This post was written by one of Chipper’s ambassadors, Lissette Calveiro.
In case you haven’t heard the news already: I am finally 100% DEBT FREE! Yup, student loans were the last to go and as of spring 2020…they’re DONE! And, in about half the time I anticipated. The big solution that got me there? I faced my “number” and reduced my monthly payments to ones that weren’t so scary and more manageable. I know, you might be asking yourself: if you’re paying less, how did you pay them faster? Let’s dig into my journey and take a look.
When I graduated college, I truthfully had no idea how many student loans I was left with. I knew I was on some sort of autopay that was taking about $500 out of my bank account each month and just dreamt of the day that I’d get a letter in the mail saying I was done. Out of sight, out of mind? Spoiler: that didn’t quite work. I actually became quite resentful of how much money was being taken out for this, had zero savings, quickly got into credit card debt and took zero accountability of my finances. One day, I decided to look into my dusty student loans for options. With my credit card bills piling up, I looked up ways to try to save money on student loans and found my way to income-driven repayment. With this, I was able to reduce my monthly payments by a couple of hundred dollars during that period of time. I used this extra money each month to get out of credit card debt and eventually to begin a healthy savings account. It really helped change my financial picture around to have more cash on hand when I needed it most. Because I became much more comfortable understanding my student loans and repayment options, I also got confident with frequently logging in and making extra payments during this time. If I had a strong income month, I could use the money above-my-budget toward my student loans and almost began to “gamify” my payment. For example: if I found my account at $21,239…I’d make an extra $239 just to get it to $21,000. I did this many times throughout my repayment period – still keeping my autopay to the lowest number possible based on income – until one day I found myself at less than $10,000 to go. Now, because my reduced payments helped me save over the last few years, I actually found myself with almost a year’s worth of “emergency savings!” Knowing I could spare some of that, I decided to make one big payment: paid in full!
While it doesn’t take a financial whiz to understand how to find repayment options and help you understand your student loans’ big picture, it’s usually a lot of information made complicated and hard to find that creates an obstacle for most of us to actually face and pay them off. Chipper is the only online platform that guides you through your repayment (and forgiveness!) options without the hassle. By connecting your student loan accounts to the Chipper platform, you can see the “bigger picture” and decide on a repayment plan that works for your lifestyle and career. Plus, they’ll encourage you to chip away (pun totally intended) just like I did with round-ups, boost payments of your choice, and an invitation to get friends and family involved with a money pool. Income-driven repayment helped me save thousands of dollars over the years, which translated into getting my financial act together and bringing the other money areas in my life into more stability. With that newly gained financial freedom, I was able to build the extra funds I needed to slash my student loans and be 100% debt-free. You can explore your options and get started for FREE using this link to sign-up for Chipper. Yes, it’s totally safe and secure! PS: I mentioned loan forgiveness, which is a unique option for some industries (like teachers, nurses, government, and non-profit employees) that allow you to work toward a debt elimination plan. Chipper also supports you with those options and breaks them down so you can take advantage if you qualify.