How to Understand (and Destroy) Your Student Loans
That's the number you see quoted everywhere right now. The amount of debt that the average pharmacy school student graduates with.
Maybe typing it out in text like you would on a check will make it seem less daunting. Let's try that.
One-hundred sixty thousand and 0/100 dollars.
Nope. I think that actually made it worse.
And that's the average. Which means it's just the top of the bell curve. There are plenty of students that graduate with well above $160k. I was one of them. I finished up my 4 years of pharmacy school with just north of $200,000.
Have you ever calculated how much interest you end up paying on that large of a debt? I'm not even talking over the life of the loan. I'm talking about each and every day.
Because I have. When I graduated, my $200,000 of debt had an interest rate of somewhere between 6.8 and 7.8% (depending on the loan...I had some graduate plus loans in that mix).
When you run the math, I was paying over $35 dollars in interest every. single. day. That's $13,000 in interest per year. It's like having mortgage worth of student loans (at almost double the average mortgage rate), but when you're finished paying, you don't have a house to live in.
When the real gravity of my situation hit me, I started consuming every book and blog on personal finance that I could get my hands on. And although I learned a ton and came across some really helpful stuff, there was one consistent problem that I ran into...
Most personal finance and student loan information is written for the "average" person. What I mean by that, is that it's written for people who make somewhere between $45 and $70,000 a year and who graduate with closer to $35,000 of student loan debt.
Although there's certainly some overlap, a lot of the information written for someone in that situation doesn't necessarily apply to a newly graduated pharmacist. Our salaries and our debt load are much higher. Depending on your family/tax situation, you may be earning enough money that you aren't eligible to participate in certain retirement accounts.
That made it difficult to apply what I was learning to my situation.
I eventually came across a guy named "Tim," who had started a site called Your Financial Pharmacist. Tim eventually joined forces with another guy named Tim, and they wrote a fantastic book called Seven Figure Pharmacist (which I've reviewed on tl;dr before). I still recommend this book as a "must read" for every student pharmacist and recent graduate that I come across. It's that good.
The Tims recently added a third Tim to the Your Financial Pharmacist team (what can I say, they have a type).
The Your Financial Pharmacist team just launched a super helpful course on student loans. That's what I want to talk to you about today.
The Student Loan Course for Pharmacists
If you've ever felt overwhelmed and just wanted to bury your head in the sand because of your student loans, I can't recommend this course highly enough to you.
The course is broken down into 3 modules, with short(ish) and actionable videos to teach you the concept. There are also a ton of worksheets and checklists so that you can actually put what the class is teaching into practice.
Across the 3 modules, you'll learn..
- How to figure out exactly how much you owe, so you can plan your payoff strategy
- How to set up a budget that lets you pay off your loans without "living in a van down by the river" eating lentils and ramen every night
- A comprehensive overview of every payoff strategy -- and how to pick the right one for you
- Is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program legit? Is it right for you? And if so, how to set it up
- How do you balance student loans, home buying, saving for retirement, your child's college education, and everything else? You'll learn exactly how to make your very own customized plan
- Should you consolidate your loans? Should you refinance them? How do you know when the time is right?
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
One of my favorite things about the Student Loan Course for Pharmacists is how "personalized" it is. Yes, you're watching a video course from a bunch of guys named Tim that you probably don't know. But there are so many ways to apply the info directly to your situation.
First of all, there is a private Facebook group. Once you join, you get access to a group moderated by The Tim Army where you can ask questions and celebrate victories and milestones.
Secondly, you'll have a ton of guides and worksheets at your disposal to personalize every single piece of your student loan picture. My favorite is a spreadsheet that lets you compare the interest rates of some choice loan refinancing companies to figure out which one will save you the most money. Super easy to use, and super helpful.
Yeah, but what's this gonna cost me?
Now, if I may, I'd like to address the huge elephant in the room. I'm not going to sugar coat it, the Student Loan Course for Pharmacists is not cheap. Starting at $179 for the bare bones course with no additional goodies, it's quite an investment.
But here's the thing...unlike that super cute Kate Spade handbag that you just have to have, this course will drastically improve your financial situation. It's $179+, but it's a $179 investment.
Let me tell you just how good of an investment it can be. I considered my loan situation pretty decent. But when The Tim Trifecta asked me to review the course and give feedback, I agreed. I went through all the videos, all the worksheets, and laid out my own student loan situation.
Then, for shits and giggles, I decided "just to check" what interest rate I'd qualify for now (I refinanced a couple of years ago). I figured it couldn't hurt to check. I used the Tims' spreadsheet and got a quote from everyone on it. This whole process took me an hour or less one morning before work.
Why didn't I do this sooner?
Thanks to chipping away my balance (I'm finally down to below 100k!), and due to the market right now, I was getting offered a 1% plus decrease on my loan rate. I pounced on one that kept my monthly payment the same, and I refinanced.
When you do the math, I'll save over $14,000 in interest over the life of this loan.
On top of that, because I refinanced through The Trio of Tims, I got a sweet little $400 bonus thrown in.
For those of you keeping track at home, that bonus alone pays for the course and then some (although I would not recommend refinancing your loans to a private lender unless it makes sense for you).
So, all told...I'm saving over $14,000 thanks to The Student Loan Course for Pharmacists. If that's not a good return on investment, I don't know what is.
So yes, the course is expensive. But Future You will seriously thank you for making this investment in yourself.
I mean, just think of all the Kate Spade bags you can buy with $14,000.
And now, for the disclaimer.
Yes, tl;dr pharmacy will receive a commission if you purchase the Student Loan Course for Pharmacists through one of the links in this post. It does not affect your price at all, but it helps us keep this site running.
But I don't go around willy-nilly recommending you drop triple digits on a whim. I've been through the entire course, and it's incredibly helpful. If I didn't think you'd benefit from this course, I wouldn't be telling you about it.
If you have even a little bit of anxiety about your student loan situation, this course is for you. If you still owe tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, you really need this course. If you're going to go into credit card debt to buy this course, maybe hold off for a bit until you can afford it.
But I'm willing to bet that most of you reading this are going to come out way ahead if you invest in the Student Loan Course for Pharmacists.