Student Loan Progress – April 2016

I have finally paid my student loans off completely, and it feels amazing! I logged in and the balance was at zero after my last payment. Zero. ZERO!!! I remember the nervous breakdown I had after paying my loans for a few month. How am I ever going to be able to afford moving out? Am I really going to be paying these student loans off into my 30s or even longer? That is when I finally got the courage to look at the actual numbers and realized that I could pay off my loans in less than 10 years. It wasn’t easy and I made a lot of sacrifices and got a ton of help along the way.  And now here I am today, my loans completely paid off in a little under 3 and a half years.

Let’s take one final look at my student loan balances (or lack of student loans!):

I put a little over $2000 towards my loans this month, adding in an extra payment on top of my automatic payment as early as possible. I was excited to finally make that last payment, and didn’t want to pay another cent of interest. My checking account was temporarily low, but it was worth it to me. It still feels surreal to me as I’m writing this post. No more student loan payments ever again!

What exactly am I going to do with an extra $2000 a month? That’s a good question and right now I only have a partial answer at this point in time. I plan on investing into my Roth IRA in the coming months and maxing out my 2016 contributions as soon as possible. With the added focus on my student loans, I haven’t contributed anything else into that account.

I’m hoping to also be able to share some other exciting news in the coming months as well, but I don’t want to speculate or put anything out there without knowing what is going to happen for sure. What I can say is that it is going to be an interesting time in my life and I will share here on my blog as soon as I feel the timing is right. The other adjustments I might make are temporarily increasing my 401k contribution or starting a taxable account for investing. Right now I’m leaning towards the increased contribution for my 401k, but we’ll see how quickly my Roth IRA contributions go before I make that decision.

And just for reference, here is how the loan looked in the final snapshot of my Earnest dashboard the last time I logged in:

I hope that you will continue to follow me on my journey as there is still a lot more to come. I will still remain focused on student loans even though I am not currently paying them off myself now. I understand the struggles that come with having a large amount of debt, and want to continue to share my experiences and things that I learned along the way. That’s the reason that I started this blog in the first place, and I want to continue that.

photo credit: The Bridge via photopin (license)

6 thoughts on “Student Loan Progress – April 2016

  1. Sweeet, that’s an awesome reason to celebrate. My first student loan will be paid off in 2 months and I’m pretty excited about it.
    Hoping to max out a traditional IRA and work retirement account this year to get my tax bracket down. If I’m lucky there will be a bit extra to start a regular investing account.

    Are you going to open your IRA through Vanguard?

    • Yeah, I’m pumped at never having to pay another student loan. Each milestone really helps with keeping you moving on. After that first loan is paid, it’s just more money you can put towards the other loans to pay them down faster.

      I already opened my IRA through Vanguard, and it’s been simple and easy to add funds and track everything. Highly suggested if you don’t have any ties to another brokerage.

  2. Wow! You did it! I am sending cheers and congrats from Minneapolis. You kept your eye on that finish line and persevered. Kudos to you!

  3. Congrats! I’m so happy for you! I’m paying off my last loan on May 10th (the day before my birthday) so I can wake up to $0 balance on my birthday. It will be my birthday gift to myself.

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