Focus your frustration
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.