Financial Aid for Life

Have you paid off your debt? Managed to save for your dream home? Had an awesome investment pan out? Share your personal finance success stories here.

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CHB
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:52 pm
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Financial Aid for Life

Postby CHB » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:16 pm

My parents taught me to live frugally, but they never taught me about money. They were kind enough to help me finance a college education from a small, private liberal arts college, but I apparently didn't get the fact that I still had student loans that had to be paid back - with interest. I never understood what interest was, or investing, or how credit cards really worked. All this changed when I got a job in a college financial aid office, which I almost immediately despised. After a few months of talking with clueless students, I gradually began realizing that I was no better than them - I didn't know exactly how much in student loans I had (~$17,000), from who (Sallie Mae, AES, and my college), under what interest rate (ranging from 4-6%), and how long it would really take to pay them off (probably 20 years at that point). I used the magic internet - and a lot of J.D.'s advice - to educate myself on my finances and pull it all together, which included paying off $1500 of lingering credit card debt, consolidating my loans, opening a high-interest savings account, seriously tracking my expenses, and striving to save 20% of my measly income on a regular basis. The education I've gained from my exposure to personal finance via financial aid and the web is invaluable and I'm grateful every day for this unexpected loophole in my life. I only hope I can successfully educate others about personal finance and student loan debt as part of my future career.

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