Welcome to Money Moves: A 12-Week Guide To Investing In Yourself, our e-course in partnership with BlackRock that aims to help more and more people experience financial well-being. Each week, we demystify the true cost of the milestones we want most in life—retirement, marriage, home ownership, business ventures, and more—and deliver the tools you need to achieve your money goals. That includes real stories, from real women, with *very* real debt.
I was around $35K in student loan debt when I graduated college and I was overwhelmed, especially since I knew I wouldn’t have a high-paying job when I decided on a writing career. But, I knew of other people who had $100K of debt so I was on the lucky end of things, I guess.
So far I’ve only knocked off about $8,000, maybe $10,000. I don’t think I’ll be able to pay my debt off fully for at least another 10 years! Actually, that’s probably wishful thinking. I want to ideally be debt-free by 30, but that’s not happening unless I magically get like $50K in my bank account. I guess I’ll say my goal is to be debt-free by 35. That’s the dream.
I do a pay-as-you-earn situation in which every year I send in an application with proof of income and my tax stuff—the loan servicer then calculates a monthly payment based on those factors. Honestly, I don’t understand why people aren’t doing this. I know interest can get tricky and such, but this plan has helped me so much, especially after I got laid off last year and needed to majorly readjust my money situation.
I also think it’s funny how people without loans just absolutely don’t understand student debt. Once while at work I said that if I didn’t have a loan payment every month, I would be so much more financially sound and someone (without loans) said ‘I don’t have loans and I’m still broke, so what’s the excuse.’ And that’s why I hate people! —Chanel, 27, NY
For more stories from women finding solutions to their financial woes, sign up for our e-course, Money Moves, in partnership with BlackRock.