Has anyone told you about the snowball method for paying off debt? If you have, you know it makes good sense. I'm here to tell you it also really works, even better than I thought possible!
Here's how the method works: You pay the minimum on all your loans, and when you have any extra room in your budget, you pay it towards your loan with the highest interest rate (or smallest amount - advice varies). It doesn't matter whether you have an extra $5 or $50 that month - every bit counts. When you have paid one loan off, apply the same amount you were paying to the next loan. Pretty soon the amount really does snowball, and you are knocking out chunks of debt at a rate you never thought possible. It's even more helpful if you use auto-debit, set the amount higher than your minimum payment, and tell it to take your money every month whether your loan is paid ahead or not.
I used this method with my student loans. My goal was to be debt-free 5 years after graduating instead of following the 10-year standard repayment plan. I just finished paying off over $30,000 in less than 4 years! (And I only had a consistent full-time income for the last year and a half.) It didn't take any tricks but just diligently doing the little things: using a budget, restricting unnecessary spending, and honoring God's priorities with whatever I have. Do these things, combined with the snowball method -- and it is possible for you too!