Once upon a time, I would second guess posting life updates like this for fear of people questioning my decisions. Why does she have to share this for the entire world to see? Who cares?
But it’s today-o’clock, and my decisions are now governed by myself and those whose opinions I care about. Life update: I paid off all of my student loans!
Let’s rewind real quick to get the back story:
To me, debt was always like a Remora fish. Remoras ride and feed off the underbellies of sharks as they swim in the ocean. I thought student debt in particular was something that rode with you from college to beyond, eventually impeding the possibilities of enjoying the good that came with adulthood. In November 2012, right after that six-month grace period, I remember thinking, “Wow, I’m about to pay these loans for 22 years.” I do have to say though that I was very fortunate to even have consistent employment after college, because every article I read was about students graduating and not being able to find jobs much less pay back loans.
Going into my first full-time job out of college, I was on an income based repayment plan. It never occurred to me that my monthly payments could and should be more until one of my coworkers at the time said, “Pay as much as you can now while you’re young and have little responsibility.” She spoke from experience, with urgency and conviction – and in my head I was like oh shit…this is something I can actually do?
Going into my second full-time job out of college, another coworker shared that she would be debt free the following year, which was only a few months away at the time. I was off of the income based repayment plan by then, and was paying whatever the suggested monthly payment was + unpaid interest. Once I began earning more, my monthly payments went up to $800+ per month. In 2018, I officially set a goal to pay off all student loans by end of 2019. There was no way I was going to enter another life changing phase of adulthood (buying a house, having a child, etc.) with the cloud of debt over my head.
Well, update: I can have kids now. But seriously, accomplishing this goal means more to me than you know. Part of my goal to conquer student loans stemmed from wanting to have funds to take care of another human, and eliminating the stress of feeling trapped in a debt. The other part is just not wanting that baggage passed onto my children and family god forbid I pass away.
I’m sharing all of this because I have many more goals that I have not set actionable measures for, and this is a celebration of what happens when I put my mind to something. I know that you are also working on things as well – maybe one of them is paying off your loans. This is a reminder to you (and myself) that you can do anything with determination and consistency!
I would love to hear your stories of accomplishment and how that has impacted your life! Or maybe you’re on that journey now; what do you do to stay motivated? 🙂