This past week, our tax refunds arrived! I waited a few days for the money to be confirmed by our bank, and then sent all of it to Sallie Mae. After almost 8 1/2 years of marriage, it is so satisfying to see the end of our student loans in sight! We began our marriage with $238,000 in debt ($70,000 in 3 student loans, $150,000 in 2 mortgages, and an $18,000 used truck).
As of today, we owe:
- $4627.85 to Sallie Mae (4.5% Interest Rate)
- $105,632.03 to Wells Fargo (4.125% Interest Rate)
for a Grand Total of $110, 259.88 in debt.
So we have paid off $127,740.12 in 8 1/2 years!
Despite all of our success, I have been discouraged by our debt these past few weeks. I have been weighed down by self-pity and impatience. I am so tired of spending our present to pay for our past. After 8 1/2 years of marriage, I want to be DONE with this debt! Inwardly I stomp by feet and shake my fist angrily, like a small child saying, “I want it NOW!”
Recently however, our family has also been touched by grief of all kinds. Cancer. Divorce. Drugs. Abuse. Poverty. Death. It can be so hard to spend years struggling to overcome debt. Yet it is also important to remember to keep our struggle in perspective. Debt is (often) a struggle of our own making, and one that can (usually) be overcome. Others are not so lucky.
Today I challenge you to celebrate how far you’ve come in your debt pay-off journey. Then stop to look at the people around you. What struggles are they facing, and what battles are they fighting? Pause to pray for these people, and then see if there isn’t some way you can help to lighten their load.