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May 27, 2010 / Brent Sears

College Debt

The clock is ticking to on the six month grace period on student loans for those who are not going back to graduate school to take more loans and delay repayment even longer.  Many people leave college with debt and never get out.  Don’t be one of them, because debt can ruin lives if it goes unchecked.  (Not all debt is bad, but too many people get out of control and buy things they don’t need and can’t afford.)

I left college with around $15,000 in student loans and credit card debt.  It was not fun to stare up that mountain, but at the same time it motivated me.  I decided that I was going to eliminate it, and in two and a half years I was able to do it; but I also made choices and sacrifices that most people would choose not to make.

It’s amazing how many people never take a serious look at their personal finances.  They are just too busy, or haven’t thought to do it.  What helped me is I started looking for answers, reading books from different financial planners, and finding ways to cut spending on things I didn’t need.  I bought a car for $2,500 with less than 100K miles and in great condition with no rust.  I could have taken out a loan and be sporting a late model BMW, but that would have meant payments and interest every month.

If you want a simple action step do this: make a list off all your debts as well as all the money you have available.  Then look at your income and add up all the money you expect to come in over the next month.  Once you know where you are you can figure out where you are going.  Then look for resources: Google search Suze Orman, Clark Howard,  or Dave Ramsey to start.  They all have a different slant and you have to decide what fits you.  It will be slow at first, but you will get there!  But you have to fact reality right now!

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