My student loan debt is below $5,000


Filing my income taxes this year was both easier and harder than last. Easier because I only had to receive a T4 from a single employer instead of multiple, harder because I had to claim all my blogging/writing as self-employment income. Based on my tax refund estimator I actually had to pay taxes this year for the first time ever, which meant that while I got a large tax return, I definitely didn’t get back everything I paid in! The trials of being a contributing citizen.. Oh well. Nevertheless, I did benefit financially this tax season and I’m happy to report that I put it to good use. When my income tax refund was deposited into my bank account, the first thing I did was make a $3,100 student loan payment.


me doing something right, and the PF community cheering me on

Β This means my new balance owing is below $5,000 — which is less than 1 month’s gross income for me.

Craziness. The $4,941 remaining doesn’t even feel like that much owing — and why would it? That total used to be over $20,000. With over $16,000 already paid off, the remainder of my student debt almost looks like petty change.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 7.42.51 PM

Well, not really, but it’s certainly easier to swallow.

If you’re interested in following my student loan payoff progress, you can always check out my charts HERE.

I’m a BIG advocate of using your income tax refunds to pay down your student debt. Because I paid for my university education, I racked up tons of tuition credits that gave me significant tax breaks in 2011 and 2012. This is the reason why my income tax refund was so big. It only makes sense to use your large income tax refund that you received solely because you went to university, to pay down the student loans you borrowed to attend university.

Essentially you paid the government money (because most universities are government-funded institutions in Canada, so paying tuition is paying the government), then they pay it back to you in your income tax refund, and then you pay the government again by paying down your student loan.

Ok, so the government wins monetarily but you’ve got this great educated mind now. Huzzah!

So next year I probably won’t get an income tax refund, but I won’t have any student loan debt either. My plan to tackle the remaining $5K I owe is simple: just pay it off.

February and March are spendy months for me this year because of booking various work and personal trips. Once the dust settles for flights, hotels and rental cars, all my money can be funnelled towards the student loan. I’m not a huge fan of deprivation in the name anything, but debt-freedom is a worthy cause and at this point, I wouldn’t have to suffer for long. Besides, if I ever get really annoyed, I can always do a gigantamous transfer of funds from savings and wipe out my remaining debt.

I’m always a sprinter at the finish-line, even if I strolled and lolly-gagged the rest of the race up until that point!

In any case, I’m almost done, guys! I’M ALMOST DONE.


  1. Brian

    Well done! Less than $5K will be gone in no time. Congrats on your amazing payback rate!

  2. WOOOHOO You’re doing great! It must feel so nice πŸ™‚

  3. mickey

    Nicely done! You must be really happy!

  4. Congratulations on almost having downpaid your student loan. That`s a great accomplishment! Soon you`ll be done with it! πŸ˜€

  5. Amazingly done! We have $2k left on our car loan. Down from $5500 in August.

    I’m planning to use our tax refund to pay if off! πŸ™‚ Then we will be debt free for a while. That is until we buy our house.

  6. Congrats! I know it sounds weird but I’m almost as happy as I would be if it was my own debt being paid down. I owe about nine times what you do now, so obviously it isn’t. haha. Good job.

  7. Adina J

    Perfect gif, as always. Congrats, Bridget!

  8. Way to go mate, on your way to the finish line!! Gotta feel good about that!

  9. Life is good! Nice work.

  10. Good for you. I actually used all my tax refund to pay my student loan. It was about $3800. I am only $800 dollars away from being completely debt free. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels good. I am sure you feel the same way!

  11. Congrats Bridget! I can’t wait to see that chart of yours show $0 in another few months πŸ™‚

  12. Great job B dog πŸ˜€ Pretty soon you’ll have the whole thing paid off. If you flip the graph upside down it would probably look similar to your net worth trend :0)

  13. Woohoo that’s amazing! My tax return should bring my student loans owing to under 5k left as well. I just have to wait for my fiance’s T4 to get here, so impatient about that!

  14. Congratulations! I always love reading about a good debt payoff story and you even look like you are paying it off in record time.

  15. Congrats! It feels great to have it paid off. I paid mine off last November.

  16. Uhhh, I’m calling out the logic on the “government wins” statement. As taxpayers, we are investing a huge amount and it will take us awhile to pay off the ~50% of our education costs that were funded by other taxpayers, not including interest subsidies on loans.
    That aside, well done on making some serious progress on your loans… so close, so close!

  17. Eddie

    Congratulations!!! I also have $4,915 left in student loans with an APR of 3.15%. I will rid them in about months πŸ˜€ It’s going to feel great when we become debt free!!!!!