Last week, I posted to social media why you should pay off the lowest balance debt first over paying off the highest interest debt first. The post can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6897989016550289408.
With that in mind, we go on to how to pay off student loans. First, you probably won’t initially pay any extra on your student loans. For starters, you should first pay off all of your smaller loans. The easiest way to illustrate this process is for the fictitious Student Jones to start paying off debt.
Student Jones has a student loan of $23,000, a car loan of $18,500, and two credit card loans of $4,550 and $2.300. The total payments per month on these loans are $685.53. Jonesy (if I may) has made three promises to an accountability partner (a good idea). The first promise is to take on no more debt until all the above is paid off. Second, each monthly payment will not be reduced as the debt shrinks. Credit card companies will reduce your minimum payment as your balance goes down to keep you in debt longer while they earn usurious interest. Third, Jonesy will pray every day about the debt being eliminated.
Jonesy thinks that the budget will allow an extra $100 per month to pay on the total bills. $100 is added to the smaller credit card payment, almost quadrupling the payment above the minimum. This allows Jonesy to pay off that card in less than 2 years. If God blesses Jonesy with any extra money from gifts or a little extra work, that extra also gets paid on the smallest debt and shrinks the 2 years even more.
Most people will take the monthly payment on the card that was paid off and use it for a vacation or something else. Jonesy has decided to get the debt paid off first and applies the $134 that is no longer needed to be paid on the first credit card to the second credit card. The payment on the second credit card now triples.
Of course, the balance due on the second credit card has hardly dropped. For most credit cards, most of the minimum monthly payments go to pay interest and very little to paying down the balance.
This putting the amount of the paid-off payments on the next highest debt goes on in the same way until all the debt is paid off. Check out my book and website if you’d like to see a more comprehensive example. The book has a more comprehensive description of the process, and there’s a whole set of budget videos on my website to supplement what’s in the book. You can get the book at https://saynotocollegedebt.com/buy-the-book/.
Please forward this to anyone who would benefit from reading it or anyone who would benefit from the upcoming posts. And thanks for reading.
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