The very heart of Money After Graduation is my own journey out of student loan debt. I started with nearly $21,000 and now with less than $5,000 to go, I’m nearly at the end of my journey — but plenty of others are just beginning or in the middle of theirs! With the average student loan debt upon graduation approaching $27,000, graduating in the red is not uncommon. In my Googling I found this nifty counter that actually shows the $15 billion+ student loan balance in Canada growing at an alarming pace. Ack! Since the student loan system isn’t necessarily the most straightforward, I figured a short summary post of the process might be in order. How to get a student loan in Canada In Canada, student loans are administered by the provincial and federal governments. This means you apply directly to them to secure funding for your post-secondary education. In […]
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. This means my new balance owing is below $5,000 — which is less than 1 month’s gross income for […]
Back in February I filmed the following short video for the Government of Alberta about my student loan debt. People are usually pretty surprised to find how positively I feel about student loans given my sincere efforts to get rid of them, but the reality is I wouldn’t be making the income I am if I hadn’t gotten the degree I did with the student loan money I borrowed 😉 Full disclosure: I loathe seeing myself on camera and I am filled with nothing but self-consciousnessness and certainty that I look awful so please be kind haha. I’m slowly getting used to having my photo taken for publicity in my writing, but not sure if I’ll ever be totally “ok” with it. Anyway, hope you enjoy!
On Monday I blogged about how much I’ve overpaid my student loans. Well, I keep a running tally of a number of my student loan metrics, including how much of my payments go towards the principal balance and how much just pays off interest: Note where it says the net paid off is about $5,100. Quite a lot less than the $5,900 I actually paid towards the loans. Yeah, nearly $800 less — which is almost exactly what has been required in minimum payments: Isn’t that crazy? I’ve been making payments against my student loans for the past ten months, even though technically I’ve only had to make payments for the past 4 months. If I had made only minimum payments, I would be absolutely NOWHERE right now. I would have paid off virtually NOTHING and would still be essentially $21,000 in debt. That is so MISERABLE. So this should be […]
While I regularly keep track of how much I put towards my student loans, I sat down recently to calculate how much I was actually required to pay. My student loans entered repayment in March 2012, but I’ve been throwing money at them since September 2011. The result? I’ve paid nearly $5,000 more than I had to: um.. wow! I spend so much time looking at how much further I have to go ($15,000+! GAH!) that it’s easy to forget how far I’ve come. Five thousand dollars is a lot of money, and to think it’s money I could have spent instead of put towards debt makes me feel just a little bit proud of the self-discipline it took NOT to go on a spending spree. I mean, let’s be real here: there’s a lot things I would love to buy for $5,000. Another 3+ week European vacation. A new […]