I'm almost 10 months into one of the best relationships I've ever been in and my girlfriend recently revealed a dark secret. She has about $60k in student loans.
What's even more shocking is that she's just paying the minimum monthly payment. While she takes full responsibility for her debt and isn't asking me to help, I've suggested to her that she should be attacking them more aggressively and saving on interest.
I see a bright future for us long-term and I really don't want this cloud hanging over us. I don't have any student loans, but this situation stresses me out and I want to help. I am virtually debt-free (outside of about $1,500 in credit card debt). My uncle is a financial advisor, but I definitely don't feel like it's my place to share her financial situation with him and it would be awkward if I referred her.
She definitely needs a plan. Should she just call Navient and get some advice?
Two things - it's not about calling Navient, it's about what she can afford. It's budgeting and income.
If she's making the minimums and not missing payments, she's already doing things right. If she can pay more, cool, but don't hate on her if she can't. But this is where you can maybe come in and help with the budget (i.e. suggest you stay home and eat frugally vs. fancy dinners out).
Second, be aware of her mindset and your mindset. I don't know how familiar you are with Mr. Money Mustache, but he recently divorced and wrote about it here: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/12/31/divorce/
Basically, his frugality and drive for FIRE was a big issue.
Okay that gives me some much-needed perspective. Budgeting could work wonders.
We've been better about cutting corners and finding little ways to save over the last month or so. So definitely want to do more of that.
I haven't heard about Mr. Money Mustache, but I will check out the link. Advice from someone who's been through a situation like this is what I need.
Thanks for posting!