And Then There Was One

A long, long time ago1, an intrepid young graduate (i.e., me) was buried under a mountain of student debt. More than $71,000 of student debt, in fact. Said debt was originally in the form of no fewer than 15 separate loan accounts, which were then consolidated into 3. And for the last 5 years I have been pouring insane amounts of money into paying off those mofos.

My strategy has been to set a fairly high monthly amount that I pay, focusing on the highest interest loans first. Every time I got a raise, I upped my monthly payment by the after-tax amount of that raise; the idea here is that since I’m not used to having that money, I won’t even notice it missing. Similarly, any extra money I managed to make (e.g., from freelance work and teaching) was made as lump sum payments onto my loans2.

My first taste of victory came in June 2011.

student loan 1 of 3 - done!The first of my 3 loans was done! Huzzah!

And then, just days ago, this happened:

zero balance

Student loan #2 down. And then there was one. Just one student loan left to go.

At this very moment, that student loan sits at about $5,400. At my current rate of $1,800 per month, that would take me three more months.

However. I happened to come into some money recently. By which I mean my mom generously gave me some. And as soon as the cheque clears3, my student loans will. be. done. Just a few days past the 5 year mark from when I started paying them off, I will have paid off more than $71,000 plus interest. In case you haven’t noticed, that is ABSOLUTELY INSANE.

Guess I’m going to have to figure out what to do with the money previously allotted to “student loan payments” in my monthly budget.

  1. i.e., 5 years ago []
  2. With a few bucks of that extra money being used for things like laser eye surgery and braces. Because you have to have some balance in your life, right? []
  3. Because apparently it takes a week for Vancity to talk to the Royal Bank. I believe they communicate by the Pony Express. Or maybe messenger pigeon. []

Comments |6|

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  • Congrats! I had about $30,000 worth of them, and it took me nearly ten years to pay them off. I remember the day I called (you couldn’t pay them online when I finished mine off) and made the final payment, the lady on the phone started congratulating me – it’s a great feeling!


  • Holy COW! I knew you contributed a lot per month but I thought it was around $1200, not freaking $1800… that is CRAZY! No wonder you paid off so much last year!

    Anyway, congrats! Looking forward to the party. 😀


  • That is so awesome!!!! You are going to feel like a millionaire with all that extra money! I’ve been paying mine for about 5 years now and my husband and I recently came up with a plan to finish paying them in the next 4 years (and I only had $20,000, but he had a ton of credit card debt when we married). Throw yourself a huge party and post lots of pictures.


  • Yippee for you!

    I feel compelled to say that 71k for a BSc, MSc and PhD is rocking awesome. If you were at a private school in some other countries this wouldn’t cover 1st year of the BSc.


  • @Stacy – There’s definitely a huge party to be had. I won’t get to have it right away, as I’m crazy busy with school, but when we get a break in the summer, there will be partying indeed!

    @Nancy – I agree! It works out to only $6,500 per year I was in school, which is peanuts really.


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