I don’t know what defines millennials as a generation more accurately – our love of avocado toast, or our crippling student loan debt.
When I graduated in 2015, the average Canadian owed $26,819. Ever the overachiever, my debt topped out at a staggering $130,455 for my undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees.
That was over two years ago, so let me catch you up:
- May-June 2015: Graduation. Cross-country move. Jobless panic.
- July 2015: First full-time job! Checking the debt balance … OH FUCK.
- August 2015-October 2015: Loans in grace period, interest still piling up.
- November 2015-October 2016: Loan payments begin. Making the minimums (because I ‘couldn’t afford’ to make higher payments) and getting nowhere – $8,500 principal paid in 12 months.
- November-December 2016: Realized that being shackled to student loans for another decade was unacceptable. Majority of time spent reading Mr. Money Moustache and listening to The Dave Ramsey Show. Started tracking my progress on Instagram @debtstoriches.
- January-June 2017: Cut down lifestyle, $12,900 principal paid in six months.
So where am I now? $106,300. Still six figures, but not *quite* as astronomical as $130,455.
My plan is to knock out the remaining debt in 2021 and then.. start buying myself the freedom to make choices based on life rather than money.