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098 | HyperDebt | The Debtist

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.

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
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