Hey everyone! The other day I received an e-mail from a reader who wants your help. I left out some identifying information because she wants to remain anonymous.
Just as a refresher to any new readers, I recently paid off around $40,000 worth of student loan debt.
It wasn't all fun and games though, and I am glad that we put everything we had at the time towards them so that I didn't have my student loans floating over my head.
I have 3 degrees (I was a double major in undergraduate school, and I also have my Finance MBA). Below are my posts on the subject.
I have stumbled upon your blog today in the desperate search on how to start paying off my student loans more. I was wondering if you could give me any advice on where to begin.
Short description, I went to a private university to get a degree in a field I am passionate in (Computer Animation). I am now about $90,700 in debt. Now I actually work at the school that I went to school at. I now teach students. But I don't make enough to even keep afloat lately. I only make about $32,000 a year and I live a very humble life.
And here is the kicker, my boyfriend ALSO went to school here and ALSO works here and he has even more debt than I do because I had 8 Scholarships going into school. If I would of went to a state university it would have almost been a free ride! Kicking myself.
So in reality together we are about 200,000$ in debt just because we went to school to do what we were passionate about.
In all honesty, I'm terrified. It has stifled our lives. We can't even think about getting married or having kids.
We can pay my bills now but at the end of the month we have nothing to put into savings. I'll get 300$ saved up (I direct deposit 10% of every pay check) and then a month goes by where things are tight or I have to pay most expensive loan and then I have to use that savings again. I'm absolutely frantic to find a way to pay this debt off.
All of your posts are so insightful and obviously you know what you are talking about but along with all my stress I absolutely do not know where to even start. I'm so nervous about emailing you but I am willing to try anything. I hope you are able to give me some insight. Sorry for such a spew of my situation. I'm sure you get TONS of emails. I really appreciate any time at all you have to email me back. I hope you have a wonderful day!
A few things I have already done and looked into are:
I am in the process of starting a blog to document this journey and sharing the fails and successes I come across. I am looking into sites where I can use my skills as an artist to make extra money (e.g. Etsy, Shapeways, Redbubble). I also put in an application to Zirtual because I have a pretty open schedule while at my job. I have signed up for auto payments on my smaller loan to get the 0.25% interest discount. Which is scary because there is no guarantee that the day it pulls I will have gotten paid in time and that I might not overdraw. But hopefully I'll start making side money enough to not have to worry about that.”
If you have anything that you would like to say to help out this reader, please leave a comment below! I know she is very excited to see what everyone says and she will try to reply to comments as well.
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