It’s pretty common to hear people complaining about their student loan debt, but nobody is really doing anything about it. Unfortunately, at 18 or whenever you first began college your only goal was to get an education. Yes, I meant unfortunately. I, in no way, want to deemphasize the importance of an education, BUT your financial life is also extremely important. And here’s the thing, 18 year olds aren’t equipped to make the sort of financial decisions required of student loan borrowers. They just aren’t. Maybe you think that’s harsh. Okay. But let’s for a moment pretend that it was a mortgage we were talking about. Would you assume an 18 year old has the financial wherewithal to take on a mortgage? Likely, you’d say no. It’s the same for student loans. But I digress. The point of this post is to help you pay them off. You have them, I wish you didn’t, you probably wish you didn’t either, but here we are. The best decision you can make now is to follow this one step program to pay off your student loans.
1. Get angry
I don’t normally recommend you get super emotional about your money, but when it comes to student loans I highly recommend anger. Anger is tricky though, it can take you one of two directions. Anger might take you the wallowing in self-pity route or the super determined route. I’m obviously encouraging the latter. Sometimes it takes an emotional response to get you going. Here’s you goal: To pay double if not triple the amount per month of your minimum payment. The longer you hold on to your student loans the longer you will run in place. Don’t put it off until you get a raise or to that vague point in the future when you “make more money”. Every raise equals a slight increase in living expenses, so do it now. No matter what you make. I’ve met countless people making significantly less than 40k a year paying off tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. It is possible.
Basically you need to care. You need to care enough to pay them off. It sucks. You will make a lot of sacrifices, but eventually they will be paid off. And there you go. That’s it. One step. Get angry and make it happen.
For more real-talk with your buddy PD, listen to this segment from The Pete the Planner Radio Show on WIBC:
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.