098 | HyperDebt | The Debtist

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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 Debtist

“The Ever Growing List of Things I’ve Given Up in the Name of Frugality” – The Debtist

Reading My Tea Leaves

“Hashtag JOMO: Joy of Missing Out” – The Debtist

https://www.choosefi.com/098-hyperdebt-the-debtist/

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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