Tuition Assistance Is Here! $65,596.78 Paid, $19,711.29 Till Payoff

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Just because you have “finished” college doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider going back. I know… I know… I’m still paying back my undergrad and grad school student loans. Remember, there are many ways to pay for school besides going into debt (Scholarships, Family, Grants, 529 Plans, and crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe®).

However, an often overlooked tuition assistance source is employers.

Work Hard, Learn More

That’s right! Your job may extend scholarships to you and your dependent children. You may also get a salary boost or stipend for earning your degree as an employee. Talk to your HR office about existing educational benefits for yourself and perhaps your dependents. With the rising cost of tuition, a dollar saved is a dollar earned; because tuition won’t cost you pennies. That’s for sure.

Colleges and universities also offer great staff/administrator educational benefits. I am fortunate to work in higher education, so my employer pays the costs of two classes each fall/spring/summer sessions regardless of credit hour and final grade earned. However, I am mindful that my boss reviews my midterm and final grades to justify spending on my educational endeavors.

Employers Need Skilled Workers

Did you know your state may offer tuition exemptions/waivers for certain occupations? For example, the state of Texas will cover the cost of tuition for Police Officers enrolled in Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice classes. Firefighters receive the same benefit as employees or active members of volunteer fire departments to take Fire Science courses.

Right now, I am completing accounting courses in route to a certification to further improve my financial literacy. I am blessed with the opportunity to share my student loan debt story with students daily. The Lord has placed other things on my heart to take this mission further. It’s rough at times but as Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers says, “Trust the Process”.

Life’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Here’s an update on my student loan progress below. Until next time everyone! Stay strong, fight on, and have no debt but love.

It’s Spring Break, Not Spring Broke: $63,971.03 Paid, $21,337.04 Till Payoff

Dear Parents, Friends, and Loved Ones,

Please pass this along to the college students in your life. Spring break is upon us, and they are being tempted to jump on planes and make it rain with tuition refunds.

Remind Them They Are Students:
Don’t ignore your college work over Spring Break. Use the week to relax from the regular grind, but stay in the habit of studying for school.

I think a lot of us dream of spending Spring Break on a beach with friends. Whatever your plans, use the time to continue being a student.

Encourage to Think Beyond Spring Break:
When I was a student, I found keeping this balance let me enjoy my break while also helping me stay caught up with the schoolwork to come. I was also less stressed when the break was over.

I’m not suggesting you lock yourself in your room and do nothing but school work. That will lead to burnout. Remember, balance is the key. Use the week to relax, but also keep up the routine of having study time:
• Continue doing classwork each day on your regular schedule.
• Schedule time to have fun and catch up with friends.

Prepare for The Next Academic Year & Career:
Besides the no-brainers of exercising and eating healthy, here are a few other things to do during Spring Break. The suggestions below will take time, so extend yourself some grace. For help, visit your college’s Career Services office when it reopens.
• Start working on a generic cover letter.
• Find a summer internship or job.
• Apply for scholarships.

Assess Your Finances:
If you can’t afford to jet set with classmates, just don’t go. Just imagine yourself in your career after graduation taking paid vacations from work. You will soon be a working professional who can afford multiple international trips a year-if you practice good money habits today.

Remind Them of Possible Financial Ruin:
For the last 7 years and 9 glorious months, I’ve been paying back student loans. Do you really want this in your future? Do yourself a favor, sacrifice what you want now for a future that’s a little more comfortable. Below is my balance update. Until next time everyone! Stay strong, fight on, and let’s help the youth have no debt but love.

Tax Time! $63,620.94 Paid, $21,687.13 Till Pay Off

Howdy and thank you for stopping by! Your visit to No Debt But Love isn’t taken for granted. Your presence here greatly encourages and motivates me.

Now Let’s Roll…
Grrrr… I hate giving the federal government an interest free loan. This is what happens when you get an income tax return, you essentially paid too much in taxes. Getting a return is better than the alternative, owing the federal government. Just thinking about these three letters makes me break out in a cold sweat! They are the IRS.

Pay What You Owe
The Internal Revenue Service possesses a very particular set of skills. Skills that make it a nightmare for your bank account. If you are some poor soul who owes years of back taxes without legal representation, the IRS will find you and garnish your wages.

I am grateful to have not owed the government a dime. Thanks to deducting $2,500 paid in student loan interest this past year. I also received a tax credit for the cost of childcare for my children. These tax provisions help immensely, but NOT enough to take out more student debt or have more children.

Am I Done Yet?
Paying off student loans has been frustrating and I grow evermore anxious as my balance gets closer to ZERO. I am instructed to not be anxious about anything, as found in Philippians 4:6-7. It’s weird that I am now grateful to have had the student loan debt in my life.

I have learned to count the cost of things I want; as in hours on my job it will take to pay for something. In this case of student loans- the years exchanged for pieces of paper. I am determined and have plans to not allow history to repeat itself through my children.

Making It Rain
As soon as our tax return hit the bank, my wife agreed to put some it towards my student loan debt.  Below is an update of my loan balances. I am blessed to watch my debt shrink each month. I am grateful and can’t stop thanking the Lord for it.

