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I finally paid off my ACS student loans!

4 Mar

freedom

It seemed impossible. Paying off over $55,000 in student loan debt $409 a month at a time. But then something happened. My student loans got tossed around from CFS to Chase and then back to ACS, my original loan company.

I realized then that I could either suffer and stress out over the next twenty years, or I could go on a crash financial diet and lose the weight of my ACS student loan off my shoulders once and for all.

I started this crash financial diet a little over three years ago. Here’s what I did:

  • Closed my credit cards down, except for my AMEX. 

visa-card

  • Extreme couponing. I got my binder, clipped my coupons, and studied blogs like hip2save.com, southernsavers.com, and wesusecoupons.com I got so good, I was getting tons of stuff for free or making money from buying certain items and I grew my own stockpile.

coupons

  • I stopped buying clothes for almost a year. And I stopped going to malls.

windowshopping

  • I cancelled our Costco membership.

costco

  • I worked my ass off. I networked on LinkedIn and made sure my profile was updated regularly. I’m a freelance copywriter, so I took every gig I was offered and worked hard. I put 100% into every job. And agencies kept calling me back. I worked morning, afternoon, and late into the night. Sometimes well past midnight.

coffee

  • I socked away 30% for taxes. And then I saved and saved and saved. Two years ago, I slapped down $27,000 in a single payment to ACS. The instant I did that, the coolest thing happened. The amount towards my principal changed. Before when I sent a $409 payment, $300 would go towards interest. Now $300 for every payment was going towards principal. Every time I made additional money, I sent additional payments. Sometimes, it was just an extra $100. And sometimes, it was an extra $2,000. I basically let go of the money before I had the chance to enjoy it. I knew it was meant to do more than buy the latest purse.

money-mattress1

  • I continued to work like crazy. And just sent my final payment 10 minutes ago!

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Doing this crash financial diet was hard. You have no idea how hard it was not to go buy a car or go on a fancy trip or go shopping for purses and new pretty shoes. But the end result is worth all of it. I saved about $60,000 in interest and shaved off 15 years off of my student loans.

RehobothBeachSandCastle

 

So what next? I figured if I could conquer my student loans, why not conquer my house? My goal: pay my house off in less than 10 years. We’ll see.

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