Student loan debt

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KMK
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:44 am
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Student loan debt

Postby KMK » Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:09 pm

My fiscal fitness goal is to pay off my student loans (med school) before I retire. It sounds like a joke, but it's not. I have over $200K in student loan debt financed to be repaid over 30 years. I've been a resident for the past 6 years, making between $40-50K/year. I'm attacking my credit card debt and it should be gone within 3 months, and then I'll focus on the student loans.

I've jokingly considered the loans my "first mortgage" because they are socially acceptable to have, and it is expected that life will happen in spite of the huge amount of debt. But the closer I get to being done with my training, the bigger black cloud this seems on my horizon. My biggest challenge will be to continue to live way below my (current) means when my income doubles or triples so I can knock out the debt and get on with my life.

Sam
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Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Location: Sunny Florida
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Postby Sam » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:14 am

KMK, good luck with this goal. My husband and I are working on paying off $26,000 in student loan debt (a small sum compared to your total) for his MBA. I also paid off about $20,000 in student loan debt right out of professional school (7 years ago).

For my student loan debt, I refinanced and locked in a low rate for 30 years but continued paying the debt on a 10 year schedule (the original term of the loan). I put all my bonus, tax refund, found money towards my student loan. Also, once my car was paid off I continued to pay the car payment but towards my student loan. I was able to pay off my student loan in 5 years.

For my husband's student loan debt, he also refinanced and locked in a low rate for 30 years and then only paid the interest the first 2 years of repayment. We are determined to pay off his loan this year, so we set up an automatic payment based on a 10 year repayment schedule (the lender's minimum payment was so low that if we paid the minimum payment we would never pay off the loan - it doesn't even cover the interest) and we will begin attacking the loan after our other unsecured debt is paid off.

kck2780
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:23 am
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Postby kck2780 » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:06 am

KMK - I definitely know where you are coming from. Husband and I total around $90k in student loan debt (he went to a private school). However, all we have to show is two bachelor's degrees. We hope to be debt free in about 3-4 years. Sounds like your horizon is actually brighter than it seems. Your salary will significantly increase once your residency is complete which will allow you to kick up debt pay off a lot faster. Keep up with living below your means and you'll do great! Much luck!

KMK
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:44 am
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Update

Postby KMK » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:31 pm

Just a quick update, things have been pretty exciting over the past 2 months. I accepted a job in Southern Oregon, where I will be making a nice doctor's salary. I have yet to get my credit card debt down to the range I wanted it by now due to some unexpected medical expenses (the dog's, not mine) but I do feel like I have a plan. The challenge now is to stay on budget for July and August, when I will be working a bare minimum amount to get a paycheck and studying like mad for my board exam. I'm also agonizing over the rent v buy decision once I get down south. Of course, everyone says it's a good time to buy, but I'm worried I'll get in over my head...


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