Before You Forget About Your Student Loans Read This.
If you have student loan debt—$10,000, $50,000, $100,000 or $200,000+ this article, and this student loan series is made for you. If something gives you knots in your stomach, it is something worth addressing. Everything inside this article is here to help. :)
With that, let's begin.
My Experience with Debt
While in college I founded a nonprofit and worked incredibly hard to grow and expand its reach.
Over the four years, I made $150,000+ in fundraising for the organization and personal scholarships. But somehow I finished college with $6,500 of debt.
It sucked. I felt constricted, fearful and alone. I hated thinking about how $6,500 worth of my time would go to a creditor.
I sold my car, my surfboards and my beloved professional trumpet to pay it off.
But as we know with the hidden green, when something sucks it's time to take it head on. And that's what we'll do today—take on the inner workings of student loans so that you can get on with your life and your freedom.
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The Ball, The Chain and The Student Loan
Over the last week I've had three friends tell me in conversation that they were going wait 25+ years until their student loans would be forgiven.
That would be a great idea, but believing this is simply lying to yourself. And worse, living it is taking away from your freedom.
Unlike other debt, you can not walk away from your student loans.
What this means is student loans outlive even bankruptcy.
Federal student loans have been exempt from forgiveness since 1978. And because of a 2005 act passed by Congress, private student loans can no longer be forgiven either.
If you don't pay them, you will carry them to your grave.
And on your way there, your student loans are so pervasive that creditors can even seize your earned income and even you social security!
This is the definition of millennial indentured servitude. And it's the exact opposite of what we believe in here.
Is all that hard to hear? Probably. On the flip side, is it good to hear? Most definitely.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The people who've done their research may ask, "Well Ryland, what about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP)?"
To you, my well informed friend, I tip my hat.
The PSLFP is a possible tool. Though the real question is, "Is it worth using?".
To qualify for loan forgiveness through the PSLFP, you must work full time for 10 years. That full time work is limited employment solely within the government and nonprofit sector.
And while you are working full time you must complete 120 qualifying monthly payments. A qualifying payment is defined as a full, on-time monthly payment made while working in full-time qualifying employment. It also must be done while under a qualifying repayment plan.
Think all that doesn't sound too bad?
You couldn't work abroad. You couldn't work for a business of your choice. And likely, you wouldn't have time to start anything of your own.
You would also be stuck working full time. And while many people do this, the issue here is You. Don't. Have. The. Choice.
Oh, and there's a kicker — you aren't even guaranteed the PSLFP will exempt your loan in 10 years.
There is a legitimate statement in the PSLFP agreement (p.2, q.5) that says that the future availability of the PSLF is not guaranteed, and that it could change or end by Congress decision at any time.
Could you imagine making 100+ qualifying payments (8+ years) only to be left with a massive amount of debt? Holy hell.
Even if your entire life's goal is to work for 10 years, full-time at a public sector job I still massively hesitate to green light this as the right route for you.
You are limiting 10 years of your life (20,000 hours or 15% of your life) to working full time at only government, public sector jobs.
Who knows what you'll want in 10 years? The only thing we know is that you will want your "choice."
You don't just become a slave to income, like the other's we mention here. You become a slave to a specific type of earned income.
And this, this is the antithesis of freedom. It is the true definition of the millennial slave.
So What To Do With Our Student Loans?
We toughen up, buttercup! And we Pay. Them. Off.
How do we do it?
We study the stories of real life, bad ass people.
And for you, I've done just that.
Over the last few weeks I've gathered together a few of my most bad ass friends. Each of them is pumped up to share their story about why and how they crushed their student loans.
The story up next?
A true story about my friend Brian Kustera-Feeter who payed off $30,000 in 10 months while making no more than $10 an hour.
Unreal, right? I know. And now Brian is off in NYC killing it at life.
I'll link to his article, as well as all the other debt battalion crew members, here as each of their articles come out.
I can't wait to share these stories. More to come!
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Keep reading. You won't regret it.