Friday, December 26, 2008

Oh My Gosh... I (Finally) Caught Up To My Original Student Loan Balance!

As regular readers of this blog know, I've been bemoaning my irresponsible borrowing of student loans 13 years ago. Regular readers also know that I've been whining about how I've been out of school for 10 years, yet I owe more on my student loans now than when I graduated due to several forbearances I took. (My prior rants on this issue can be read here, here and here.)

For those unfamiliar with student loan forbearances, the process allowed me to postpone monthly payments due to hardships (or any other approved reasons), but it also allowed interest to continue to accrue, adding to the principal owed.

Up until now, I couldn't figure out what my exact original student loan balance was, because I kept such shoddy records. (You didn't expect me to be in the debt-hole I'm in by being organized, did ya?)

But today, I found the information I was looking for: I originally took out $25,500 in Federal Stafford Loans, $30,000 in Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and $47,325 in Private Student Loans. [UPDATE: I forgot to add $4,100 I borrowed through the Federal Perkins Loan program. I completely forgot about this since I paid off the Perkins loan on 3/5/07. Hurray!]

My original student loan amount in 1998: $102,825 $106,925.
My current combined student loan balance: $102,726.85

I just discovered that for the first time in 10 years, I owe less [in my Federal and Private student loans] than when I graduated!

Note: This is how I really dance.

I know I shouldn't be elated about owing now what I did back in 1998, but I can't help but feel ecstatic. I no longer have the "sinking in quick sand" feeling. I feel like I'm FINALLY clawing my way out of this hole I've dug for myself 10-13 years ago.

Oh, happy day and what a great way to end 2008! This is the best Christmas gift I've ever given to myself!


jpkittie said...

first of all - love your moves ;)

I am very happy for you --- that is amazing that you are actually finally under what you graduated with! What an accomplishment - now you will feel as though you are getting things paid down & gone!!!

here's to a great 2009!

Christine said...

Wow, we must have Student Loans on the brain. I just rec'd my final loan, along with my first Student loan bill. lol! So, now I am finally on my way to paying that off too. Those darn Student Loans! lol!

I am glad to hear that you owe less than when you graduated (as you owe quite a bit!). ;)

I think all of us pf bloggers have a good thing coming this year! Keep up the great work! And love the dance moves.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

hot diggity! go shtinkykat, go shtinkykat go!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-I do love your Happy dance, LOL!! Seriously, its great news and the only way is down now-well done!!

Shtinkykat said...

Thank you all for the encouraging shout-outs!
I think I should clarify one thing - I dance like the stick figure, but just not that well. My actual dance moves resembles the seizure-like, Elaine thumb-dance from Seinfeld.
And Christine - I agree that we PF bloggers are a conscientious bunch so preparedness = good things coming!

Debtfree2009 said...

That has to be a great feeling. I'm sure 2009 you will see great progress with the SL.

Miss M said...

There has to be a better way to fund education. That is a staggering amount of debt for a young person to take on. I chose the school that offered me a scholarship, so I escaped with little debt. I still managed to dig myself in a hole though! You are doing great and I want you know that I am here cheering you on.

MoneyMateKate said...

Your student debt was/is truly overwhelming - just facing it and dealing with it is quite an accomplishment, so your happy dance is indeed called for here!

Christine W said...

I feel your pain.

I graduated in 96 owing just under $20k in student loans. TWELVE years later I now owe under $20K, even though I've been making payments for 9 years!

Yes, I was dumb. I deferred them for 3 years because I owed credit cards and couldnt afford the payments. I didnt realize, or care, or want to know - that it was adding on $8k in interest.

Ugh, so dumb. I'm 38, and hope to pay them off by the time I'm 40.

Good luck, thanks for posting this.

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