Samantha Keith, author of The Debtist blog, explains what it means to have more than half a million dollars of student debt, and how she plans to pay it off in less than 10 years.
- Samm lived her first 8 years in the Philippines, in relative wealth, before her father accepted a job offer in the United States.
- Does Samm consider her family’s move to the U.S. to be a good thing in her life?
- Samm’s father was a mechanical engineer, and also worked as a janitor and a retail associate, to provide for the family.
- Samm didn’t spend much time considering how much dental school would cost, until she reached graduation and had to set up her loan-repayment plan.
- Currently, University of Southern California’s dental school costs $136k a year.
- Is there anything Samm would do differently looking backwards?
- What is the income range for the average dentist?
- With $550k of total student loans, Samm opted to pay down her debt as soon as possible, instead of the more popular IBR (Income-Based Repayment) plans that forgive remaining debt after 25 years.
- How much does someone pay, in monthly payments, when they opt for the IBR plan?
- Does Samm know anyone else who is paying their student loans fully instead of IBR?
- For loan repayment through an IBR plan, customers pay taxes on whatever loan amount is forgive at the termination of the IBR period, which includes additional interest that has accrued.
- For Samm, that would’ve been $400k of taxes.
- In just more than a year, Samm’s paid off $84k and hopes to pay it off in less than 10 years.
- How did starting with the IBR plan give Samm more flexibility?
- Refinancing from an IBR plan might secure a lower interest rate, but will lock her into a higher minimum monthly payment.
- When did Samm find minimalism and the FI community?
- What does living with less look like for Samm?
- How do Finance, Freedom and Frugality overlap in Samm’s world?
Listen to Brad and Jonathan’s thoughts about this episode here.
Links mentioned in today’s show:
“The Ever Growing List of Things I’ve Given Up in the Name of Frugality” – The Debtist
“Hashtag JOMO: Joy of Missing Out” – The Debtist