I spent some time digging into my student loans this past week as I create a plan of action. I appreciate everyone’s feedback on my post regarding beginning to pay towards debt again. And I understand the advice to just put the payments in a separate account since technically no payments are due. But I have decided that with steady work, a very comfortable EF and my drive to get out of debt, I am going to make payments.
Unlike other bloggers before me, I’ve never really looked at my loans. Or broken them down. But this past week, I did some digging. And boy, what I found shamed me.
First off, all my student loans are my grad school. I was able to graduate with my Bachelors with no debt thanks to my parents, grandparents, lots of scholarships (thanks mom, for making me write 8,000,000 essays) and my own working and saving from the time I was 15 and able to get my first job.
When I got ready to go to grad school, I was debt free other than a very reasonable car payment and working full time. I SHOULD have just paid for school. I could have afforded it. But no, I was introduced to the world of FAFSA and make some stupid decisions! I was completely ignorant of the student loan world at the time.
But here I am…
I completed my Masters in 2004, it took 2-3 years. And cost me $30K in student loan debt and the since accrued interest. If I had to do it again, I would still get my masters but I would have paid for it out of pocket and maybe gone a bit more slowly as a result.
I got married 9 months before I graduated and got pregnant with Princess 1 month after I graduated. We moved to Virginia from Texas the day after I graduated. (Thanks to my parents and all my siblings who came to my graduation and then helped us load the moving truck.)
Status of My Loans
|Loan 1||Loan 2|
|Outstanding Balance (4/30/2020)||$19,758||$14,129|
Now I have to be honest here, which I realize is going to make me seem even more ignorant and stupid. But I have NO CLUE how my schooling for those years cost $38,000. I don’t know if I ever looked at the bills. Or what. I completed several semesters at local community colleges before applying to the grad school program. Then, I attended the grad school program full time for 2 years. I was working full time making $40ishK per year.
I can’t remember how I paid for the community colleges, I’m guessing they are part of the loans. I do remember being excited when I would get the “extra” back in the form of a check after my tuition was paid when I was in the graduate program. And I do remember blowing some of that money, especially after I go married. But an extra $30K in two-ish years? Yikes.
And that wasn’t even my greatest source of shame as I looked at these loans.
I graduated in the fall of 2003 with my Masters degree…17 years later…and I’ve only paid off $5,000 of the original $38,000. Shame overwhelms me as I look back at that. I have blown so much money, made some many terrible decisions.
And I can’t say why.
It has been so easy to just push this debt to the side. To pay minimums or take advantage of forbearance.
But no more…
To be continued (since this turned out why longer than I anticipated.)
Hope is a digital marketing manager and foster/adoptive single mom to five kids. She has run her own consulting company for over 15 years and took a leap of faith returning to the corporate world in 2021 to a job and team she loves! Hope began sharing her journey with the BAD community in the Spring of 2015 and feels like she has finally mastered the balance between family first and wise financial decisions.