Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Goodbye, Sallie Mae! May 5, 2012

Well, I just clicked a button on the Sallie Mae accounts page that should have my federal student loans PAID OFF IN FULL!

It feels really awesome.

The loan started out as a bunch of federal student loans that I consolidated back in 2006 (after I graduated).  So they were serviced by the same bank that my private student loans were at.  At some point last year, Sallie Mae stepped in and took over as the company in charge of my loans. The Sallie Mae accounts page made me want to pay off my debt even faster, since they showed the daily accrued interest.  I was getting sick of it!

So today, I paid them off.  I’m no longer paying 3.5% interest on any debt.  Woo!

Of course, I still have about $29k in private student loans (thanks for being so expensive, MIT!), but they’re at a pretty sweet rate of 2.75%.  But I’m still coming after those!  And that’s much better than what I graduated with:  more like $70k at 8.5%.  But I’ve been aggressively paying that down, too!  Luckily, that loan’s rate was pegged to the Fed Rate, and (unluckily for those of us with savings accounts) the Fed rate has dropped like crazy since I graduated.  Plus I enrolled in all the programs that the bank had to offer that would lower my rate.

I am thankful that my rates are so low.  I know a lot of people aren’t as lucky.

But the final message for today:

My federal student loans are GONE!


[Edit 5/7/12:  Just looked back on my private student loans.  Turns out I only started with $57k at graduation.  And so far I’ve paid $49k in principal and interest, but I still owe ~$29k.  It’s mildly frustrating realizing I’ve already paid at least $13k in interest on my private loans (according to the loan company).  No, not mildly frustrating.  Gut-wrenchingly disgusting.  Oh well.  NEVER AGAIN!  (until I buy a house)]


17 Responses to “Goodbye, Sallie Mae!”

  1. Keep up the good work.


  2. Brian 4nash Says:

    Nicely done! Does that make ~$41k you paid off in 6 years?


    • Stephanie Says:

      Well, the federal loans were ~$18k, so I’ve paid off $58k already! Holy cow, I didn’t realize how much progress I’ve made! Or how much it cost!


  3. Michelle Says:

    Yay congrats!


  4. belowhermeans Says:



  5. Kristin Says:

    So happy for you!


  6. insomniaclabrat Says:

    Hooray! Nice job, what a great feeling!


  7. deaconhayes Says:

    Congrats, that it is awesome!


  8. kendallcorner Says:

    Yay!! Congrats!


  9. Vanessa Pagé Says:

    Wooo!! You’re what, 60% of the way done? That’s awesome!


  10. Congrats sooooo much!!!!!!! I am at the beginning of the debt journey as I will be taking out loans at a sad 7.9%. I could only hope to pay it off within 10 years!


  11. nunziobruno Says:

    That’s awesome congrats! I’m still working on the loans from Grad School but they will all be gone shortly. I’m pumped I happened across your blog and I’m def going to do some poking around 🙂


  12. nunziobruno Says:

    Great Stuff! I’m still working on my grad school loans but will be done with them soon – I can’t wait! I’m pumped to have come across your site and always a fan when I see more Mass Financial Bloggers 🙂


  13. Way to go, Steph! I bet that feels amazing!!!


  14. Eatplaylovecreate Says:

    This is an awesome blog! Could you tell me a good place to consolidate both Sally Mae and federal loans?
    Also, I have an outstanding debt currently in collections to my college. With a semester left until I am finished, the college has my transcripts until all debt is in order. What should I do, I feel very overwhelmed by this.
    Thanks for any help!


    • Stephanie Says:

      I would talk to your lender (Sallie Mae or other loans) and see what sort of consolidation they can do. Also talk to any banks/credit unions that you currently have accounts with to see what they offer.

      As for the collections issue, I’d say talk to you school, ask them exactly what they need from you. If it involves paying off a specific debt, see if you can negotiate a payoff plan that works for both of you.
      I find it odd that the school itself is holding your transcripts hostage. Usually student loans are through a bank of some sort. Do you owe them the actual tuition?


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