I Paid Off One of My Student Loans!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7027604401/in/photolist-bH1iX8-42PQoC-a2YSa6-62QVKf-QxcaH-dTUAhR-7jm7SP-8F5t1j-dSZe91-dUSc9a-a5SwX-68vjKV-68zxeQ-9C9vCS-9ZA9J6-9kJxyv-9uKMHb-68zxij-bDwJ11-dK2oa7-bu6sBd-8usD9K-657VsP-5XW3k4-bbeUhH-61LYTT-dSK3tm-chEbX5-8ismaU-8ism9f-4Kdou8-cnchKE-9htwN2-dmyfCP-doZD-kyBTGB-8ismdA-62LFqP-cEJ54Q-8ip6ZZ-cNdyo-bu6pKh-knHgd-9htwiK-9VwVc2-8HWvej-62LEPx-7HedAv-bH1eiH-f54gtt

I wish I had a jar of $100 bills! Photo cred 

I actually paid my student loan off over a month ago.  I keep waiting to get a card in the mail or at least an e-card congratulating me… but it hasn’t happened yet. My loan provider did send a boring note, but it looks just like any other correspondence that they send me so it doesn’t count.  I will just have to celebrate by posting here.

I’m really excited about paying off this loan because it was originally my largest loan and it had the highest interest rate of 8.5%.  Originally the loan was for $18,000, but there was $2843 in capitalized interest, so I paid off a total off $20,843!  I’ve also continued on paying off my nine other student loans too. Go me!

Every couple of months or so I check in with my repayment progress.  I ask myself, can I pay more toward my loans than I am currently?  If I do pay more each month, when will I finish paying all of my student loans off?

This is why I’ve decided to bump up my monthly student loan payment to $1,500!  Also, I’ve decided to put $2000 extra towards them in December and June because that is when I get my “bonus” from work (really they just give me less money each month so they can pay me more when I go on vacation).  Whew, at this rate I am on track to pay them all off by November 2017!  I’m a little bit nervous about making such large payments, but it is for the best.

This month I will pay off another loan: my car loan! I will no longer need to put that $583 a month toward my car, so I will have extra cash on hand!  Sigh.  This is what brings me to my next budget change: retirement/investment accounts.

Since I am no longer paying such a large chunk of change each month toward my car loan, the responsible thing to do would be to put all of that either into my student loans for a payment of $2083 per month, or I can add it to my monthly investment contribution.  Or I could be totally frivolous and take a six week vacation through Central America this summer like I have been secretly planning….

I’ve decided to be responsible.  Boring! I know.

Since my remaining student loans are down to $43,000 and they have an average interest rate of 5.30%, I’ve decided to stay with the $1500 per month loan payment and increase the amount I invest each month in my Vanguard Target Retirement Fund in the hopes that I will get a better return on my money.

I wont be traveling this summer as I would have liked, but maybe I can go on a family vacation or a couple long weekends with friends.  I will just have to be excited about living an hour from the Caribbean and thrilled to be going to the Galapagos this December.  I will also be on the lookout for new-to-me places in Venezuela.

Have you paid off a big debt recently? Do you have any ideas for safe-ish places in Venezuela that I should travel to?  Where should I try to go this summer from my home base in Portland, Oregon and not blow my budget? 

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10 responses to “I Paid Off One of My Student Loans!

    • Thanks! I know I could have skipped the 12 countries I visited last year and paid off even more, so I am trying to be more reasonable with my travel now. So tough when all of your teacher friends like to travel as much as you do!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am banking on finishing early as well. Hopefully tax returns and if I can squeeze out more throughout the years. It’s comforting to know that I am not alone. Where do you head off to in June 2017?

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      • It is great that there are other people who are trying to pay off their loans as quickly as possible! Most people I know are paying the minimum so they can either save for retirement or buy things now.

        In June 2017 I don’t know where I will end up, but I would like to move to a job in the Middle East or SE Asia.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Are you paying off your loans awhile working aboard? Is that difficult to do with the difference in currency and cost of living? I have a lot of student loan, but can’t pay them because I can find a job here in U.S.A. I’ve thought about teaching aboard, but just not sure if I can make end meet with loans pay and just living expensive. Congrats, on paying your student loans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep I’ve been teaching at international schools for the past five and a half years. I’ve been paying off my loans the entire time. In Mexico I had the most trouble making payments and had to get on an income based repayment plan. In China I had to carefully plan exchanges and when I would send money home. For the past three and a half years I’ve been paid mostly in USD which makes loan payments a snap. It can definitely be done! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2015: In Review | Teaching Wanderlust·

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