In the first three parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I covered the basics on interest rates and compounding, then about taking insurance at all costs and then in the last one I spoke about keeping a base income of 3 months in liquid assets which can be taken out immediately. In the last post I spoke about eliminating Credit Card debt.
Today I will talk about student debt as the next biggest killer after credit card debt.
I read a wonderful blog post by Wintery Knight (you can read it here) about how student debt is such a big issue and even a cause of divorces in some cases. What was more poignant in the post was that women ended up taking up student loans and in general did course which ended up in low paying jobs, so paying off the loan took an even longer time.
When I started writing this series – investment strategies for young girls – of blog posts I did not have this kind of data. I was writing more from the fact that most of my sisters, female colleagues, team members were always working very hard, but when it came to finances, they preferred to avoid thinking about it. The result is that a lot of these young women work hard and earn a lot of money but because they don’t know the investment strategies, they are not able to make money work for them.
The thought process – finances, money, maths are things which are better handled by their father/brother/husband, I thought was something more pronounced in India where because of cultural issues women did not think about money, finance and maths.
However the data sources in the Wintery Knight’s blog show that this is an issue even in developed countries like the US. So somewhere maybe the conditioning we give our girls right from their childhood, in all cultures, is a reason for this issue.
So let’s get down to solve this issue of the education loan crisis. If you have done what I mentioned in the first 3 posts and you still have a job, then make it a habit to pay 1.6 times what ever you paid in the previous month/year. So as an example if in the first month / year you pay out $100 then in the next make an effort to pay $160 or as close to $160 as possible. In the next month / year pay 1.6 times of $160 and so on. This is going to use the Hemachandra-Fibonacci series that I wrote about in my blog here…..
This way you will break the ability of the finance company to compound interest on your pending loan amount. Negotiate hard with them to ensure they don’t have a problem with you increasing your monthly/quarterly/yearly payments by 60% in every period(monthly/yearly/quarterly). The more you reduce the amount of principal at the earlier stages of your loan tenure the easier it will be payoff the loan faster.
Now this is going to be tough for the first few years where you will not be able to go out for parties and may not have the money to even buy expensive dresses and cosmetics. You could also however do some freelancing alongwith the job and increase your income ( we will take this up in a separate post).
Entrepreneurship is obviously the fastest way to wealth, but with a loan sitting on your head, it will be advisable to ensure you clear that out at the earliest and also gain experience on the way.
From the next post I will start writing about how you can utilise the laws of compounding to your benefit.
Till then – Stay Safe and Carpe Diem!!!