Author Topic: Paid off student loans!!!!  (Read 8340 times)

charlie42

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Paid off student loans!!!!
« on: December 22, 2014, 05:07:06 PM »
Hi everyone,

I have been a long time lurker on this site, always tryng to find inspiration to help me get through paying off my student loans.

I am a pharmacist who has been out of school for two years, but racking up almost $200,000.00 in student debt!! Although it was one the best moments in my life to graduate from the grueling program, it was also one of the scariest knowing that I had to pay all that back. Although the pay can be great, it has been very difficult to find a full time job in a very competitive environment (saturation problem).However, I put my nose to the grind and just kept at it for the past two years and just made my last payment!!! I would literally save enough for tax purposes and use the rest to pay off the loan!

I'm 31 years old and living at home. Not the ideal, knowing I could have lived on my own, purchased a brand new car (plus all the other goodies that come along with it) like 99% of my classmates, but I chose a different route. I just put my ego aside, moved in with my parents (they are the best) and drove the same car that I have had for the past 13 years. No new clothes, heck even the same shoes from 8 years back.....but I ultimately had one goal in mind....to pay off those loans.

Thank you to all of the users on this site, your posts and threads, that have been a huge inspiration to me and helped me push through dark moments when I felt this day would never come!!! To other readers and lurkers out there that feel hopeless, it can be done....it's hard work, but def. worth it!

iluvzbeach

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 05:27:12 PM »
Congratulations!! This is a huge accomplishment and goes to show it can be done with the right focus! Keep up the awesome work and you've got a very bright financial future ahead of you.

OR

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 06:33:09 PM »
Bad ass!  It took me two years to plow through 60k in student loans.  You did 200K in that amount of time.  Rad!  String together another 6 years at that rate and you be set.  Or dial things back a bit and you'll be done in 8-10 years.  Dominating life ain't easy, but your doing it.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 08:07:07 AM »
Sweet!!! Congrats. DW and I have racked up $270k in student loans and are looking to maximize the repayment. Any tips or tricks you care to share???

iris lily

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 08:11:38 AM »
That is great.  GREAT!!!!!  yay, way to go!

That's a ton of monkey to get off of your back.

RelaxationSpecialist

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 09:00:51 AM »
WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congrats!!!! Strong work pulling it off in two years! Thanks for the inspiration!

otherbarry

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 10:53:57 AM »
Moving back home? That's the most impressive part in my opinion. I would have had to rationalize another year or two of debt payments just so I could live on my own, but good for you.


SingleMomDebt

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 11:35:35 AM »
That is way bad ass! Nice job taking the road less traveled. It's gotta be great that you can enjoy the career without the financial burden.

charlie42

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2014, 04:23:38 PM »
Thank You Everyone!!

It feels amazing to know that I can live my life on my own terms, and not have to stress about making those monthly payments etc...

otherbarry: I completely agree with you. It was a rather hard decision to make at that time. Although it's not for everyone, I just took a deep breath, left my pride and ego at the door lol...and just "manned up" and did what I had to do. At the same time, my parents were really supportive of my decision and helped in any which way they could. I def. shaved off many years of student debt repayment by deciding to stay at home for a few years...highly recommend it!!!

thurston howell iv: I think the biggest barrier def. has to be the psychological toll that a $$$ amount presents. Seeing how much was left, especially on days when you are rather tight on money, makes for rather difficult and depressing times. It seems like your stranded on a desert island sometimes. Also, having to just say no to friends and/or family when going out to particular events, clubs, bars, dinners, or even movies, can be hard. But, ultimately it's just telling yourself that temporary pain equals long term gain. I wasn't going to put my financial future into disarray because I wanted to spend $50 on a steak....although appetizing, I had bigger goals in mind.


The biggest thing that I learned during these past two years is that it can be done! I don't think I would have learned anything about finances, investing, budgeting, planning, this forum, etc.... if I didn't go through the process that I did. Moving forward, life will most likely present very difficult times emotionally, physically, and I'm sure financially....but knowing that I came out fine after these two years, I know that I can def. get past anything that is thrown my way. Bring it ON!!!

