This is My Story
This blog is a story about debt, personal finance, and my journey to overcome $200,000+ in student loans. Before you ask, no, I’m neither a doctor nor a lawyer (neither is my wife, whose debt is included here too). What I am is a 26-year-old guy who earned his undergraduate degree in physics (with no intention of teaching) from a small, private, liberal arts college, and his master’s degree in electrical engineering. But, despite my new engineering salary, some months my wife (who went to the same small, private, liberal arts college for undergrad) and I still find more money leaving the house than we bring in. At this point you might be asking, “Personal Fi Guy, how did two people accrue over $200,000 in student loans? Were your diplomas etched in gold?” Sadly I have no golden diploma to show for my debt. Our story is a lot like other U.S. Millennials drowning in student debt (now sitting at a national total of over $1.45 trillion, according to studentloanhero.com). But for the inquisitive reader out there, here’s the rough breakdown:
- May 2010: I graduated high school and owed nothing to nobody (Go Mustangs!).
- May 2014: I graduated college owing $75,000 in student loans (Go… Dutch?).
- May 2014: my fiancée graduated from the same college also owing $75,000 in student loans.
- August 2014: my wife and I had a beautiful marriage ceremony with friends and family wherein our loans became one, for a total of $150,000 (‘til death do we, and they, part).
- December 2016: I graduated from my master’s program with an additional $40,000 in student loans. Add with accrued and capitalized interest, our entire student loan-only debt burden amounted to just over $210,000.
I’m Not Alone
For the opinionated reader out there, yes, I know, we done screwed up. But what I also know is that we’re not alone, because our debt only accounts for 0.0000145% of the national student loan debt as of September 2017. What that means is, if everyone who has debt owes as much as we did at the beginning of this journey, that would still mean that 6,904,761 are drowning in their finances, and because I know the national average is closer to $37,172, that means that there is more likely 39,007,855 with more debt than they should have.
To be clear, my eyes have been opened, I have seen the light, and I know now that debt is not for me. So that’s what this blog is about: how much I owe, how much longer I owe, and my personal finance findings that I discover between pay periods.