Student loans are not fun. Halcomb Singler, LLP, has spent a considerable amount of time blogging about why it is a bad idea to co-sign for student loans and encouraging people to avoid taking out student loans all together. However, sometimes it is too late. Sometimes you have already taken out student loans and not it’s all about paying them back. Since attending a private law school is quite expensive, the author of this blog post knows a thing or two about the pain of paying off student loans.
If you are reading this I hope you are past the point of paying the minimum amount owed on your student loans each month. I hope you are mad. Mad about having to make a payment every month and paying as much as you possibly can to take this money sucking debt out of your life. It is important to note that I did not invent the idea of getting mad at your debt. I believe Dave Ramsey (if you haven’t heard of him you should probably google him right after reading this blog) was the first person I heard talking about getting mad about your debt, but there have certainly been others. Also, if you are an Indystar reader, I am fairly certain that Pete the Planner has spoken about getting mad at your debt so that you get it paid off that much faster….if you don’t read Pete’s column in the Indystar and his blog, you should.
But, what does getting mad about your debt mean? And how does that help you to pay it off faster? Lets be honest, being mad that you have debt doesn’t solve anything, but it’s a start. Being mad about your student loan debt is better than thinking about it as a utility bill, not thinking as the minimum automatic payment comes out of your account every month and surrendering yourself to the idea that you will die with student loan debt. So, first get mad. Think about all of the things that you could do with the money you are paying on your student loan each month and what you could be using that money for instead. I think it is helpful to qualify the amount you are spending on your student loan. For example, I tend to think of my student loan payment as the equivalent of a payment on a Range Rover. In real life I would never buy a Range Rover. They are far too expensive, costly to maintain and guzzle gas. But, I think they are pretty and if I inherited a fortune one day I might consider buying one. So, think about your student loan payment and what it means to you. Use that as ammo to get mad about continuing to owe money for your education months or years after you graduated.
Now that you are mad, what should you do? You should figure out how to pay more every month to the student loan company so that you can beat this terrible payment for good. Calculate whether you can take additional funds from to throw at your student loan debt and figure out how much faster you will be able to pay the student loans in full. Maybe you are not going to go out to eat, maybe you’ll get a roommate, sell some stuff, or get a second job to make additional payments. Read some blogs about people who paid off a lot of student loan debt in a short amount of time and get excited as well as inspired. One of the best blogs I have read about paying off student loans is www.nomoreharvarddebt.com. The blog is great and focuses on how the author paid off $90,000.00 of student loan debt in seven (7) months. Like I said, worth reading because 7 months is not a typo.
Finally, as you implement your plan for paying off student loans, you will begin to see that you are making more and more progress toward your goal, which will inspire you to do everything that you can to get the student loan(s) paid. Have you successfully paid off a significant student loan or loans in a short period of time? I’d love to hear your comments about your successful strategies.