Monday, May 30, 2016

Destination Debt Free: In It for the Long Haul

Getting out of debt can be such a huge challenge! It is not something that can be done overnight or in just a few weeks (unless you only have a little bit of debt)! But, for most people, especially those of us who are dealing with student loans, you're talking tens of thousands of dollars of debt. And it can take years to pay those off. Right now, we are looking at at least 6-8 years before we can be debt free. Hopefully as we advance in our careers, we can lessen that timeline as our incomes increase. But, for now, that's the time frame we are looking at. 

Six or eight years sounds like a really long time. But, research shows that despite the intention for student loans to be repaid within ten years, it often takes people closer to 20 years (or more!) to pay off their loans!!! Twenty years of debt for four - maybe six - years of college! That is silly! That's like buying a car, driving it for four years, but paying on it for twenty! I don't know about you, but I'd like to get rid of student loan debt as fast as possible so that we can enjoy the present and our future! And can you imagine continuing to pay on your own student loans while paying for your child to go to college? Even harder to imagine! So, yes, six to eight years sounds, feels, and is a long time. But it is nothing compared to the estimated 19.7-23 years it takes many people to pay of the debt.

Part of why we have waited this long to start getting "gazelle intense" is simply our current situation. Blake's in grad school, which means he gets a humble stipend and I am the sugar-mama, working full-time. Blake also works a part-time job as a tutor that pays really well, but it varies from month to month how much he works. This has made it difficult to budget and while we've been paying on my loans (his aren't due just yet), we are barely able to make a drop in the bucket. So for the past couple of years, my mentality has just been that we would do what we could now and really deal with it later - when he is done and we are both working full-time jobs.

But, y'all, "later" is expensive! Even though interest rates on student loans are fairly reasonable, it accumulates quicker than you realize! My student loans have been sitting around, growing interest while we've been postponing our aggressive plan. 

Despite our mistakes with these loans, we are looking to the future with hope and excitement, even. We know we mean business and we are going to tackle these loans once and for all and, eventually, be debt free! 

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