Student loan debt is a growing problem in this country. Jeremiah and Michelle Hooks are just one of millions couples that have been negatively-impacted by student loan debt. They are college graduates, and they both have successful careers. They also have three children. Additionally, they are homeowners.
Jeremiah is a physical therapist, and Michelle works as a counselor. They have a combined salary of $112,000. Despite the fact that the couple has a combined six-figure income, they are still struggling with debt.
They still owe $338,000 on their home. Their combined student loan balance is $209,000. Jeremiah admitted that the student loan debt is making it hard for them to do a lot of things. Brian Lockett is a certified financial planner. He has worked with the couple and helped them get their finances sorted out. He stated that despite the fact that the couple is struggling with debt, they will be fine in the long run.
The couple has good financial habits. They automatically transfer $300 from their checking to savings every month. Their savings account currently has $20,000 in it. They also have $18,000 saved up for retirement.
Even though Jeremiah and Michelle do not regret their education, they do regret how they financed it. Michelle still owes $135,000, and most of this debt comes from her graduate education.
Jeremiah’s loan balance is $74,000. They stated that if they could do it over again, then they would attend a public, in-state school. The couple is getting some help from the Pay As You Earn Program. Their payments are currently $900 per month. If they were not in the program, then they would have to pay $2,300 per month.
The Hooks have also made some changes in order to make it easier for them to pay down their debts. They sold their car and got a cheaper one. They have also paid off their credit cards. Additionally, their financial planner has helped them set goals.