I have heard it said that putting financial info on the internet may not be the best idea. But you know what? I`m currently too aggrieved to care all that much. And I did start listing it here as a way to keep myself more accountable. For another thing, there are so many `how I got out of debt` stories online. Most of them claim to have cut back on pretty much everything in order to pay the debt the fastest possible. The one thing I never understood about them though… some of these people, while not saying exactly how much they were making, made it sound like they were at average $40,000 a year jobs. And yet they paid off like $70 thousand in less than a year??? How in the world can you pay off more money than you made? Even making money on the side, I can`t see it.
Personally, I make around $25,000, and my debt is around $100,000, as I`ve mentioned before. Which means, even if there was NO INTEREST, and if I could LIVE ON AIR and NOT NEED A PLACE TO LIVE or A CAR TO GET TO WORK, and absolutely every penny of that income went towards the debt, it would still take me a minimum of 4 years to pay it off. And as I said, that would be while being homeless and not eating, and isn`t taking into account the dreaded interest. As “Eating`s a habit you can`t seem to live without” to quote a good song, I honestly don`t see how those stories are possible, for the most part. And that`s the other reason I wanted to get some actual figures out there onto the internet…so that someone else who is worried about how slow they seem to be paying off debt based on all those stories can realize that they`re not alone, and that if those stories are true, they are an exception, not the realistic drowning in debt that a lot of people experience.
And you know, it`s not that I`m not serious about paying off my debt. I am. I very much am. I have read articles from people with get out of debt advice, and they all suggest cutting back everything but necessities, and say that if you`re really serious about getting out of debt, you can do it, and within a short time too. I betcha they are all trying to sell something. There is no possible way to pay back more than you currently earn. And when the debt hits that high, cutting out everything but the necessities…it might a month or two off of the twenty years or more you`ll be paying that debt off. I`m sorry, but I really don`t think it`s realistic to cut back on all but strict necessities for twenty or more years. Restaurants are not necessities. If you did that, you could never eat out, for example. Not that I personally eat out a lot (it is more expensive than eating at home) but… the thing about debt is that it is a major downer. It is so easy to drown in the hopelessness of it, to get mad at yourself for being so stupid as to take out the loans, at the loan companies and colleges only looking to make a quick buck, and not have an outlet for that anger. Despite how much of a weight the debt is, if you completely deprive yourself in an attempt to pay it back, I know that I, for one, would likely go crazy. You need little things here and there. So while yeah, cut back some and don`t go crazy, I don`t think you should cut out everything either.
Anyway, last month, January 2018, was the date that meant I`d now been paying back loans for 5 years. Unfortunately, I only started keeping strict track a year ago though. Just for fun, last month, I compared January 2017 to January 2018. It was not pretty. Long story short, I paid over $10,000 towards debt in 2017. Ten. Thousand. Dollars. But, there`s this pesky little thing loans and credit cards have, called interest. Thanks to that, despite the Ten. Thousand. Dollars. my entire debt? In one year, it went down a grand total of $514. And some of the individual loans had amounts that went up, not down. The biggest loan went up by about $2000. I got so depressed when I realized that. How is that in any way, an equivalent exchange? How can you ever pay that off without paying more than ten times what you borrowed? Answer, it`s not, you can`t, and America`s college and loan system is really screwed up. Is the degree worth it? I want to say yes, but…I`m not so sure anymore. About the only thing it actually did for me was allow me to apply to the JET program and get my first full time job.
Back on topic, today when I made my loan payments for the month, instead of just getting depressed, I got mad too. One of my loans moved to a new site (which means one more thing to remember to log into). On the site, I found an interesting piece of information that I snapped a pic of and posted on instagram. That particular loan? It said that to date, (so five years) I`d paid ten thousand dollars just on that one loan. And of that major amount of payment? Payment that went to the principal balance? Five thousand. The rest? Five thousand dollars was interest. Half, half! of my payments solely towards interest.
And I just… what I can I even say to that? More and more, I`m feeling like college was a cruise ship that leaves you in the middle of the ocean with one way you might get to land if you`re lucky; a leaky boat with a busted engine. And the only bucket in the boat is the one from the Liza song. (“There`s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there`s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza a hole.” That song)
It`s infuriating, depressing, aggravating, annoying, mind-boggling, ridiculous…
After five years of paying monthly loan payments, I have paid off one loan, and one credit card. And my total debt has changed so little it`s almost as if I shouldn`t have bothered trying. Which is an awful thing to feel about something that is an obligation that I signed and agreed to, whether or not I realized the far reaching consequences. I feel like without the interest, I might have a fighting chance. With it…without a full time job, I`ll drown.
My substafford loan $1967.81
My advantage loan $7699.26
My discover loan 1 $8826.24
My consolidation loan $38,667.55
Dad`s consolidation loan $43,921.07 (Dad, I am so, so sorry I made you co-sign a couple of my loans)
My discover card $0.37 (no idea how that happened. XD )
Total debt after five years of paying around ten thousand a year: $101,093.08
Gods, loans are just…the vampires of bills, aren`t they?