Consider this post the equivalent of my debt free scream! As of 10/7/2015, I have officially paid off my Sallie Mae / Navient student loan debt!
Yes, I know that this post is long overdue and I should have shouted this from the rooftops last month, but it is better late than never!
Back in 2013, Hubby and I welcomed our first child into our family. We knew before getting married and becoming parents that I would stay at home to raise any children that we had, but I was unsettled at the fact that as I left the workforce, I still had over $14k in student loans that needed to be repaid and I had no income (outside of my husband’s) to pay it off.
We were content for a while with paying only the minimum balance, but reality hit me one day after my student loans were sold to Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae sent me a letter detailing my payoff schedule. They estimated that if I only paid the minimum balance each month, I would pay off my loans in 2023. That would mean that my daughter would be 10 years old when I made my last student loan payment.
It was at that moment that I set out to bring in some extra money to get rid of those loans and that’s precisely why I ventured down the path of becoming a reseller (…the results of this endeavor has been detailed on this blog).
Fast Forward to Today…
This moment has been a work in progress. I honestly believe that these loans could have been paid off months ago, but we (…actually Hubby) kept pushing the date forward. At first, we agreed to pay off my loans back in April 2015 and then April turned into May and May into…well, you get the point.
Back in July I got fed up with the student loan balance still staring back at me. I knew that we could knock out my loans if we would just stop investing our profits back into more inventory. My husband sensed my frustration and sat down with me to draft an “Operation Extinguish” contract that detailed the exact moment we would pay off my loans:
We kept this contract attached to our fridge as a daily reminder of our goals. Right around the end of September I knew that we were close to reaching those personal and business financial benchmarks.
On Friday, October 2, 2015, I pulled the trigger and submitted my final student loan payment:
As it turns out, I overpaid by $2.13 (hence the negative balance), so Sallie Mae will actually have to write ME a check. I am sure that doesn’t happen often!
When I first started this blog, I gave myself a timeline of December 2016 to pay off my loans. Paying off this debt did not happen overnight. I do not have the ability to put full-time hours into re-selling, but I was blessed to be able to eliminate $14k in student loans in approximately 19 months by taking things slowly.
At the beginning of October, I debated heavily about whether or not to write an income report for the month of September.
On one hand, I felt it necessary to write an income report since September was our best month on record for 2015, but on the other hand, I feel as though this blog has become nothing more than an “income report” blog as of the past couple of months and that is not what I wanted or originally intended to happen. I’m not even sure if it is helpful to anyone anymore.
Additionally, I have many unanswered comments and there are weeks that go by where I forget to tend to this blog.
With that said, here is a snapshot of September’s sales:
(Our best month so far…it even surpassed December 2014’s sales)
Going forward, I will no longer include any more income reports on this blog.
I hope to get through all of my unanswered comments and include a final summary of our success/failures as resellers, but this is the end of the road of sharing our monthly financials.
I believe that I have proven that it is possible to earn a part-time income online through either eBay or Amazon FBA and that you don’t need much money to get started. If you recall, I got started with an $80 investment for a pallet of VHS tapes. Yes, VHS tapes. 🙂
Where Do I Go From Here?
Hubby and I pray about every step that we take and the direction we go next is still unclear. What I do know is that we will continue to re-sell part-time – especially now that we’ve entered into the fourth quarter (Q4).
Outside of re-selling, I will continue to work on improving my credit score. Since I began this student loan payoff journey, my credit score has increased by over 100 points. In fact, after my last loan payoff, my credit score increased by 50 points alone. I’m expecting similar results now that this entire debt is eliminated. My next step is to work on other aspects of my credit. Our end goal is NOT to be reliant on Amazon or any other 3rd party platform as a business model. We want to invest in building our own businesses and that is going to require an above average credit score on my end. Now that the $14k Sallie Mae giant is off of my back, I can begin to tackle those other dings that have lingered on my credit report.
Since September, Hubby and I have been brainstorming about venturing into the liquidation arena on a larger scale. Liquidation comprises a large portion of our sales/inventory. According to our year-to-date financials, over 50% of our sales consisted of liquidated merchandise. It is by far the #1 contributor as to how we are able to consistently sell over 2,000 products a month. There’s absolutely no way I could source that much product on my own on a part-time basis.
Going forward, it will take much more organization and better inventory management systems, but liquidation is currently a business model that is working for us and we a researching additional ways to expand and connect with buyers outside of selling online.
I appreciate everyone that followed along and offered words of encouragement along the way. I sincerely appreciate every comment, email, Facebook message and phone call (:)) as a result of sharing my reselling and student loan payoff journey.
This may be the end of my student loan journey, but it’s not the end of our journey towards financial independence.
Until next time,