As soon as you blow up, student loans tend to show up. Editorial Director Kian Hervey compares her experience paying off student loans to a song by one of her favorite rappers.
J. Cole prepared me for post-grad life more than any other personal adviser.
After I graduated, I was not going to be “ducking bill collectors like Jehovah’s witness.” I was going to “get a good salary to pay Sallie Mae.”
A college degree from any school isn’t cheap, and Urban Dictionary jokingly refers my alma matter as Southern Millionaires University. When I graduated, I had more than a few student loans to pay off and a six-month time bomb ticking in my head. Before I could blow up, I knew I’d have to be “broke as dishes” for a while.
Here are a few tips to truly becoming debt free:
Think outside your Degree
Instead of looking for journalism jobs, I sought employment outside the newsroom and found a corporate job that still allowed me to write, edit, and create. The comfort of a consistent paycheck was much more valuable to me than sitting in a small newsroom.
Stick to a Budget
Sure, I would have loved to travel abroad, go on a shopping spree, and treat myself when I got my first paycheck. But I set money aside right away to reach my goals to be debt free. Creating and sticking to a budget was step one to getting over student loans.
Learn about your Loans
When you’re strapped for cash in school, subsidized and unsubsidized loans seem about what and what. When you see the interest stack up after school, you learn to prioritize which loans need to be paid off fast. Strategize about your payments and avoid the interest beast.
Take Other’s Advice
Parents often say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I learned from the mistakes of my friends who graduated early and avoided the financial pitfalls they faced immediately after college. Listen to what others have to say about student loans. It’ll make cents one day.
Witty bars aside, J.Cole’s song Blow Up is really about having patience and enduring hardship before success. Know that student loans will be behind you one day and maybe then, you can blow up.
Listen to J.Cole’s hit from his mixtape Friday Night Lights here.
What song inspired you post-college? Tell us below.