Budgeting Student Loans

“Should I Put off Paying My Student Loans so they can be Forgiven?”

Almost every corner you turn, someone you see will have a student loan and with those come massive student loan payments. We constantly think about how to get rid of the things, knowing they’re holding us back from buying a house, from starting to invest, from starting our lives. 

And with these thoughts come a lot of talk in the news lately about how to forgive our student loans. We’re going to attempt to address this problem now.

Vanessa writes in: “Hello Mike, thank you for everything you do here. I was hoping you could answer my question about mine and my husband’s student loans. We have combined student loans of $205,000. We’re both teachers and we’re making the minimum payments because any more than that seems unreasonable.

We were following the news stories and we know a lot of politicians are putting plans up to forgive student loans immediately. And also, because we’re teachers, if we make the required payments for 10 years, our loans will be forgiven in full. Curious to know what you think about trying to pay these off. Thanks!”

Thanks for writing, Vanessa. I’m going to try not to be blunt here. Putting off payments on your student loans will possibly be your biggest setback of your life. I know it sucks and I know it’s hard. It’s supposed to be.

Anytime the government comes up with these plans to help, run! They’re trying to get your vote; it doesn’t mean they care, it doesn’t mean anything will pass. And more importantly, it doesn’t mean it should pass. We are responsible for our own debts, regardless of how absurd the amount seems. 

The student loan forgiveness program for teachers could end at anytime, and it also comes with a lot of stipulations that if you do one thing wrong at any time during the ten-year period, which they like to make a moving target, you’re back to square one.

I never tell people to put off paying down debt because of a loan forgiveness program, especially one run by the government. You don’t want to be in debt for that long. Ten years is too much time to have this looming over you and destroying your life. 

Sallie Mae needs to die and a well-sharpened budget is your greatest weapon. Sorry if that sounds too brutal, but it needs to be said. Thanks for writing, Vanessa.


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This article is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. For help regarding your specific situation, please consult a local advisor.