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Debt makes me pissed

If my blogs url doesn’t give it away, let me spell it out for you

I-H-A-T-E-D-E-B-T. It hasn’t always been this way. Two years ago, I was impartial. I knew debt was bad news, but didn’t really know why. It wasn’t until I used this nifty little student loan calculator, that I realized the ramifications debt could have on my financial situation.

I finished college in 2007 and deferred my student loans for the six months I was able to upon graduation. I then consolidated my $28,000 balance with Sallie Mae to delay the payments for an additional month. This debt thing was pretty sweet at first. I got a four year education and only had to make $178 monthly payments afterwards. It didn’t really bother me that I was on a 20 year payment plan. I thought “My student loan payment stays the same, but my income is sure to go up. Sweet.” Basically I was a big fat stupid head.

I didn’t realize the implications of interest. I knew that I would have to pay off a larger amount than the original $28,000 balance, but didn’t really realize how much it would be. When I crunched the numbers, I saw my total repayment would be $52,000. I just about crapped my pants. My first thought was “Is this legal? Surely they can’t charge nearly double my loan amount… can they?” Turns out, the devil Sallie Mae can do whatever she wants.

To further fuel the fire, I continued on my number crunching extravaganza and realized the $178 payment plan Sallie Mae put me on was also evil. Running the numbers revealed this tasty little morsel… $28,000 at 7% means I will be paying $1,960 in interest each year. If I made minimum payments each month I would pay a total of $2,136 each year. Do you know what this means? After two years of payments, my balance would have gone from $28,000 to $27,648. Yeah that’s right, after forking out about $4,200 in cash I would have only lowered my balance a whopping $352…bull$h!t.

I hate debt because it’s deceptively expensive. Borrowing money costs too much for me to want to flirt with it ever again (except for a reasonable mortgage). We all know debt sucks, we all know high interest rates suck, but do we all take the time to realize that only $350 of our $4,000 in payments actually went to lowering our balance? At first, I sure as heck didn’t, but you better believe once I saw the light, I was gonna do everything in my power to punch debt in it’s ugly little face.

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  1. And just think, this is a LOW interest debt!

    I keep putting away $300-500/month on my credit card and somehow after 6 months I only have reduced my credit card debt by an astonishing… $530. It is baffling – until you of course do the numbers…

    Debt is so very frustrating. And I wish now I could go back in time and tell that silly little college girl how much MORE she'd end up paying for the stuff she puts on her credit card. Debt is evil and interest rates even more so…

  2. For years I struggled to pay off debt. I could not understand how I'd put so much money into my debt and had not seen it drop at all. I thought something fishy was going on for sure. When BF and I met he knew I was struggling to pay off debt but was ok with it because he knew I was determined. He is an engineer and a math whiz. One day I showed him all my paperwork and he made me this killer spreadsheet on Exell that showed me how each payment affected the bottom line. I was shocked and motivated. The only way to pay off debt is consistent huge lump payments.

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