I sold $20,000 of stock in December (having worked out the capital gains tax hit beforehand) and sent my last payment to the U.S. Department of Education this week! As you will see below, my balance is currently at ZERO!
Though 1/3 of the balance was paid with a gift of stock from a family member, fully 2/3 of the balance was paid by ME, from my hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. I'm pretty proud of that - I paid off $42,000 in debt in less than two and a half years (I started sending payments in earnest in September of 2010, when my balance was just over $62,000).
I'm still working four jobs, and though one position has been reduced (meaning a decrease of about $10,000 this year) I'm going to start working on paying off my second mortgage next. I am ALSO going to try to relax more, socialize more, and in general enjoy life more than I have in the past few years.
I'm not sure how often I'll be back here to provide updates, but I wanted to at least share this news with those of you who have followed along (and encouraged me) for all these years. Thanks for all the kind words, the advice, and the optimism!
To those of you with outstanding student loan, credit card, or other debt: You Can Do It!