Hey there, saturnsmoon64! This is Aly. Thank you so much for your interest in my story . Im hoping I can answer your question on paying down loans and saving for another degree. I definitely want to point out that my approach to saving and paying down debt is in no way perfect- it’s taking me at least three years worth of financial mistakes to come to a point in which I feel I have control of my student debt. And I’m still learning how to navigate my finances as I talk to more people in similar situations.
So before I even considered double paying on my current student debt or saved for my MBA, I made sure I had an emergency fund set up. That took some time. For me, I felt secure having $8,000 in my savings account before even starting the process of saving for the MBA. I want to say that took about a year.
After that, I found it hard to balance (and I still do) which is more important, saving for my MBA classes or paying down my loan. Up until my first tuition bill for my MBA classes (that I will start in January), I would double pay on my loan and only have enough money to put $100ish aside for my MBA. With that, you can see it would clearly take a long time to save for MBA classes. And time isnt exactly on my side as I want to start the MBA ASAP. I saved passively for the MBA for the first few months, and then for three months leading up to my MBA bill, I for-goed double paying my loan to ensure I had the funds to pay for my 2 online MBA classes out of pocket (that came to $2,200).
My reasoning for ditching double paying my loan while I save for my MBA is that I simply dont want to go through the hassle of acquiring another student loan to pay in two-three years. I hope I will be able to continue to pay more than the minimum on my current loan should I have extra cash, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that as I pursue career growth in gaining an MBA, my approach on paying down my current loan will need to change. The hope is that an MBA will open doors into a higher paying job as well.
I also was extremely selective in the MBA program I chose. I chose an in-state college so I could receive in-state tuition. I also chose a program notorious for giving scholarships. I actually received a $1,000 scholarship for my first semester! Of course, I didnt count on this, but nonetheless it’s such a burden off. And this school continues to give partial scholarships for students with high GPAs throughout the program.
My journey may be different from your own, and my process may not be a perfect fit for you, but I do hope sharing my story has helped with your financial journey.