I just scheduled the final payment on our consolidated student loan. The loan will be paid in full on April 6th. Less than two years ago I took an inventory and hard look at our loan and put a plan of action into place to get rid of it.
My original plan was to pay off the balance in two years. Then I thought I’d pay it off in 18-months. To implement my plan I aggressively threw cash (cashed out a money market account, sold some stocks, applied a referral bonus) at the balance to put a good ding in the loan. I also moved us over to a high APY checking account, focused a little more on affiliate marketing, de-cluttered and sold some stuff around the house for extra money to apply to the loan’s balance. My most effective strategy was to just pay extra each month until it stung, and then pay even more, which helped to remind us to live below our means. At first I doubled the monthly payment. Then I tripled up. Quadrupled up. And finally I quintupled up on our student loan payment. There were a few months/scenarios (Christmas, medical expenses, etc.) during that two year period where I had to dial back, but I remained cognizant and vigilant in my plan.
It wasn’t until the balance got to the $5,000 mark where I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. And what a glorious light that was. Had I kept paying the monthly minimum, we would have been 47-years-old and have paid around $15,000 in interest by the time the loan was paid off.
For some reason it hasn’t set in yet. I don’t feel the liberation that I was expecting. Perhaps tomorrow. Or maybe on Tuesday when the loan will show a $0 balance. I guess I should just sit back in the meantime and calmly think about how I love it when a plan comes together!