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*Official student loan pay off thread*

Home Student Loan Management *Official student loan pay off thread*

  • Avatar PNWskindoc
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 99
    Joined: 01/10/2016

    I was planning on paying off my students loans in 5 years after graduating residency but after reading two stories on SDN (thanks to WCI’s newsletter) of a psychiatrist paying off $340k in 7 months after graduating and another paying off $200k in 2 years, I’m now motivated to crush my loans¬†in 4 years or less. What I found so inspiring about the first story in particular was that the OP would periodically post screen shots of his loans amounts, all the way until it was zero. So I thought it would be a great idea if we could do something similar to encourage one another. In addition, I think it would be helpful for some of us if you could include your total loan amount, loan interest, yearly income, expected pay off duration, and what your living expenses are. I’ll go first:

    Total loan amount: ~$370,000

    Loan interest: 3.5%, 7 year variable with CommonBond (started at 3.1%)

    Yearly income: $450-500k (I’m purely on productions)

    Goal pay off date: 3/1/2020 (which would be 3.25 years and ~$10-11k/mos)

    Personal information: wife stays at home with the baby, we live in a relatively HCOL area

    Living expenses: ~$6500/mos

    Misc: Maxing out my 401k and backdoor Roth x 2

    #32394 Reply
    Avatar conniebird
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 258
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Awesome thread. I can use all the support. I am one year out of residency. Def could’ve paid down more and now motivated to knock em out hard.

    Current loan amount: ~ $187K

    Loan interest: 2.4-3.1% mix of fixed and variable

    Yearly income: a lot less than the OP ūüôā

    Goal payoff date: Ideally within 3 years. But a baby might derail that plan. Ok with if it takes longer with the low interest rates. Goal for 2017 is 50k towards loans.

    Live in NYC so one of the highest HCOL. Thankfully have low “rent”. Not sure of estimated expenses but close to 1/3 of take home pay goes towards savings or loans. That’s after maxing out 403b, 457b and Roth.

    ‚ÄúCompound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. (S)he who understands it, earns it ... (s)he who doesn't ... pays it.‚ÄĚ


    #32421 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6339
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    Loan amount left: 409k

    Interest: 3.125% (60% fixed)

    Income: 350 +/-75ish (production only)

    Goal payoff: 10 year term on about 40%. Current plan is to pay off as scheduled given low rate and other goals. Pay slightly more on rest of it and will reevaluate goals with time/situation changes.

    Real goal is asset collection at this time. Wont be paying much extra or care about killing off student loans as long as rates are so low and I can be accumulating growing assets instead.

    #32448 Reply
    Avatar ddscook
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 48
    Joined: 01/18/2016
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Loan amount at graduation: $210K (My Dental school) +¬†$250K (husband’s Med School) = $460K combined

    Interest: mix of 6.8%, 5%, 2.4%

    Income: $170K Dental + $45K Resident = $215K combined

    4.5 years since graduation, total loan amount is at $240K today

    Goal payoff: 2.5 years from now




    #32492 Reply
    Avatar hightower
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1501
    Joined: 12/07/2016

    Started with around 260k when I finished training 5 years ago. ¬†I didn’t start paying them down until last year at this time (I wish I had found WCI before then, but oh well)

    Current student loans as of today: $134,229.09

    3 loans comprise that total:

    1. 29,850.11 @ 6.8%

    2. 31,874.11 @ 2.6% fixed

    3. 72,504.87 @ 2.6% fixed
    Loan 1 will be gone by the end of February (already have 16k of it ready to pay). ¬†The other 2 I’m going to keep for awhile and start a taxable investment account this year.

    And @OP, I totally agree that seeing your numbers go down each month as you make payments is a very good idea. ¬†Over the last year I kept an excel spreadsheet that I updated almost daily and every time I made a payment I would look at my totals and just smile seeing the numbers go down. ¬†Its a good feeling to see them melt away. ¬†And with your income, it won’t take long.

