Does Sallie Mae Have You In a Chokehold?

I destroyed $17,151 worth of annoying student debt my first year after graduation.

I understand that you may have a lot more. However, the strategies I used will work for you as well.

Student Loan Debt Relief is extremely important.

Let’s take a look at the steps I took!

Assessing Your Debt

The first step you need to take is to get organized and assess your debt. Most people don’t even know how much they owe! 

How do you expect to get out of debt if you don’t even know how much debt you’re in? (LOL)

You need to create a blueprint based on your specific situation, which means diving into the numbers, looking at interest rates, monthly minimums, etc. 

It sounds complex, however the process really isn’t that bad.

Along with this, you want to create achievable goals and a specific timeframe. This will give you a clear path and force you to be more disciplined on your journey.

“I will pay off my loans in 2 years,” is way better approach than, “I want to get out of debt.” 

That little mindset shift will totally change your approach to this process.

Getting Organized Looks something like this:

Choose a Strategy: Debt Avalanche vs Debt Snowball

The two most popular strategies are the “Debt Avalanche” and the “Debt Snowball.”

The “Debt Avalanche” will save you the most money. The first loan you want to pay off entirely is the one with the highest interest rate. 

After the highest interest rate loan is paid off, you will continue this process with the remaining loans.

The Debt Avalanche Looks like this:

The Debt Snowball is a great strategy for people who need quick wins for motivation.

The first loan you will pay off is the one with the smallest TOTAL AMOUNT.

After that, you will continue the same process with the next smallest loan.

The debt snowball looks like this:

The Debt Avalanche and Snowball are fantastic strategies, you just have to find one that works for you.

Consolidation and Refinancing

Consolidation is a process done through the Federal Government.

This combines multiple federal loans into one new larger loan, that way you’ll only have one payment at the end of the month instead of several.

Your new interest rate will be the weighted average of all the loans.

Refinancing combines your multiple loans using a private lender, that way you’ll only have one payment at the end of the month instead of several.

Your new interest rate will depend on the company you use and your creditworthiness. There are several different companies, so make sure you do your research!

There are also forgiveness programs for student loan debt relief which are available.

Managing Your Money

In order to get out of debt, you have to be better with your finances.

You need to create a budget for yourself. Having a budget is like having a diet for your money. You need to know exactly what is going in and exactly what is coming out of your pocket. 

Becoming more conscious of your finances will help you drastically on your path to freedom.

1. Write Down Expenses

2. Figure Out After Tax Income

3. Do the Math

4. Review Your Status and Adjust Accordingly

Use the 50/30/20 Rule to Budget Correctly

Your income should be delegated as follows:

50% for Needs (Rent, Mortgage, Bills, Cars, etc.)

30% for Savings/Investments (Emergency Fund, Stocks, Bonds, etc.)

20% for Wants (Shopping, Restaurants, Activities, etc.)

These budgeting categories are important to understand. The goal is to keep more money in your pocket and stop the wasteful spending.

Along with this, ask yourself what financial sacrifices you can make to improve your current situation.

Increasing Your Income

Money won’t solve all your problems, but it will solve your money problems. (LOL!)

Penny pinching will definitely help, but it will only go so far. Simply put, you need to find a way to make more money.

Besides my main income, I had several different side hustles. These included refereeing basketball, giving out basketball lessons, and flipping. 

Flipping is where you find items for cheap and then sell them for a higher value. Garage sales and thrift stores are perfect places to find items to flip.

My advice is to take what you’re good at and monetize those skills. If you’re a great artist you could run a wine & dine class, or give out art lessons. 

If you’re good at sports you can give out lessons to younger kids teaching them fundamentals. 

Everyone is good at something, so you can figure it out!

Grab the Student Debt Blueprint here.