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Refinancing my $176K Student Debt with Snowball

Where are you from? I’m from Connecticut.
Where do you live now? I live in New York City (Manhattan).
What do you do for work? I’m a senior project manager at a tech company. I work on the product team on various initiatives.
Do you have any side hustles? No side hustles currently, but I do fantasize about having some.
Salary (if comfortable sharing)
How much student debt are you tackling (or have tackled)? I’ve paid off $43,132.32 from a total principal amount of $176,245.30.
How did you start your early career? I was pursuing medical school when I graduated from college, but I decided I wanted to take a gap year to gain some experience. After graduating, I got a job at Mount Sinai school of medicine doing clinical research in genetics. I did that for a year before deciding that medical school wasn’t for me, and made a total career switch to tech.

What is your student debt story?

When I graduated from college, I had $160K owed in principal. When I originally refinanced, it was over a 20 year period, which after interest brought the amount to $240K. My total monthly payment was about $2,100.

My first job paid me $48K a year, I had just moved to the City, I didn’t have money to do anything, really, because my student debt was so high. I didn’t understand at the time how to refinance smartly, and how I could get a better interest rate. Unfortunately, banks look at your income to debt ratio, and they don’t give you the best repayment plan because you owe four times your salary. I paid $2,100 for four years. I sort of became complacent and wasn’t money smart.

How did you refinance?

I refinanced my student debt in 2020 with the help of Snowball Wealth.

I first heard about Snowball through my colleague Ebony. I’m pretty close friends with a lot of my coworkers. Ebony knew about my student debt situation and knew I paid a high monthly payment. She forwarded me a post about Snowball Wealth that she came across in a women empowerment Slack group.

I reached out and you found the potential banks I could use to refinance and gave me tips such as applying for my refinancing all at once so that my credit score isn’t hit repeatedly. These things you wouldn’t know unless you did your own research. I remember feeling so grateful because that part of the process was my blocker for four years. I ended up applying for refinancing with a few banks and Earnest offered me a 5.04% fixed-interest rate and brought my monthly payments down to $1,165 a month.

That was life changing for me, it was $1,000 extra bucks I had in my bank account every month.

Want to refinance? You can set up a free 15min consult with us here.

What are some money habits you’ve adopted?

Making automatic transfers to my savings account. I’m in a spot now where I’m able to save $1K a month, but even that is low, I could save more. But, I’m still having fun in the City, and want to have enough money in my checking account. I love that I don’t think about it, but I’m still saving.

Setting up a 401K. Feels very simple, but important to do. Even if your job doesn’t provide one, consider getting one.

I don’t have a physical budget, instead I have a mental budget. Anytime I go out I am very cognizant of what I put on my credit or debit card. I have this rule that I never put more on my credit card than I can pay off when the statement comes. This helps me stay on budget when going out and not going into unnecessary debt.

Lastly, be honest with your friends about your money journey. Being open led me to find a solution for my student debt that saves me money.

At Snowball, we make the refinancing process more transparent and ensure you have evaluated the best lenders to get the best rate and terms for you. We also give you the best course of action to tackle your student debt and compare refinancing, optimizing payments, and federal decisions. You can learn more and sign up here.

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