Two months ago now, I finished paying off my Sallie Mae loan. I sent the last payment, for $1,322.72, on April 10th. On May 11th, I received a letter saying "Congratulations! You've completely paid off the student loan(s) listed below".
I took that loan out in January of 2007. The initial amount was $4,725.00. By my count, I've paid $1,921.41 in interest over the life of the loan. This eliminates $69.88 from my monthly expenses, and paying off this loan early saved me over $1500 in interest.
When I took that loan out I didn't imagine paying it off aggressively (and I also didn't imagine student loan rates would be 6% when the prime rate is hovering in the 3% range). But I got a new, better philosophy on money and life, and now I'm $1500 richer because of it.
It feels pretty good to be free of one loan, but the other one is looming, and it's way bigger. $25,665.74 as of now. Okay that's a pretty big number now that I just typed it out. I'll be rid of it soon enough. At my current rate of paydown, and controlling for other factors like needing a car, I'm still on pace to hit my end-of-2013 goal to be student loan free.
I should note also that I have a little over $5k cash sitting in my checking account, which I'm holding back until my car situation gets settled. I'm still not sure how much of that I'm going to need, but I'm planning on talking more about my car situation in another post. Suffice it to say that any extra will be immediately applied to my outstanding loan.