Fo­cus your frus­tra­tion

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

For Den­ver res­i­dent Kumok, 28, ba­sic ex­penses, in­clud­ing stu­dent loans, ate up most of her pay­checks when she started work­ing at a small news­pa­per af­ter grad­u­at­ing from In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity with $28,000 in stu­dent loans.

“I hated how lit­tle I had to spend on my­self,” she said.

Kumok might have been able to pay less per month by us­ing fed­eral in­come-based re­pay­ment plans de­signed to help strug­gling bor­row­ers. She in­stead de­cided to pay more af­ter learn­ing that just $10 ex­tra each month would shave nearly a year off her 10-year re­pay­ment term. She writes on her blog, DebtFreeAfterThree.com, about how she ul­ti­mately paid off the debt in three years on an an­nual in­come of about $30,000.

“I fun­neled every de­ci­sion through the mind­set, ‘Is it worth buy­ing it or should I use that money to pay off my stu­dent loans?'”

That caused ten­sion with friends and even one of her bosses, who couldn’t un­der­stand why she turned down in­vi­ta­tions for meals or drinks. If she had it to do over again, Kumok said she would have cut her­self more slack.

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