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  1. #1
    Registered User NorrinRadd12's Avatar
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    About to use my savings to pay off student loans. Any reason not to?

    I have two high interest private loans that total a little less than $18,000. They've been a huge weight on me for 15 years now. I went back and looked at the total payment history and it's so sad. Just handing over $460 month after month after month. But there's a part of me that is reluctant to have to live paycheck to paycheck for a couple months. And what impact would paying them off have on my credit. I would think it would shoot up but people say no. Thoughts?
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    Hey man, this is really a personal decision but you have to weigh the pros and cons. First off the only thing this would do to your credit would be a positive, as you would have less debt and paid off the debt successfully. Everyone has an opinion and crazy theories about credit score but 90 percent of it is bullchit. Its very simple - if you pay things on time, maintain a large amount of AVAILABLE credit, and use your accounts semi frequently, your credit score will increase. D the opposite and it does down.

    Anyways, of you have $18k saved up and want to use that to pay off the loans its of course not a bad thing, however you're giving up a lot of buying power and possible interest doing that. It may be worth it to invest that amount of money in something that will net you a higher interest than the interest on the loans. Of course if the interest is 10% APR and you are likely getting 7% or whatever the average is in returns, it may not be worth. But if the APR is lower, you could in theory have your investments pay off your loans, or at least the interest. I think unless your goal is to become debt free ASAP, there's not much benefit to paying off the student loans early - especially when most people and creditors don't really care about that as they know its a long term thing.

    Also keep in mind that in the beginning of a loan, your monthly payment is almost entirely interest instead of capital, and it slowly goes down from there. By the end of the loan you are paying almost no inteest (as its already been all paid off in the first half of the term of the loan) and only capital. Depending how long ago you have been paying the loans, it may be too late to avoid interest. You would need to search for a calculator like this one to see where you're at.

    https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calcu...calculator.php

    In summary, I say do it only if there's a rush to get them paid off other than feeling bad that you owe the amount or you need to make the monthly payment Definitely don't do it if you can make some interest with your money.
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    How high is high interest?

    My only concern would be missed investing opportunities. I threw $15k at my car loan at the beginning of last year and then the pandemic hit, and I could have used that to buy really undervalued stocks instead of saving like 4% on interest. But if it's high enough interest, prioritizing the debt repayment should be a no-brainer


    And yes, your credit score should improve with lower debt utilization
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    Registered User NorrinRadd12's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Destor View Post
    How high is high interest?

    My only concern would be missed investing opportunities. I threw $15k at my car loan at the beginning of last year and then the pandemic hit, and I could have used that to buy really undervalued stocks instead of saving like 4% on interest. But if it's high enough interest, prioritizing the debt repayment should be a no-brainer


    And yes, your credit score should improve with lower debt utilization
    The 7k loan is 7% and the 11k loan is 9%.
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    Edit: nvm read that you have high interest

    The opportunity cost of whatever you can do with that money instead is usually the reason.

    Interest rates are low so you are encouraged to spend and invest your money instead. If you're good at trading, that is money which you can easily multiply as opposed to having no gains and just paying off the loan completely.

    Inflation may also pick up in the next 5-10 years and your loans could be slowly degraded.
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    Originally Posted by misheru View Post
    Hey man, this is really a personal decision but you have to weigh the pros and cons. First off the only thing this would do to your credit would be a positive, as you would have less debt and paid off the debt successfully. Everyone has an opinion and crazy theories about credit score but 90 percent of it is bullchit. Its very simple - if you pay things on time, maintain a large amount of AVAILABLE credit, and use your accounts semi frequently, your credit score will increase. D the opposite and it does down.

    Anyways, of you have $18k saved up and want to use that to pay off the loans its of course not a bad thing, however you're giving up a lot of buying power and possible interest doing that. It may be worth it to invest that amount of money in something that will net you a higher interest than the interest on the loans. Of course if the interest is 10% APR and you are likely getting 7% or whatever the average is in returns, it may not be worth. But if the APR is lower, you could in theory have your investments pay off your loans, or at least the interest. I think unless your goal is to become debt free ASAP, there's not much benefit to paying off the student loans early - especially when most people and creditors don't really care about that as they know its a long term thing.

    Also keep in mind that in the beginning of a loan, your monthly payment is almost entirely interest instead of capital, and it slowly goes down from there. By the end of the loan you are paying almost no inteest (as its already been all paid off in the first half of the term of the loan) and only capital. Depending how long ago you have been paying the loans, it may be too late to avoid interest. You would need to search for a calculator like this one to see where you're at.

    https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calcu...calculator.php

    In summary, I say do it only if there's a rush to get them paid off other than feeling bad that you owe the amount or you need to make the monthly payment Definitely don't do it if you can make some interest with your money.
    Thanks. I'll look into some investment opportunities. I've always imagined some magical experience when I finally become debt free but maybe there's a smarter way.
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    Originally Posted by Destor View Post
    How high is high interest?

    My only concern would be missed investing opportunities. I threw $15k at my car loan at the beginning of last year and then the pandemic hit, and I could have used that to buy really undervalued stocks instead of saving like 4% on interest. But if it's high enough interest, prioritizing the debt repayment should be a no-brainer


    And yes, your credit score should improve with lower debt utilization
    You also could have lost your job, started missing payments and had to sell your car or get it repo'd if you had invested it.

