Love Street wrote:
I essentially redid our budget over the weekend and determined that with some focus, we can apply $6k monthly toward our loan/credit card debt, as well as save a sufficient amount for an emergency fund. I will be able to start saving for retirement after the end of the year, when our $16k credit card and the $9k 10% student loan is paid off. Keeping on this plan, we should be able to pay off my loans and our cars in about 6 years, as you said, while still saving for retirement. I feel a lot better having a plan of attack that is more focused than I initially thought possible...
That's the important thing - having a plan and sticking with it. If you are like most people, it will seem like drudgery at times but once you see yourself making significant progress you will become more motivated. The savings rate you are targeting is great...and very aggressive! Good for you.
Regarding refinancing or borrowing against your husband's 401(k)...normally I do not like the idea of refinancing debt because it becomes a shell game. People will pay high fees for marginal rate reductions that often do not make sense. In your case though, given your high rates and the fact that you make too much to deduct the interest, I'd continue to research what you might be able to do. But from what you said there might be nothing available. In that case I think I would try to get as much equity out of your house as possible (which I know you said is probably near zero) and apply it to the student loans. Mortgage interest is deductible so you might benefit.
And just one additional thought...there are programs for debt reduction for teaching in poor neighborhoods and so forth. I don't know if there are programs like that for lawyers but, depending on your specialty, you might be able find similar programs where you do some number of hours of pro bono work or something and have some of your loans forgiven. Maybe that's not possible but it's an idea.