It is with great trepidation that I begin this blog. Most people would ask why; it’s just a blog! Truth is, I have spent years reading personal blogs where the author delves into their lifestyle and failures in an attempt to help readers avoid the same mistakes.
Truth is, I fell for the same traps as those authors whose debt horror stories I have read.
Less than two months ago, I graduated from one of the most prestigious nursing schools in the country, earning my Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree along with $72,027 in student loan debt (if you just count the principle balances of the 17 loans I’ve taken out over four years).
PRINCIPLE: the amount of money you originally take out as a loan. This does not include any interest that accumulates during the life of the loan.
I calculated the amount I would pay if I allowed the interest to tack onto the principle and accumulate even more debt. The number (which I am pretty sure is UNDER what it would actually be if I spent the 10-year length of the loan to finish payments) was over $93,000.
And remember, I said I’m estimating the $93,000 is UNDER the true final amount. I’m too scared at the moment to actually spend an hour calculating it out for each loan and finding the sum.
Most — 16 — of my loans are federal, meaning I feel a little better about those should anything happen to my financial stability (which won’t actually be stable until the 25th of this month, when I begin my nursing job). The last is a private loan through a bank, and a family member co-signed for it. Not only does that make me feel a little more nervous about paying it off quickly, but the interest on this baby is already over $2,000 and about to capitalize in October unless I can pay it off!
CAPITALIZE: the interest that accumulates on the principle is totaled and added to the principle, giving you a new, more expensive, and scarier principle that will accumulate more interest faster. It’s a vicious circle.
I also have a car loan, which costs me exactly $200.39 a month. I have four more years to go on this one before the car (which I bought used for $4,000 down) is paid off.
I will be the first to admit I have made financial mistakes in life, but I must also admit that up until recently, those mistakes were made out of stupidity. I thought in order to do well in life that I had to attend the best school, not even acknowledge community college programs, and allow student loan debt to become my partner for life. Now, I’m ready to admit the truth: STUDENT LOANS SUCK OUT YOUR SOUL. They are like Dementors, ready and willing to take anything happy an joyful left out of your bank account at the end of each month. And I’m sorry, student loans, but I’m not willing to let you live 10 more years.
From now on, I will use this blog to be accountable for my finances, my lifestyle, and my student loan repayment journey. My ultimate goal is to pay my debts off by January 1, 2020, so that I can begin my new year financially free.
Do you have a debt repayment journey to share? Comment below!