Have you ever felt like someone just wasn’t the right fit in your life, did more hard than good, and you just had to go?
That’s how Jason feels about Sallie Mae. While Sallie isn’t an actual person and is a banking corporation instead, Jason is determined to break up for good by crushing his student loan debt and consumer debt. In today’s debt mindset interview, Jason Butler, a Financial Aid Counselor, freelance writer, and a blogger who runs the site TheButlerJournal.com will share his debt story. Jason educates others about debt, travel, and college while working to pay off $72,000 of his own debt. I was happy to interview a fellow debt freedom fighter and hope you gain a lot from his experience!
What’s Your Current Debt Situation?
I current have a little over $67,000 worth of debt. The majority of it comes from student loans. I had a hard time finding a full-time job after graduation.
A low point is when I had to decide what was more important between my rent & cell phone or student loans. Of course the rent and cell phone were. Interest, late fees, and taking classes for a couple of semesters added more money to my loan debt.
When Did You Decide Your Debt Was a Problem?
I realized that my debt was a problem in late 2013. I was turning 30 and wanted to do better. I knew the debt was a lot, but not that much.
Did you implement a specific strategy to start paying off your debt?
I read Dave Ramsey’s book, the Total Money Makeover, and knew that was the strategy for me. I got serious in December 2014. I’ve had a couple things throw me off, but for the most part the debt snowball method has worked for me.
Related Blog Post: How to Create a Student Loan Plan of Attack
What were some obstacles you were/are faced with? How did you deal with the days when you lost motivation or slid back into your ‘old ways’?
There were a few obstacles that threw me off. I wrecked my car in 2015 and needed $600 to repair it. My rent increased. I also didn’t have an emergency account when I first started back paying my loans. When some of these things happened I was smack dab in the middle of my debt repayment journey so it was disheartening. On most days I still feel motivated and opted to slow down on making extra debt payments for a few months until my life got back on track. At the time, I was side hustling on eBay which helped me get back on track quicker. The bad times didn’t last long because I was able to get my emergency fund back up to $1,000 by the beginning of 2016.
What motivates you? What would you say to people who think they can’t get out of debt in an attempt to change their mindset?
Not having to pay or get a phone call from Sallie Mae/Navient ever again motivates me. Being able to travel more also motivates me. I love traveling and seeing new places.
To the people who don’t think they can get out of debt, I would tell them to change their mindset. The person who thinks they can or can’t is usually right so that’s no way to start your debt repayment journey because you’ll just be wasting your time.
Learn More About Jason
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