We first met when I was in undergrad. Tuition at a private prestigious university for 4 years was well over $100,000! Then one day as I was strolling through campus, I came across a booth of kids who were smiling, handing out free gifts, drinks, and…gasp…credit cards.
You mean I could apply for a credit card, get instantly approved, and get a free Nerf ball all in the same? Sign me up!
I remember my friends and I having a ball for the next few weeks as we racked up thousands in credit card debt over beer, pizza, electronics…you name it. Hell, it was free money in our eyes!
Fast forward 4 years and I was debt free. See, I got a pretty good job coming out of college working for Fannie Mae (this was before the financial crisis). I also was fortunate enough to get grants and help from my parents to pay for undergrad. My debt, including the credit cards, was gone.
Now I bounced around from job to job for awhile, and became disillusioned with my work so of course I went back to school to get my MBA. I was fortunate enough to get accepted to a great school, and figured that the $110,000 price tag was worth it because I would make so much more money upon graduation.
Yeah, didn’t happen. I graduated and actually ended up making LESS than what I made prior to grad school. My old friend had returned with a vengeance!
But, I must say, I greatly expanded my network, and more importantly, I started my own business. The fundamentals I learned in business school gave me the courage to start my own personal finance website Sobredinero.com, and I now am well on my way to paying down my student loans.
To be fair, it will still be a long journey, but I suspect that you won’t be around much longer because I have increased discipline and knowledge through my blogging about saving, credit, debt, investing etc…
I am no longer afraid of you for I have learned the difference between good vs bad debt. I am not afraid of you anymore Sallie Mae, Navient…whatever you’re calling yourself these days. Bring it on!