19 for 2019: #18 Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt

Progress made on this item: zero.

Definitely rolling this important one over to keep it on my radar. My original loan amount and current outstanding balance is modest by many standards, as many years of community college and undergraduate work were heavily subsidized. I started making small payments before I needed to, I often paid at least a little more than minimum payments until the last 5 years—I had it deferred while I was in the Peace Corps and have only made minimum payments since my return. Still, a dozen years out, this could be behind me if I stepped it up—I’m not entirely certain of what my balance is these days to be honest; probably haven’t logged in more than once or twice since I set up those minimum payments in 2016 and I know those payments aren’t making enough of a dent. I’m well past the “getting settled,” and it’s simply a matter of making the time to log in, probably including the annoying password change because I forgot, figure out a faster, more effective payment amount, and update the recurring payment amount. It’s way out of character for my usual money management habits and is something that needs love sooner rather than later. The irony is not lost on me that one of the most valuable graduate school lessons I paid for with these loans is that a change in knowledge does not equal a change in behavior.

Final item on my 19 for 2019: a last-minute whimsy that has nearly taken over the whole list—a side hustle. That would be great for paying down student loan debt.

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