Until next time everyone! Stay strong, fight on, and have no debt but love.

Student Loans Are Stressful!/I’m Going Bald: $60,548.56 Paid, $24,759.51 Till Payoff

We have all read the nightmare stories of student loans wreaking havoc on the personal finances of the young and old.  Here’s another thing student loans may cause… HAIR LOSS! DUN-DUN-DUUUUN!!! Haha.  Life isn’t meant to be lived seriously all the time, so I decided to post about my male patterned baldness haha.

Going bald is a pain for me, as I have placed a bit of my identity in the strength of my hairline.  Yeah… kind of silly.   This past November, I stressed tremendously about my son starting daycare with his sister.  I was on paternity leave at the time and the stress wasn’t about missing my son per se… it was the pressure to provide for two kids in daycare lol.

Yet the Lord provided and continues to provide.  My nights became sleepless as I wondered how we would make it with my student loans, regular monthly expenses, and now daycare for 2.  I was prepared to reduce my student loan payment to make things work.  I grew frustrated thinking about all the progress made in reducing the debt to only watch it creep back up.

I was literally going bald at the top of my head due to stress, check out the picture.  

The elders in my family with wrinkly, low-hanging, bubbled lips would say, “Boy, the Lord is never surprised”.  To which I would immediately exhale audibly and roll my eyes.

Soon everything became too much, I broke down and decided to challenge the Lord with Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV), “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them”.

I didn’t feel blessed at the time. After I decided to relinquish control as Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight”.

My family follows a strict budget and my wife isn’t too thrilled about it.  However, there is more than enough every month.  The provision doesn’t make any sense, as we should be in the negative.  We may not have always have we want, but we always have what we need.

My hair even grew back, check out the waves HAHA.  Hair is a trivial matter in the grand outlook of life, my razor is ready to “Come On Home” and join the pantheon of bald greats-Dwayne Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Vin Diesel

Below is an update on my student loan balance.  I have no choice but to give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!  His faithful love endures forever. -Psalm 136:1

The Most Affordable 4 Year Schools in Texas

Hi Everyone and welcome back to No Debt But Love!  I have made the video entitled “Most Affordable 4-Year Colleges in Texas Under 20k Per Year For 2019” available on YouTube.  Click on the play button of the video down below.

Have any of you attended one the featured schools?  What was your experience like? What was your major?  Did you graduate with any student loan debt?  I love to hear from you in the comments section of the video.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 

Success is a Journey, Not a Destination: $58,661.20 Paid, $26,646.87 Till Pay Off

Hi everyone! Thank you for the continued support along my debt repayment journey. Below is my student loan balance update.

I have now paid off 68% of my student loans. With my student loans now at $26,646.87, I struggle with a lot of what ifs. What if I attended a cheaper school? What if I didn’t have student loans? What if the $58,661.20 paid toward my debt’s principal was money added into retirement accounts?

I snap out of the “Woe is me” and remember…
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV) reads, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”.

This scripture is not saying we should have nothing else beyond food and clothing. Nor is this scripture condemning ambition and the desire to earn wealth. This passage warns us against greed and the misuse of wealth.

Money should not be our final goal. We should aspire to know the Lord more; because he gives us the ability to enjoy what He blessed us with. Have you ever logged into your social media account and became envious of a friend’s latest vacation, celebratory post of a purchased house, or new job/promotion?

Comparing ourselves to others and living with regret is dangerous. There are times we will make lane changes and reverse to parallel park. However, staying fixated on other cars and not the road ahead of us will cause crashes-resulting in property loss or death.

Regardless of what our peers earn annually and possessions they enjoy, we must remember “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”-Colossians 3:23 (NIV).

I will soon release a video entitled, “Most Affordable Texas Colleges-Legit Schools Costing Under 20k Per Year”. The video will be available through the No Debt But Love YouTube channel. Please subscribe to the channel, like, and share the videos; your support is much appreciated.

Impostor Syndrome-The Progress Continues

I didn’t intend to write and post on a holiday break from work.  However, it weighs heavy on me.  Today, the United States commemorates the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was a man who stood firmly for what he believed in, that we are all created equal by a holy and sovereign God.  His dream was for a united America, not just for unity’s sake but under a righteous God.

It’s interesting to recount how little regard I have placed for the sacrifices of the nation’s founders and my forefathers.  In my ignorance I have failed to understand the significance of the freedoms enjoyed today.  In my freedom, I believed it gave me license to ignore, disrespect, and berate.

You are seen as hateful if you have a different opinion.  Dr. King had a radical difference of opinion.  The truth is what guided him were the traditions of Judeo-Christian values, he was a Baptist minister.  Today, these values are under attack.

Politicians and their constituents are believing that the United States isn’t “that great” or ever “great” to begin with.  If that were so, what were tears shed, blood spilled, and lives lost for?  Besides every day people suffering and dying for ideals, Presidents have paid with their lives as well,

This country has a long standing tradition of seeking to improve the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters.  Let us not fall victim to…

There are days I want to give up.  There are even more days doubt sets in about my capabilities, but then I remember the following.

We can’t correct the hurts and harms of yesterday, but we can enjoy today’s freedoms.