Perspective

Student loan debt is a big deal in the U.S.  It seems like everyone has some.

The most recent numbers on outstanding student loan debt put it at $1,080,000,000,000. That’s $1.08 TRILLION dollars. With a T.

Of that $1.08 Trillion dollars, 11.5% of it is more than 90 days past due. That means $124,200,000,000 or $124 Billion (with a B) is either delinquent or in default.

I can’t comprehend those numbers. Can you? Those numbers are too large for me grasp.

To hit a little closer to home, I looked at the average student loan debt for the schools I’ve attended. The average student loan debt of those graduating from law school in my state is $104,000. That number does not include undergraduate/college debt. The average student loan debt in 2009 for my alma mater… an additional $27,500. 

So if I had the average level of student loan debt for my education, I’d be $131,500 in debt.

Wow. That’s a lot of debt.

Against $131,500 or even $104,000, it is really easy to minimize $45,000 worth of student loans. It is so easy that I caught myself doing it, over and over again.  I kept comparing myself to my classmates and the debt I thought they had.

I only have $45,000 of debt.

ONLY.

Has anyone ever told you that they had $45,000 of any other debt and the word only came to mind? If someone told me they only had $45k of credit card debt, I think I’d shake them and calmly ask , “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ONLY!??”

I’m really thankful that I’m in the position of (only) having $45k of loans, but I also don’t want to lose sight of where I want to be.

I want to be free of student loan debt. I want to see the world. It would be pretty cool to own a home someday. I want to fully fund my retirement accounts so I don’t have to work until I die.  I may even want to get a dog.

There are so many things that I want to do, and having student loans is only slowing me down.

To get there, I’m dropping ‘only’ from my vocabulary.

What about you? Have you rationalized your debt?

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