NinetyFour

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2014, 04:57:14 PM »
Nice work!!

MsWillow

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 06:00:42 PM »
Great job in such a short time! You will be FI in no time.

Exhale

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2014, 09:27:46 AM »
DW and I have racked up $270k in student loans and are looking to maximize the repayment. Any tips or tricks you care to share???

I paid off my student loans early twice - once for undergrad and once for grad. I did it on a low income and am still very proud of having been able to do it.

Here are my tips:
1) You will feel awesome when you accomplish this. Trust charlie42 and me on this one.
2) At first just make the payments, but don't look at the total because it'll feel impossible and depressing.
3) To stay positive I made a game out of it. If I had any extra funds, I'd send in an extra payment. It really does add up.
4) The good news is that, once you get going, the amount starts coming down fast. I was amazed how, after a slow start, it snowballed. At this point it's fine to look at the diminishing balance and celebrate!

Good luck!

Gray Matter

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2014, 09:44:07 AM »
...Although it's not for everyone, I just took a deep breath, left my pride and ego at the door lol...and just "manned up" and did what I had to do. At the same time, my parents were really supportive of my decision and helped in any which way they could. I def. shaved off many years of student debt repayment by deciding to stay at home for a few years...highly recommend it!!!

That's an AMAZING feat (paying off the SLs, not leaving your pride and ego at the door, though that may have been difficult, too).  It's an indictment of society that you had to set aside your pride/ego in order to do this, rather than being really proud of what you were doing to get out of debt.  You set a wonderful example!

OR

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 10:20:24 PM »


As exhale stated above:

"3) To stay positive I made a game out of it. If I had any extra funds, I'd send in an extra payment. It really does add up."


This tip is key.  Breaking the seal on making the extra payments in tough.  Just do it.  The first payment is the toughest.  You are buying your future self some freedom.  "What is $400 going to do?" is what I used to think.  But, once you start doing it, things start to snowball.  My loans were broken down by semester (6 total after 3 years of grad school), so I started snowballing one, and then another and another and . . .

LadyStache

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 10:11:35 AM »
DW and I have racked up $270k in student loans and are looking to maximize the repayment. Any tips or tricks you care to share???

1. Many loan servicers will reduce the interest rate by .25% if you sign up for auto-pay. Do this if you have not already, and then make extra payments on top of it whenever possible.
2. Pay off the highest interest loans first.
3. Check you loan/borrower benefits to see if there are any other ways to reduce the amount you will pay over the life of your loan. Some of my loans offer a 2% interest rate reduction after a certain number of on-time payments and other loans offer 6 waived payments after making 114 on-time payments or something similar. Knowing this, I chose not to pay the loans with these benefits off in advance and instead focus on other loans.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2015, 11:55:00 AM »
Congrats!  I only have $2K left on my MBA and have it budgeted for February to kill that loan and the payments on kid#3's braces...after that, our only debt will be a rather modest 3.75% mortgage!

We will be FIRE in 3-5 years!

b4u2

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2015, 12:27:08 PM »
Awesome job! I crushed 27k in debt this year and the snowball just keeps growing!

RichWard

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 09:25:12 PM »
Congrats! Another example of perseverance beating debt!

caliq

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 09:43:36 PM »
Although the pay can be great, it has been very difficult to find a full time job in a very competitive environment (saturation problem).

First of all, congratulations!  That's a huge amount of debt and a very short time -- I only hope I can do as well when I start paying mine off.

That said, I hope you don't mind if I ask where you're located?  I'm planning on going to pharmacy school, starting Fall 2017.  I know the job market can be tough but based on going over my academic/work record with the pharmacy admissions dean, I have ~95% sure admission to an East Coast in-state public school that I think is top 25, with a total cost of <80k.  I don't think I'd even apply to other schools if I wasn't accepted, I'd just work another year and reapply.  I'm also planning to move to a rural Midwestern area after graduation, so I don't anticipate as much competition as I would have if we stayed here.  Plus I'm flexible with hours (would prefer second shift actually) and my husband's parents work in the local healthcare system where we want to move and have assured me there's always openings for pharmacists.  That said, the internet pharmacist forums (studentdoctor.net for example) are SUPER negative about the job outlook and it's scaring me a little bit.  Do you think it's really as rough out there as they say, if you're not set on a cushy coastal metro area job? Or is it more that people with bad experiences are more likely to be vocal about it?  Thanks!

