One of the questions that I often am asked is about college loans and if I paid them off.
I managed to pay my college loans off and not only was it one of the most liberating feeling in my adult life but it was definitely not easy and took a lot of hardwork and patience.
Upon graduating from college, because my college loan went through three banks, my loan was split into three and thus had three payments that I had to make six months after graduating.
While my first job after college allowed me to pay off one, I was unfortunately one of the many who suffered the “Corporate budget cuts” during the dot bomb bad economy of the early 2000’s, but I was able to startup my own business.
But even then, with two loan payments, I also got one of those “0% interest for one year” store credit cards and when I lost my job, I was unable to pay that store card and interest jumped through the roof, way over 20%. I would think it was like 25% if I recall.
With my two college loans hanging over me plus a store card which more than doubled from $1500 to what seemed like $4000, I made one of the most difficult decisions I had to make and that was to not only just work for my business but take on a part time job.
I made the decision that not only was I going to have to sacrifice, I’m going to have to do this, no matter how difficult, now matter how hard or heartbreaking it may be, but to take on the challenge until I paid off my debt.
I worked part time for about 2.5 years and was able to pay off my debt. No traveling, no excessive spending, everything I made from the part-time job went to paying off my debt and whatever I would pay for the minimum came from my income. So, I was paying more than double for the minimum.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it because it was tough. I disliked it but I knew that if I was going to get that monkey off my back, I had to stick with it.
And once I made the final payment, not only was it a big weight left off my shoulders, it was liberating to pay my college loans and the store card off.
And believe it or not, that was not the first time I had to do this. It was the second time, I had to take a part-time job on top of my regular job to pay off debt.
The first time was back when we needed modems to connect to the Internet. I would leave my connection to the Internet and leave it on 24/7 but at the time, I didn’t know that my local Internet area code had changed. So, instead of calling locally, I was calling Northern California and in one month, I had a $3,500 phone bill.
While I was able to get a $300 discount from the telephone company, I would have to come up with $3,100 and so, during my second year in college, for the summer, I worked three jobs to pay that debt off. I was able to pay it off during the summer and my memories of that time was my feet and muscles aching. Sleeping during the day, getting ready for work in the afternoon and then back to work and the routine repeated for nearly two and half months.
While many people would not do this, there are a few who would do anything to pay off their debt (as they don’t like it) or work hard to get something they really want to purchase. I remember working straight after high school in order to get the parts needed to build my first computer.
Needless to say, paying off my college loan was a big debt that I was able to pay off with a lot of hard work and patience.
I know many friends who went to private universities and are over a $150,000 in debt. And for some, it’s a long road of financial debt.
But while my college debt was under $30,000, I set my sights to pay that debt off as quickly as I can. Again, not easy, but it’s doable if you want to get rid of that debt so badly.