    #32520 Reply
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2136
    Joined: 06/24/2016

    Me: $15,000¬†at 2.4% from undergrad…no rush, really

    Wife: $164,000 at 6.625% from med school…this is still in minimum monthly payment using the MFS-PAYE-PSLF stack, but since she goes up to the 10-yr standard monthly payment cap this year due to income having risen and she still has 8 years of PSLF payments left since she consolidated (wish I’d known…), then we would actually pay less over the life of the loan (even despite having about $38,000 forgiven after the 120th payment, if PSLF sticks around) by refinancing to a 5-7 year period *if* we can get a rate of less than 3.5%.

    Even if we do get a slightly worse rate than that, the overall amount would be about $3,000 over the 5-7 year repayment period, which is worth having the additional flexibility of her not working full-time for a non-profit. ¬†It’s a peculiar situation that I hadn’t foreseen until I had to file for her income adjustment this year.

    I thought I was nuts. ¬†I checked the math on it. ¬†There *is* a window where that’s the case, and it’s right about where moderate loan amounts are if someone (ill-advisedly) consolidates during training so as to extend the PSLF period beyond about 7 years.

    "I like money." - Frito Pendejo (Idiocracy)

    [Not a financial professional (yet), lawyer, or employee of The White Coat Investor]

    #32524 Reply
    Avatar MaxPower
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 374
    Joined: 02/22/2016

    – Starting loan amount was $346,000 (~ $45k at 2.875%, ~ $50k at 4.25%,, $90k a stipend at 12%, and ~ $150k at 6.8%)
    – Just over 2 years out from fellowship
    – Moderate COL with monthly expenses of $8-9000 per month (just living expenses; does not include retirement savings or debt payoff or taxes)
    – Salary of $520,000+ depending on productivity

    Paid off stipend within 6 months of starting and refinanced all of 6.8% loan with DRB in 5-year variable that started at 2.63%.

    Current loans: $40k of variable rate DRB loan, and ~ $90k of the 2.875/4.25% loan left. Have been aggressively paying off the variable rate loan before rates rise and should have it paid off in next month or two with 2016 productivity bonus (payable sometime this month). Then will divert $6000/month from DRB loan payment to 4.25% loan until it is paid off, then that plus the $300 or so per month currently going towards the 4.25% loan. With estimated tax refund this year of ~$30k (yes, have adjusted my withholding since realizing this), should be able to pay off all student loans before end of 2017.

    So looking forward to having an extra $6,000-7,000 per month to aggressively building up taxable account in order to reach FI in next 10-15 years. Already maxing out 403b, 457, HSA, and 2 backdoor Roths so I think it is within reach. Will be interested to look back at this thread at the end of 2017 and see how close I came.

    #32526 Reply
    Avatar Anesthesia84
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 94
    Joined: 12/16/2016

    Dual MD here, I have been in PP for 2 years while my husband finishes fellowship. He starts his first real job next August. We have 3 kids with a very high childcare bill even though I took a job that is only 4 days per week while he finishes. Kids are expensive….

    Starting student loan balance (before we refinanced with Earnest, variable rate) – 547k in January 2015. That’s all medical school. Neither of us had undergraduate loans due to scholarships/ financial aid. We graduated with less but that was when I started working and we could pay more than just IBR as we did when we were residents (but all the additional interest got added to principal at that point. Ugh)

    Current student loan balance – 447k. Current rate 3.0%

    Current income ~320k but after my husband starts his job it will be >600k.

    Monthly expenses (including childcare which is about $4000): about $9000

    401k, 403b, HSA, and Roth IRAs are maxed out every year. No 529 or taxable account yet. Saved 20% down for a house which we will close on in May. Mortgage will be ~0.5x our future combined income.

    Goal payoff 12/2020 which should be easily attainable although we have talked about me cutting my hours back in a year or 2. We will see!

