March 02, 2017 by Matt Krumrie
Robin Rectenwald graduated from Duquesne University in 2012 with 20 different student loans and $100,000 in loan debt. But through working a full-time job, two part-time jobs, working with a financial planner, and creating strategies to successfully pay off her student loan debt, she is setting herself up for financial freedom from her student loan debt.
Now, in 2017, she only has five loans left, and is quickly whittling down the amount she owes.
Learn about Robin’s story, her strategies for success and how to reduce and eliminate student debt below in this College Recruiter Spotlight on Success:
Name: Robin Rectenwald
City/state: Pittsburgh, PA
Current profession: PR Professional for WordWrite Communications
College/University attended: Allegheny College (1 year) and Duquesne University (3 years) – both private schools
Annual tuition: $42,000 and $25,000
Student loan debt at graduation: $101,527.38
College Recruiter: What do you know now that you wish you knew in college?
Rectenwald: I wish I would’ve saved every penny when I was in college and living with my parents. And…
- I wish I would’ve known that you can start paying the interest on your loans while you’re still in school.
- I wish I would’ve known more about the difference between private and federal loans and subsidized and unsubsidized loans. I also wish I would’ve researched student loan options ever year.
- I wish I would’ve learned more about the cost of living after college (more info on this below).
- I wish I would’ve applied for more private scholarships.
College Recruiter: In addition to working full-time, you also work two part-time jobs, with all money from those part-time jobs going towards paying off student loans. How has that helped?
Rectenwald: My balances would be through the roof! When I graduated from college, I had 20 loans with balances ranging from $1,000 to $12,000 and interest rates as high as 10%. If I would not have really investigated these loans after graduation and made an action plan to pay them off, my payments today probably would only be going to the principal. In other words, my balances would be getting bigger because my payments would only be going towards the interest and because of that the interest would just keep growing and growing, I’d be paying my student loans forever. Recent college grads need to know that yes, you may be sending payments, but is it actually paying down the principal balance or is it just going to the interest? Don’t get caught in this trap!
College Recruiter: How have you handled the mental stress of having student loan debt? What tips do you have for others who have stress from student loan debt? Continue Reading