dumb 18 year old once upon a time and decided that you needed student loans to achieve your dream of higher education, and suffered the consequences- aptly pictured below.
Hopefully someone who reads this is not yet in college . I implore you to not take out crazy student loans. Trust me, you’re future self thanks you! Student debt in America literally grows by $2,726 every second!!!!
I was lucky and only had around 10K in student loans after completing Graduate School. This was a result of multiple jobs, scholarships, and assistantships. After I got married, we paid off these loans in about 4 months (learn how below).
While I managed to have the sense and “cents” to reduce my student loan amount, many of my friends were of a different mindset. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have many friends who were more than 100K in debt after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree and only pay minimum payments!!!!!
I can’t call them stupid, because most simply didn’t know better. In America, 18 year olds are given the opportunity to make the “adult” decision of taking on subsidized or unsubsidized loans that are basically thrust on these poor chaps like a milk bone set in front of Fido. We wouldn’t get mad at Fido for grabbing the treat after we leave for work, and similarly, I have no room to criticize students who take the easy money handed out by the Government.
What they fail to explain is that these loans are un-bankruptable, meaning, they will follow you around until you DIE! This is obviously lowers your quality of life, so how do you pay them off quickly? I’m glad you asked… 😉
- Mind-power. The first step is to mentally tell yourself that these loans are bad and your life will be better if you sacrifice now to become free, AKA: Delayed Gratification. You gratified your way through college, now it’s time to buck up and knock this debt out. You literally have to “self-speak” this “why” mindset into existence.
- Deny Yourself. You probably have this little voice in your head saying, “This loan is never going to be paid off, or perhaps, “I can have still have a decent life if I only make the minimum payments.” That voice doesn’t want you to be free. It wants you to be comfortable. If you want to be student loan free, and eventually financially independent, you have to deny the desire to live the “normal” American life and make sacrifices to pay off your student loan as quickly as possible!
- Write it Down. Like any other goal, paying off a student loan has to be written into existence. You will have so much more motivation if you make a physical chart (yeah, paper) showing how much you plan to pay each month to get out of student loan debt as quickly as possible. As you go through this journey, cross off each completed step. This visual reminder every day will maximize your staying power within the plan. Stick it the fridge for maximum visibility.
- Grind Hard. Yeah, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It’s easy to make a chart and even pay down the debt for the first month. Some of you will have to battle student loans for years and make sacrifices that I didn’t have to. I empathize with you. My encouragement is that it’s worth it. It’s so awesome to never owe Sallie Mae another dime! You can do it to!! Stick with it. Battle on. If you fail for a month, don’t give up. Pick it back up the next month! Before you know it, the small victories in debt reduction will begin to give you hope.
- Enjoy Your Freedom. Once you hit that finish line, and you make the final payment, you will have an amazing feeling of euphoria. Soak it up- you’ve earned it! Your budget will have so much extra money now that it’s not all going towards student loans. After you’ve had a little fun, it’s probably time to think about SAVING SOME OF IT.
Have you paid off your student loans yet? Share your student loan payoff tips in the comments below!