    I think everyone forgets that aspect. Financially it's probably always worse to pay off a low interest loan compared to investing it. But it can make sense to have a more secure and debt free lifestyle.
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    Dave Ramsey says pay off your debt.
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    Originally Posted by Travis99 View Post
    Dave Ramsey says pay off your debt.
    Dave ramsey is the type of guy to tell someone the secret to losing weight is to have a good diet. Not false. But no detail or adjustment to personal situations. Someone whom is extremely obese just needs to stop eating. A bodybuilder who needs to los weight needs to keep eating so they don't just lose mass. Same thing with money. Not everyone should use the caveman can do it strategy.
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    Pay half off with cash. Then open a 0% balance transfer credit card and payoff the other half with it.
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    I'm in a sort of similar situation OP, In December I owed 25K on my pickup and wanted to get it paid off just for the satisfaction of being debt free besides my mortgage. I have been dumping every dime I have onto the loan since and when it is paid off I am going to save up for about 6months of expenses, The way I'm doing it is risky by not keeping any cash on hand but I just use my credit card for those unexpected expenses and pay for them out of the next weeks pay.

    I think there will be a stock market correction in the future and I already am 401KMaxxxing, We will see where things are at the beginning of next year and see if all my excess cash is best held, invested in stonks, or used toward another rental property if the market finally comes down.
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    Omg that is WILD that you guys pay that kind of interest on student loans!
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    If you have really been paying them off for 15 years you should have a very long credit history so i imagine closing down this loan probably wouldn't have much of an impact. It's different if you just started the loan and were using it to build a credit history where you had no other credit.

    As far as paying it off. It really depends. Would it wipe out all the savings you have? You need some emergency fund. That should take priority over paying off a student loan. Personally I like to have 6 months but people obviously have varying risk tolerances there.
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    You have multiple options.

    If your credit is good there may be loan companies willing to pay off your loans in exchange for transferring the loan(s) to them. Instead of paying 7-9% you may be able to refinance to 3-4%.

    Some of the interest on student loans gives you a tax deduction (unless your income is above the threshold). You may want to take that into account.

    If you have credit card debt, that will often have significantly higher interest. Pay them off first if you have any.

    As with anything, you need to weigh the opportunity costs. Can you make more putting the money elsewhere? If this is the best use of the money, great. If there are better options, you may want to pursue those first.
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    I'd look into refinancing the loans. If you have the money to pay them now, I'd venture most lenders will give you a loan at a better rate. Depending on the rate you get, invest the money or purchase a home. This of course all depends on your full financial picture and goals.
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    Originally Posted by Travis99 View Post
    Dave Ramsey says pay off your debt.
    Dave Ramsey is great for people who have no discipline, no financial knowledge and no desire to learn. For everyone else he gives pretty bad advice.

    At that high of a rate I'd pay them off now.
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    I'd pay them off with those interest rates. Put that payment back into a savings or money market account for your cash cushion.
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    Imagine a life where the only interest in your life, is positive interest from your investments.

    If it takes you 5 years to pay off your 18k loans at 8% interest, you'd pay ~$4k in interest by the end of it. Make it 10 years and the total interest is over $8k.

    I paid off my student loans, which was like initially over $14k, within about 2 years and paid roughly $1.5k-2k in interest by the end.

    I could've put that $14k into the S&P, get a 12% growth, pay off the student loan using the growth along the way. I also could've put $14k into GME back then, and then sold it at its high for $233k. LOL. Or as already said ITT, could've put it into undervalued stocks on March/April 2020. On the other hand in an alternate universe COVID may never have happened, student loan relief would've been off the table, somehow anyways you could've lost your job/income, and still have the lender dishing you out student loan bills every month regardless of your situation. Life is full of should've could've would've.

    The lack of negative interest is always a good thing, especially due to the avoidance of risk. And paying off $18k shouldn't take you more than a year, maybe 2 if you've got a lot going on or some income issues. It's a blip of your life. After that, once you're debt free, your monthly CoL goes down due to no more student loan bills, and you can focus all your excess money into positive interest prospects with far less risk than if you actually owe anything to anyone.
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    Originally Posted by NorrinRadd12 View Post
    The 7k loan is 7% and the 11k loan is 9%.
    Pay the loan off. If the interest rates are that high you’re better off knocking it over quickly before you look at investing
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by Travis99 View Post
    Dave Ramsey says pay off your debt.
    Dave Ramsey is for people that can't control their spending. If you're savvy enough to weigh paying off debt vs investing the capital Dave isn't for you.
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    Registered User jn677's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JoshSP1985 View Post
    Dave Ramsey is for people that can't control their spending. If you're savvy enough to weigh paying off debt vs investing the capital Dave isn't for you.
    Yes exactly. Leverage is key to growing wealth without family wealth or high income to tap into. No lower or moderate income individuals saved their way into any substantial amount of wealth.

    Dave Ramsey is about getting poor people who overspend on consumer goods and other non income producing expenses out of debt and potentially build a modest savings.

    We live in this beautiful capitalistic world and leverage is one of the best tools there is to make us wealthy, use it.
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