Looking Back on My Student Loans

At times, the money spent on my student loans seems like it’s been put in a giant black hole, never to be seen again. I went back and took a look at my transaction history.

My first student loan payment was made on November 6, 2007. Monthly payments at the time were 289.79, not the 452.76 I currently pay. So my payments are technically 56% higher than they were when starting this loan and my monthly income is close to the same. Closer to 93% more if you consider I’m paying $600/month now. That’s sort of insane.

I’ve paid a total of $18,170.48 in payments, 8002.31 of which went toward interest during that time. 10,168.17 toward the principal. Original Loan disbursement amount was 46,769.87. Current balance is 38,887.89. I’ve paid 7881.98 of the principal down. Quite frankly I’m tired of keeping these loans around. 

Putting the numbers all together one sheet makes things much clearer. I advise others to do the same. It raises awareness of actual cash outflow and the sense of urgency.

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3 thoughts on “Looking Back on My Student Loans

  1. great advice. the first step to paying off student loans is making it all visible. print it out, write it down, or be a spreadsheet freak like me. it really helps one see the damage, and when you are working to pay them off, you see the reward. when i started this hardcore payoff journey 8 months ago, i was paying 190$ a month towards interest. now its down to $160. that’s progress!

  2. Agreed, I did this right when I had to start making payments, and while I look back and wish I had done it even 6 months sooner (I racked up almost $15,000 in interest in my grace period!), I’m glad I’m smart enough to have done it at least then, and I know the sense of urgency I feel every day is saving me 10’s of thousands of dollars in the long-run. I just wish this sense of urgency didn’t come with so much stress too :/

    • I constantly need to remind myself this is going to save me so much more over the long haul. Interest is such a killer, it’s very easy to see how we can be churning our wheels with it. For example on the 38,900 I owe, the annual interest is 1653.25 with the 5436 in scheduled payments ~30% of what I would be paying normally would be interest 3783 or so would be to the principal and that’s under 10% after a year.

      It’s hard to manage the stress at times. I acknowledge it, accepting the situation for what it is, not any worse. With a new job coming up, I think I can meet my age 32 goal. So much less stressful. My net income presently is about 2600/mo and $600/25% of my pay goes to the loans. I plan to bump that up to $1k/mo with my new job and still be able to build an emergency fund / 401k contributions. So things are looking up. It did take me a very long time to land a job that paid me remotely what someone with 3 degrees would consider a comfortable income. Been in high 20s – mid 30s for the longest time.

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