The following is part of a blog swap guest post by Chris Thomas of Debt Payer.com.
The monthly debt breakdown is daunting. And every month it must all be paid again. $2,500 – mortgage, taxes and homeowner’s insurance. $1,650 – Student Loan Debt repayment. Those two payments alone are $49,500 per year. That means at least $65,000.00 has to be earned pre-tax just to break even on the debt. There are 14 years, 11 months left on our 15 year mortgage. The student loan debt will be paid off in waves, 2/3 of it scheduled to be paid off 8 1/2 years from now and the remaining 1/3 not scheduled to be fully repaid until 2024.
How Did this Happen?
We should have known better about the house. That was a recent mistake. We figured we could make it work–that our salaries would increase. We had lived in 10 apartments in 10 years and we were sick of it. We should have waited and paid off our student loan debt at a faster rate. How stupid. The student loan debt was the result of 14 years combined of higher education. My wife works for the schools and I am lawyer. To make extra money I also have my own freelance writing business. I work until midnight every night and every weekend to try and stay afloat. We have $1,000 in the bank and we’re one bad break away from real financial hardship. As it is for many people, every day is a financial struggle. No purchase, no matter how small, can be made without feeling guilty or worried. Buying a fast-food lunch…oh God is that in the budget? We are lucky to earn high salaries but very little is left after we pay off our debt. We recently sold our first personal finance website, Broke Professionals–largely because we had an unexpected $1,000 gas bill. I hope we can hold on and the freelance writing business I recently started and which is flourishing is really helping out in that respect.
How to Get Out of Debt
I just don’t know. I accept that it is what it is. Growing up my parents were blue-collar and had a hard-working old-school mentality. All they wanted was for me to get a great education. They think I’ve “made it” because I’m a lawyer–not realizing that I am in much worse financial shape than they ever were. My parents buy every car in cash. The car may be used but it’s theirs. Me, I’ve got 160k in student loan debt and another $255k left on my mortgage. In a few months I will be 28 years old. When will I be able to start a family or relax?
I feel like this post has been kind of a downer so I will end with this. So long as you have your health and the will to fight, it is never over. At least we have no credit card or car debt. Although I wish my student loan debt was dischargeable in bankruptcy (should the worst ever occur), I am fully committed to fight debt to the death. I intend to win.
What’s your debt story? Anyone got more debt than me? What should I do to win my fight with debt?
You can follow Chris’s fight against debt at Debt Payer or hire him for Freelance work at FreelancePF.