Earlier this year, I celebrated something that I wasn’t quite sure I would be able to accomplish — I paid off my smallest student loan.
Full disclosure here: I still owe a significant amount. It’s to the tune of
my future firstborn’s college fund $103,678. The amount of the loan when I started paying it off was right under $2,000 and I paid it off in six months. This was while I was clearing another delinquent account (I’ll share this story in the new year) that came to $1,711.
However, I did it and I learned so much in that process, especially restraint. Three key things that I took from it were:
- No question is too dumb to ask. Ask everything you think of. I remember asking one account representative what would happen if I made more than one payment a month. Her response was comical (“Nothing I think but we don’t really see that.”) but I felt better once I got it out. So ask everything that comes to your mind when dealing with a representative.
- Talk to the same representative. When you say that you want to take care of an account, they perk up. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some end-of-the-year bonus they received when their accounts stayed in the green. But it cuts down on your confusion when you speak to the same person. So ask if you can talk to them whenever you have a question about your account (p.s. – they have email). They will probably acquiesce.
- Automate the payment. If you take nothing else from me, take this – make that payment come out on the same day of the month every month. If you can get it on your actual pay date, great (tip: call your loan holder and tell them you want to change your due date to your payday if this helps)! After a while, I got used to living on close to $400 less a month once I had the payments taken out of my account on payday.
So that’s it….well, not exactly!
Starting in January, I’ll be holding a 4-week webinar series on the tactics I used to pay off my student loan. I got this idea after so many people asked me how did I do it to begin with (pick one and focus on it is one strategy) and I figured that in addition to the webinar series, I’d invite others to a yearlong challenge of paying student loans down and/or off!
If you are interested, join here!
Do you have any tips to help you pay off your student loans?