Throughout my student loan repayment journey, I’ve had good days and bad days. There are days that I feel so close to financial freedom but then, there are other days that I feel so defeated by this entire repayment process. The burden of it all feels heavy on my shoulders and although I’ve carried it around for years, it’s something that I’ll never get used to.
Debt free is what I’m striving for.
If you’re looking to see real progress in your repayment journey, you’ll never see it with only one payment. However, the impact of making 60 or so payments is another story. Well…it’s actually my story.
Throughout my student loan repayment journey, momentum has been my best friend. And knowing how powerful momentum can be kept me motivated especially on those bad days.
Think of it like this, one payment is a snowball but the compounding effect of multiple payments is an avalanche. Be persistent and trust that you are building the momentum to create an avalanche that you will need to crush your student loans.
Quick Recap From Last Quarter
After grad school, I accumulated $63,000 in student loan debt and three years later I’ve paid off over 70%. I want to finish paying off my student loans by June 2017 which means I’ll finish six years ahead of schedule. If you missed Quarterly Update II, three months ago I had two goals 1) reduce by balance to $16,000 (pay off $3,500 in 3 months) and 2) have only two accounts left to repay. So, how did I do?
Quarter III Accomplishments
As of today, (July 8th), my balance is $15,788.18.
I surpassed my goal and paid $3,635 which is $135 more than my goal. I stretched myself to pay more these past three months, but it was worth it.
My daily interest rate is now $2.82 ( that’s a saving of $0.75 per day)!
Quarter III Challenges
I did not accomplish my second goal of only having two accounts left to repay.
However, my student loan lender finally has an easier way to apply payments to specific accounts. I’m planning to tackle the account with the smallest balance first next quarter. I still have 3 accounts left to repay at this point.
I’m having a hard time appreciating my progress these days. I thought I would be happy that I got my student loan debt down to $15,000, but I’m not feeling enthusiastic about it.
Instead, I’m more focused on my next milestone.
I can’t wait till I get my debt down to $9,000. From five digits to four digits would be huge! In a way being focused is a good thing, but I don’t want to lose sight of how far I’ve come.
What do I want to accomplish in the next 3 months?
- Reduce student loan balance to $12,000 ($3,790 in 3 months). This is a stretch from last quarter, but I know I can make it happen!
- Pay off the account with the smallest balance.
- Have only 2 accounts left to repay.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.