Student Loans Under $40,000, 3 Years to Go

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As part of getting my USAA Cadet Loan under $10,000, my student loan balance is now under $40,000! You can see the screen shot on the left from Mint.com.

I'm pleased with the progress I've made since graduating in 2010. It's been a long road to this point and I'm still not half way done. It's easy to get discouraged sometimes, but I have got to remember that staying focused on killing this debt is going to be extremely liberating in 3 years.

How I'm Paying off my Student Loans

I'm currently making 50% more than the minimum required payments, which will pay the debt off 5 years earlier than originally scheduled, saving me over $4000 in interest payments. Once the debt is paid off, a quarter of my monthly cash flow will be freed up, allowing me to start building up the savings it will require to be financially independent by the age of 40.

student loans under 40000While I'm aggressively attacking my student loan debt, I'm also maxing out my Roth IRA this year, saving for some vacations (Australia maybe?!), paying myself (and wife!) first, and enjoying life. I think it's easy to get burned out when you have an all consuming goal, like paying down tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. I'd rather enjoy life a little but still make extra payments. I accept the fact that debt repayment is a marathon, not a sprint.

How about you? How do you approach debt repayment, especially when you known that even if you making double payments it's still going to take years to pay off your debt?

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