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$76,524.22 was the exact student loan debt amount I fully paid off.
I wanted to lay out what my student loan debt payoff plan was. The amount of time it will take to pay off your debt will depend on numerous factors, but hopefully there are some tips here that you will find helpful.
5 Step Student Loan Debt Payoff Plan
- Set a debt payoff goal focusing on the month and year you expect to fully pay off the debt. Before my post about when I was aiming to pay off all my student loan debt, I had never set a goal. I figured I would end up being 60 and still paying off the debt. There seemed to be no end in sight. I decided to set a goal because I mean I had nothing to lose. I originally set a goal of late 2019. I ended up getting super motivated and finishing several months ahead of my goal. I paid off my student loan debt in Feb 2019.
- Get in the right mindset and prioritize paying off the student loan debt. Setting a debt payoff goal made me prioritize where my money would go. Some of the luxuries I usually ended up buying were put on hold. My mindset was all about paying off my student loan debt first. Without the proper mindset, you will make little progress to hitting your debt payoff goal.
- Budget. Know where your money is going and where to reallocate. I had attempted to budget using excel long ago before my student loans went into default. The excel budgeting got too cumbersome and tedious. I ended up giving up on budgeting. However, once I set my goal to pay off my student loan debt, I realized I should give it another shot. I used a free budgeting mobile app and knew from personal experience that I only need to estimate my expenses to give me a good idea of where my money was going and where to reallocate money.
- Make extra income through side hustles. I always had some sort of side hustle mainly sports cards are my main side hustle. I knew I had to take my side hustling to another level. I started to do some consulting and overall just taking my side hustling more seriously. I branched out to thrifting and flipping, which I still do today. My income alone along with the extra income was not going to cut it as I had to average a debt payment of a little over $5,000 a month.
- Reduce or eliminate expenses. I live a fairly minimalist lifestyle so the only major reduction in expense was food. Although I did not cut the amount of times I went out for lunch at work, I did cut how many times I would order out to eat. I basically did the chicken breast/high protein diet. There might be other expenses you can reduce such as cable, phone, buying new clothes, or cutting entertainment costs.