student loan debt

Words and Money: Dear Debt, I'm So Over You with Melanie Lockert

W+M 055: An Interview with Melanie Lockert

Melanie Lockert is a debt master. From her blog, Dear Debt, and her book by the same name, Melanie has personally paid off over $80,000 in debt and has heard from hundreds of her blog readers in their own "Dear Debt," letters share their experiences at doing the same. Melanie is now a freelance writer and event planner while she also keeps up with her blog. In this episode we talk all about mindset shifts needed to achieve financial greatness, whether college is really worth it, and if waiting 20 to 50 years for your student loans to be forgiven is really worth it.

Listen to the show:

What we talk about:

  • What Melanie is most grateful for and our new business idea!
  • Melanie shares what her book and blog, Dear Debt, are all about.
  • How so many bloggers are successful at getting out of debt.
  • Being transparent with finances, struggles and progress can help hold you accountable.
  • The most rewarding and interesting Dear Debt letters Melanie has received.
  • Mindset shifts needed to get out of debt.
  • Setting goals and intentions to get out of debt or achieve another financial, personal, or professional milestone.
  • Is education really a good investment?
  • Pros and cons on waiting for your student loans to be forgiven and the current student loan forgiveness laws.
  • What Melanie would do if she started over or had to help someone else get started on conquering debt.
    • Tally up all your debt to figure out how much you owe. Use Mint or Personal Capital to aggregate all of your debt information.
    • Look at your interest rates on each of your debt.
    • Look at your income and expenses and make some hard decisions about what you can and cannot afford.
    • Pick a repayment method – Snowball vs Avalanche
  • Melanie’s biggest mistake on not saving for retirement when she started learning, even though she was so focused on paying off debt.
  • Best money habit: Automatic targeted savings account