Friday, August 10, 2007

Debt Sunset

Debt must be one of the worst possible forms of psychological torture inflicted on a massive scale by our financial institutions. Even though we were the ones who borrowed willingly in the first place, they are the ones who constantly increase our debt load while decreasing our ability to pay back. For example, what is the purpose of issuing a credit card with a $12,000 limit to a person with a $1,000 monthly income with no major personal assets (this is a real-life example)? Their objective is to have a person hooked on debt and to gain revenue from interest.

Sixty percent of my monthly student loan payments go towards servicing interest. Interest alone extends the repayment of my loan by two additional years, from six to eight. Although student debt carries a lower interest rate than credit card debt, many students find it hard to pay back their loans because in addition to their student loans they carry a credit card loan with a much higher interest rate.

In my case, I never had more than a thousand dollars credit limit in my credit card, so it was very easy to pay that back. But my student debt, built up throughout five years of study, has not been that easy to deal with.

My method for paying down my student debt quickly is to cut down on ALL expenses. When I moved to my new apartment, I did not buy a single piece of furniture. I furnished it with things I found on the street.

Some of the advice I could give you for saving money would be:
  • Look for free furniture, appliances, toys, etc. at the end of every month when people throw away stuff when moving.
  • Cook at home.
  • Seek free entertainment (borrow a movie from the library, play sports, etc)
  • Don't buy clothes and accept hand me downs from family or friends
  • Move to cheaper accommodation (vacate that penthouse!)
  • Get a cheaper car
This will allow you to save more money to pay down your debt sooner.