And So It Begins…

I made a lot of stupid decisions in college.

One of those decisions was to apply for five credit cards in the span of one semester (seriously, what the hell was I thinking?! Shoes. Shoes was what I was thinking). I was terrible at handling my credit and by graduation, I had a lot of credit debt to pay off.

As soon as I graduated from the University of San Francisco in December 2010, I vowed to myself to pay off my credit. I landed a job in the financial district of SF and started a debt snowball on all five of my credit cards. I made plenty of mistakes along the way but in January 2012, I paid off my last credit card!!! I now have a pretty good idea of how to handle all my credit and now have a credit score in the top range!

That’s not all, folks! Paying off all that debt was such a rush that now – I’m addicted! I’ve decided that starting in June 2012, I will aggressively pay off my student loans! The goal is to have them all paid off by December 2015 – exactly 5 years from when I graduated from USF. Many payment plans nowadays allows students to pay off their loans in 10 years, even all the way up to 30 years, so this will definitely be a challenge.

I have my reasons for doing this, and I’ll post on those in the future. But for now, here’s a look at what I’m dealing with:

According to CNN, the student loan debt for the class of 2011 (the year I was supposed to graduate, but more on that later) topped $25,000. As you can see, I’m about $5,000 shy of the average. However, my financial aid package also included a work-study program, so I guess you could say that I was given about the average throughout my 3.5 years at USF.

Over the past year (I didn’t start paying these loans until May 2011), I’ve made a very modest dent at this debt: about $1,500. Yet, I’ve only knocked off $889.65 of the principal (damn you, interest!). Moving forward, I hope to throw about $6,000/year at these loans – about $500/month – a 300% increase in contribution. On top of that, I still plan on fully funding my Roth IRA and I’ll continue saving for emergencies, a car, and my future life in New York (but more on that later). And no, I’m not rich. Although I will not discuss my exact income, I will say that I make less than the median income in my counties (San Francisco and Solano)as of 2011 (source).

Anyways, the beginning is always the most exciting part! This blog was made mostly to keep myself accountable, but hopefully you can learn a thing or two by reading about my journey, and in turn you’ll be inspired to pay off your own debts!

[Bear with me, I’m not exactly the best writer, either :)]

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