Tag Archives: how to get rid of debt

You vs. Your Student Loan

$829,785,000,000. That’s eight-hundred BILLION dollars.

This is the combined student loan debt in the US, as of June 2010, according to Mint.com. Scary, no? If you’re like me, you’ve done your share to line the pockets of Sallie Mae and her lender pals.

Personally, I’m looking forward to having Sallie out of my life sooner rather than later. Short of hatching a plan for full-scale financial assault on your student loan debt, here are a few tips that will help you fight the good fight faster:

1. Making minimum payments guarantees that your loan will be around for a long, long time. You can only shorten its lifespan by paying extra.

2. When you do pay extra, you must also request that your lender specifically applies the extra amount onto your principal balance, not interest. This will ensure your overall balance drops faster.

3. Like mine, if your loan is made up of multiple smaller loans, attack them strategically. Request that your extra payment is applied to the smallest loan first, and working up towards the next biggest as one is paid off. It’s focusing your money on one thing at a time, which works faster.

You’ll have to contact them, but just send an email to their customer service area and tell them exactly what you want done with your extra payments.

Really, it is all about faster. The sooner the debt is gone, the sooner you have that more freedom. What will you do with your freedom when you do get it?


Baby Steps to Debt Freedom

If you have:

  • Debt
  • No idea where to start

then you absolutely must read Dave‘s book called The Total Money Makeover. Briefly, here are his seven steps to freedom:

  1. Save $1000 emergency fund
  2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
  3. Save up 3-6 months’ worth of expenses
  4. Invest 15% of income for retirement
  5. Fund kids’ college educations
  6. Pay off the house early
  7. Build wealth and give generously

Believe me, this takes some serious commitment and self-control, but it works every time. Be brave, stick to the recipe, and enjoy being totally free!

How badly do you want freedom?