Sorry for hijacking your thread, congratulations again!  Must be a huge stress relief. 

Middlesbrough

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2015, 01:16:12 AM »
Congrats! That is quite impressive.

Davids

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2015, 08:47:18 AM »
Wow, if I am reading this right you paid of $200K Student Loan debt in 2 years? That is unbelievable. Congrats.

NICE!

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2015, 01:33:39 PM »
How'd living with the parents affect your social life and/or dating?

This truly belongs in the badass category. We have a winner.

Calvawt

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2015, 02:00:40 PM »
One of the best success stories I have seen in a while.  I work with pharmacists, physicians, and dentists and most of them are not good with money.  I know they don't prioritize their debt because it can seem so insurmountable.  You saved yourself so much money that it's not even funny!

charlie42

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2015, 10:31:08 AM »
Thanks Everyone!!!

caliq: It's hard not to type in pharmacy prospects into the search engine and retrieve tons of negative feedback about the profession and it's future. Ultimately, be smart about your finances in school (keeping that tuition loan under control), go into it for the right reasons (there are tons of other professions that WILL be making more money if $$$ is your motive), and just work hard and try to have a positive attitude. It's hard, but not impossible, to find the right opportunity.....but just keep working hard and grinding it out till you get it!!

NICE!: dating was def. and obstacle. However, telling someone the reasons for living at home and the financial stability for a brighter future seemed to resonate with a few individuals. Some dates found it odd and did not want to go any further into the relationship knowing that I was living with my parents, but ultimately it did work out because I found someone awesome who applauded my tenacity and willingness to defeat my debt and to move forward in much better standing. She gave me comfort and motivation to fight through it, I am forever grateful!

Ultimately, being almost a couple of weeks debt free has been awesome. The only obstacle right now, as weird as it may sound, has been trying to spend money on myself. I have been accustomed to for the past two years to not spend hardly any money on myself or my "wants", and now having it budgeted to allow for "fun money" or "play money", it still feels odd, and sometimes I even feel guilty , for spending any money......does anyone find this strange, or will this feeling go away?

Thanks.

caliq

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2015, 10:51:55 AM »
Thanks Everyone!!!

caliq: It's hard not to type in pharmacy prospects into the search engine and retrieve tons of negative feedback about the profession and it's future. Ultimately, be smart about your finances in school (keeping that tuition loan under control), go into it for the right reasons (there are tons of other professions that WILL be making more money if $$$ is your motive), and just work hard and try to have a positive attitude. It's hard, but not impossible, to find the right opportunity.....but just keep working hard and grinding it out till you get it!!

Thanks.

Thanks for answering my thread-derailing questions!  I guess I was just wondering if there was a bit of conformation bias going around online (ie. people in bad situations are more likely to complain about it on the internet?).  I am definitely planning on working hard and being smart about finances so I guess I'll have faith I can grind it out and get it right :D

As far as spending money goes, I would maybe take 80-90% of what you have been using for debts and send that towards other goals (down payment? investing? new car cash fund?) and then try and make yourself spend the other little bit on more immediate wants.  Maybe if you don't spend your monthly budgeted 'fun money,' put the extra away in a separate savings account for some future, expensive, "fun" goal?  An awesome trip or experience?  That way you're 'saving' it but still allowing yourself the opportunity to spend it if an amazing opportunity comes up.

dude

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2015, 10:52:43 AM »
Impressive! Congrats!

@$17K to go for me (at absurdly low interest rate though, so no hurry to pay them off, so long as they are gone by the time I FIRE in 5 years -- which they will be!).

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2015, 01:10:19 PM »
I cannot wait for this day.  I made some progress just with my refi (see sig) and I've started throwing any found money at mine.  I dream about the day I know they are finally gone!

thedayisbrave

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Re: Paid off student loans!!!!
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2015, 03:47:29 PM »
That is BAD ASS.  Congratulations!!!!!