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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:26 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:04 am
Posts: 43
I think I encountered this saying somewhere around GRS, but I can't remember where. So, without citation: a millionaire is someone who didn't spend a million dollars. Your latest post made me think of that.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:54 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Today I am sitting even more comfortably with the knowledge that I can't change my past. There are many avenues in life that I need to get absorbed in, and I need to focus on those avenues of growth development just as much as I need to focus on being frugal. I also have to recognize that becoming a millionaire is a great goal, but becoming someone who has 500,000 dollars of net worth is also a fantastic goal! Every penny I save in my life is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. I will get to millionaire status if I take things day-by-day, step by step. I've already made great strides. A budget. Moving income to debt as fast as possible. Finding alternative income. Starting to save for emergencies.

When I am out of debt I will then have money to use for more income. I will have a good job. I will save and work hard.

I've recently spoke with my little brother (already 40k in student loan debt) to encourage him to think critically. I tried not to lecture, but to stress how scary this is for me. I think he listened.

I can do this. I am a good person who made bad mistakes and will have a good life. This community is wonderful and I am grateful for this resource here!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 578
while in graduate school, i found i was eligible for a few thousand a year in subsidized federal loans. i used those to pay off the unsubsidized loans i took out to finish my last year of undergraduate education. this was dependent on my funding mechanism, so i had to wait until i was in my third year of grad school to do it, but it did end up saving a chunk of change in the long run. i wasn't coping with the level of debt you're facing, but anything makes a difference.

i went to a Brand Name School for my phd after spending my undergrad years at a state university with decidedly average-income folks. the people in my grad school cohort were financial fools because they expected to maintain the lifestyle they had with their well-to-do parents. fight the lifestyle inflation and don't let people acting foolish on a grad student stipend convince you they are (a) any happier than you are or (b) any more successful. especially on (b) - it's likely the opposite. practice your smiles and your "i'm happy for you"s and do not let it get under your skin.

a colleague of mine bought a high end car, financed the car, then took out student loans to make the monthly payment. he will be still technically be paying that car off when it's over 10 years old. another colleague bought a house, and was unable to sell (and could not relocate for a couple of good career opportunities) until finally taking a loss to get rid of it. meanwhile, we made a ton of sacrifices, walked away in the best possible (still not fantastic) financial shape, and after spending a couple more years living just a little better than students we are past the burden of student loans.

delayed payoff is rough when your peers are acting like idiots, but feel confident in your frugal choices. they will set you ahead of the pack in the future, and you won't be a part of that pack forever.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:40 am 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
hmmm this is really interesting, galactic. Thanks for the tip on the loans. I will see what I can do about that. And your message in general was really validating. I recently watched a friend purchase $100 sunglasses, and I know that he is in $160,000 of debt. I was kind of grossed out. I of course kept this inside, but I was grossed out by the lack of understanding of money in that situation.

It is a tough road and a tough journey, but the only way to make this happen is to do it and to take pride in my new sense of frugality. This is a wise and good way to live life. Happiness come from many things, it doesn't come from materials.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 8:30 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Also, I've been thinking a lot about my income and how I am simply throwing it at this debt. Is there another way of using my income to invest, generate money, and eventually pay off debt down the road? The majority of my loans are 7.9 percent, so I really don't see how I can find another investment that guarantees a higher return than that... at least without being highly risky.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:08 am 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Fingers crossed! I just called the financial aid department at my university and I could be eligible for 8000 a year in government loans, which would be great since then I can pay down my private loans. I really hope this is the case. They will be getting back to me hopefully today.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:33 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Another win! I was hired today for a local tutoring company to tutor. They told me that I am allowed to tutor on the side as well, so once I get comfortable I can scale up and charge more. This is awesome. I have some fears about being overwhelmed with graduate school, but I can always quit tutoring if need be.

I would love opinions from people on taking on this extra job. More experienced folks might know if it's too much to handle. I mean there are people in my program who have kids and families and manage to graduate on time.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 195
Congrats on the tutoring job! You're right that you can quit if you get overwhelmed.

I don't know how much work your program entails, but I work full-time, have a young child, and am working on my master's degree. It's hard, but I tell myself that it's temporary. I don't think I could do school if I weren't very self-disciplined. Plus, I don't watch TV at all (didn't watch as a child, so I'm just not interested). I think the TV thing is the main reason I'm able to accomplish a lot more than most of my friends and family.

Anyway, I think it sort of depends on your personality and work habits whether you'll be able to handle a part-time job. If it helps you with your debt, you may find that it's worth the effort!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:43 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
I've been through periods in my life where I was constantly on the go, tackling many projects at once, and classes, and eating healthy, and going to the gym, and and and...

I can be that fast-paced, go-get-em, constantly moving type. I've done it (and it's one of the reasons I am in this graduate program).

I need that guy to come back now. If I can gain those personality traits back, I will win this battle.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:23 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Pay Day! Put $300 to savings. Put away my expenses for the month into a separate account. AND paid the rest to debt, as planned. Feels rewarding. Feels safe to have more in my safety account. Looking forward to beginning tutoring. Looking forward to having my little bit of fun money in my pocket. Overall life is good. Especially with support from communities like this.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:42 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Hung out with awesome people today, had such a great time. I spent a total of 4.30 on some coke and chipping in for pizza. I feel relaxed, content, and ready to spend a whole day in work tomorrow because my Saturday was enjoyable and cheap!

This whole goal of spending little and living on little is becoming fun and exciting. It's like "How much can I save today?!"

I also had some conversations with friends about their student loans and it really normalized how I am feeling about my position in life. This isn't terrible and I will be debt free eventually and making it happen!

Had to share the win!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:02 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Today was great. Financial aid office at my university got back to me and told me that I can take out 12,000 a year in unsubsidized loans. Hopefully I can keep this up for the next 4 years and turn the majority of my private loan debt into government loan debt, which is safer, can be deferred for 6 months, and has a lower rate.

Fingers crossed. Doing the FAFSA now.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:58 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
So I need some advice and thoughts on this "plan" that just popped into my head...

I am currently putting roughly 60% of my income to private student loans. In my last post I mentioned how I can take out federal loans, and use that money to pay private loans. This essentially "converts" my private loans to federal loans.

If I keep this up every year, I will be out of private loan debt pretty rapidly.

I'm considering a MAJOR reduction in the amount that I put to loan debt, and a MAJOR increase to what I put to savings. Why? The Student Loan Forgiveness Act... IF I have essentially only government loans left at the end of this journey, then I can pay the 10% over 10 years, and the rest will be wiped clean (if I am understanding the rules correctly).

Please, shed wisdom on this plan. Or even point me in the right direction to learn.

The major motivation here is to build up savings of actual cash, which can be invested even sooner and can start to build me more money.
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:32 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Based on some quick reading. I don't think this Loan Forgiveness Plan is ever going to get passed... I don't even know if I agree with it fully, and I'm in debt! hmmmmm...


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:35 am 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
I wanted to ask today for a boost from folks who can tell me that I will succeed in escaping this debt if I stick to my plan, work hard, and increase my income. I can do this. We all can do this if we put our minds to it.


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