    #32535 Reply
    NaOH NaOH
    Status: Pharmacist, Spouse
    Posts: 120
    Joined: 01/09/2016


    "Don't fear failure - not failure, but low aim, is the crime.
    In great attempts it is glorious even to fail."

    #32545 Reply
    Avatar gkeep84
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 07/06/2016

    Initial amount: $168,000 at 6.8% (all direct loans subsidized and unsubsidized), IBR payment x 5 years while in residency and training.

    Amount Remaining: $64,000 at 5 year variable rate of  2.47% via Sofi in July, $44,000 at 10 year fixed rate of 2.2% with family member (loaned money to wife in 2014 (NICU RN)so she could stay home instead of pay for child care)

    Household Income: ~$240 K with use of 50% quarterly bonus (~$10k) to loans and 50% to 529/taxable account. Wife received $28k gift from parents last year that she voluntarily applied to the loans in August.

    Monthly expenses excluding loans/investments: ~$6500

    403b, SRA, 457b and Roth all maxed out

    Tentative Payoff: January 2018 for SOFI. January 2019 for family member loan



    #32554 Reply
    Avatar Laeno
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 43
    Joined: 05/30/2016

    I’m 6 months out, took that time to get settled in, boost back up my e-fund, and max out my 401k for last year.

    Loans: $240k (for me) + ~$100k for my wife (long road with a private college to eventually wind up with a BSN RN in the fall)

    Income: $340k-ish, but I’m going to start moonlighting/locums and hope to add $100k to that. ¬†My wife will add another $50k or so in the fall

    Goal: All loans gone by the end of 2019.  End of 2018 if I can help it!

    We’re in some Dallas suburbs, so CoL isn’t dirt cheap Texas, but it’s certainly not bad. ¬†House fever got us, so we’ll be moving into our new home in the fall. ¬†Not the brightest financial decision, but if I can limit it to that (no new cars, etc), then I think we’ll do OK. ¬†I’m also planning to max out all of our tax-advantaged accounts while paying off the loans, and living just a bit¬†better than a resident–I let us spend ~90%¬†my residency pre-tax income (before this house payment comes in anyway).

    #32568 Reply
    Avatar Winkleweizen
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 57
    Joined: 01/28/2016

    Initial amount 120k. Thank god for state schools

    current amount: 91,130. @ 2.5% variable interest rate with earnest.  Will have it payed off in 6 years.  Not currently paying any extra

    gross income : 440kish. 400 me and 40 wife

    monthly expenses including 1400 dollar loan payment but excluding retirement: 9k


    #32577 Reply
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 01/05/2017


    Specialty: FM

    Initial Loan Amount: ~$370,000

    Current Loan Amount: ~$240,000 Refi @ 4% Fixed

    Total years out from Residency: 2.5

    Avg gross Income: ~$195,000 but in contract year and expecting income to increase to 240ish

    Maxing out 401K only right now with $80,000 saved (including company match)

    Monthly Expenses including loan payment but excluding retirement: $7300


    Goal payoff is 12/2019 but thats with current income. Will be a lot sooner with expected new salary with new contract this year.


    #32603 Reply
    Avatar DoubleMDs
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 98
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    Orig amt: $230K

    remaining: 35K (17 mos out of training)

    Interest rate: 3.5% (refinanced with DRB)

    income: 500K+ production

    payoff plan: 1-2 months, right on schedule!!


    #32607 Reply
    Avatar Anesthesia84
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 94
    Joined: 12/16/2016

    I’m reading through everyone’s numbers and so impressed, but have to ask – do a lot of new residency grads not have kids? We had our first during our 4th year of medical school, second at the end of our PGY-2 year, and third when I was a first year attending. As a dual resident and now fellow/ attending household, the cost of childcare has been astronomical. I guess we would have been able to make a huge dent in the loans if we didn’t have that cost! (Not that we are doing badly but our payoff is much slower than many others.)

    #32612 Reply

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