Melanie Lockert’s Jolting Student Loan Debt Wake-Up Call

Melanie Lockert of Los Angeles, California tells about the jolting student loan debt wake-up call she had right after completing grad school.

Lockert’s jolting student loan debt wake-up call

Lockert had wisely worked multiple part-time jobs throughout school, and for five years had made consistent monthly payments on her student loan debt. Yet, when she left grad school, she still owed a whopping $68,000 on her $81,000 student loan bill.

She’d worked so hard, and paid so faithfully—yet she still owed a staggering $68,000? How could this be?

The insidious nature of student loan debt interest

As Lockert dug into the “why” behind what had happened to her, she uncovered the reason. For five entire years, she’d paid only the minimum each month.

“When I graduated from NYU, I started to do the math and I realized I was paying $11 a day in interest,” she says. “That just really woke me up.”

Lockert was paying $11 a day in interest on her student loan debt

No wonder she wasn’t getting ahead.

Now Lockert warns others.

“When I was 17/18, I signed up for student loans not knowing how interest worked,” she told CNBC Select. “I subscribed to the idea that everyone has student loans, that it’s good debt. It wasn’t until I graduated from NYU when I was more broke than before that I realized the only way I was going to get out of debt was by paying more than the minimum.”

Photo courtesy of Melanie Lockert and Dear Debt

Lockert spent the next 4 years paying off her remaining student loan debt as fast as she could.

She took a full-time job as an events coordinator for a nonprofit, she shared an apartment to save money on rent and utilities, and she side hustled nearly 7 days a week to increase her income.

“I did any task—big or small—that I could find on TaskRabbit or Craigslist,” Lockert says.

She did freelance writing on the side, she started the popular Dear Debt blog, and she’s now the author of the book Dear Debt, which, she says, “chronicles my own journey overcoming crippling debt while giving you concrete tools to do the same.”

When Lockert became increasingly successful as a freelancer, she quit her job to freelance full-time—doubling her income to $60,000 within a year. “That turbocharged my student loan payments,” she says. “Suddenly, I was making four-figure payments.”

If you’ve got student loan debt, use these resources to begin the process of getting yourself free:

If you’re in college or technical school right now, see my article on how to slash your student loan debt.

If you’re in grad school right now, see my article on 12 ways to get your grad school paid for.

If you’re no longer in college or grad school, see my article on how to kiss student loan debt goodbye.

Help us spread the word about getting free of student loan debt

Copy this entire article and paste it right into your school, business, or nonprofit newsletter. Put a link to it in your Facebook group! Just include the words “By Jeannie Burlowski.”

And if you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

 

Want clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free?

Get your copy of my book:

It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing all at once—but even if you did, it would only take you 7 hours.

Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.

You can see more than 100 reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. Space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.

Did you find this article through a Facebook post?

Please click the LIKE or SHARE button on that Facebook post right now. You’ll be helping me get this info out to families who might never otherwise find out about it.

What about you? What strategies have you found for getting free of student loan debt?

Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.