“Pay off your debt first. Freedom from debt is worth more than any amount you can earn” — Mark Cuban
July 18th, 2020, 8am pacific standard time. I no longer work at an office, my commute has been reduced from a 1 hour CalTrain ride to a 30 second walk from my bedroom to my home office. I log into my Earnest student loan portal, something that I do every morning, to check the payoff balance of my student loans, originally $170,000. Every login, every day, I cringe a bit, reminded of the poor decisions I made while in school…
“I used to care what people thought about me until I tried to pay my bills with their opinions” — Unknown
It has been 90 days. No, i’m not talking about sobriety, the elimination of junk food, or how many days in a row i’ve meditated (all pretty cool goals). The 90 days i’m referencing is a financial disease which impacts 80% of Americans: student loan debt. It has been over 90 days since i’ve paid off over $170,000 of student loan debt and embarked on a journey of debt freedom and wealth creation.
In the middle of a pandemic…
So I was listening to an interview with Howard Marks & Joel Greenblatt, called “Is It Different This Time?” and one of Joel’s talking points about the euphoria we’ve reached in the stock markets is that:
I thought that statement was bonkers, so I took a list of NYSE + NASDAQ companies ~ 6500, excluded SPACs/warrants and anything that triggered an error in google sheets (lazy I know), which left around 5000 equities.
I recently saw an ad by Bank of America where their CEO Brian Moynihan made the following statement:
“”We are focusing our resources on the number one priority — looking after people”.
This statement made me cringe and ultimately serves as the basis for this article. Here’s the punchline: Credit cards are destroying the US economy not the coronavirus.
Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and the following two statements represented your financial picture:
March 25th 2020, the United States Congress passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act”. It was a $2.2 trillion dollar tax pay funded bail out as a result of a stalled economy from shelter in place orders at the national, state and local level. Of the $2.2 trillion dollars allocated via the US Cares Act, $349 billion dollars were allocated to the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) , a forgivable loan program for “small business owners” which allocates up to $10 million dollars to cover (primarily) payroll costs, mortgage interest, and other operational expenses.
“The best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is now”
Repeat after me, “It is not too late to start blogging…it is not too late to start blogging”.
Ok I get it — blogging is sexy and it’s an awesome side hustle. The idea of having people read the (amazing) content you write with the hope that you’ll find a path to monetization is clutch, but blogging in 2020 isn’t the same as blogging in 2009. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier. In 2009 I launched a technology blogged which, at its peak, had around 25,000 unique visitors…
There is *so much* mis-information regarding the US Cares Act (commonly known as the “corona virus stimulus check)” that i’m beginning to think the mis-information may be just as problematic as the virus itself.
The purpose of this post is to clearly define what benefits are available to individuals with federally insured student loan debt. I am not going to reference the US Cares Act documentation and nothing else. No news, not CNN, not Fox, not MSNBC. They’re all freak shows right now. I am going to reference actual language within the bill. Let’s start.
“Federal student loan debt” means…
What a wild ride it has been. July 2018 I started blogging about my $170,000 of student loan debt and plan with a plan to have it paid off by March 2020 (yikes..now!), you can see the original post here:
Fast forward past a $90,000 wedding, three personal health emergencies, two career changes, and one coronavirus scare later, here we are, the last weekend of March 2020. Did I hit my goal of paying off $170,000 in 21 months? Unfortunately not.
Over the 21 month window I paid an aggregate $112,920.49 towards the debt, an average of $5,377.17 per month…
Student loan debt is accelerating so fast that it has become a burden on the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in February of 2017 that student loan debt rose for the 18th consecutive year and that borrowing for higher education has doubled in just eight years. Pathetic.
The average borrower in the college class of 2017 is expected to carry more than $38,000 in student loan debt, which may be accompanied by growing credit card debt, as well as an auto loan and maybe even a mortgage.
The costs for a higher education are among…