“Why am I paying 7% on my student loans?”

I became a lawyer without really understanding that the job cuts time off of your life. My work hours are long, I can’t see my family or friends, and I am constantly at the mercy of the partner or the client. On top of everything, at one point, I was paying 7% on my law school loans. How was I supposed to save for a wedding, vacation or dream home? One day, I woke up and I seized control by refinancing my student loans in order to get some of my life back.

We’re all familiar with today’s modern illustration of law school grads: unemployed with crushing debt. That’s why when I tell people I’m doing rather well as a lawyer, they’re usually impressed, like I beat the system somehow. I didn’t. I graduated, passed the bar, and landed a decent job that pays well, but like the average law school grad, I still ended up with a massive six figure debt hanging over my head to go along with my shiny new tedious job. Repayment, along with the high cost of living in the 2-1-2, made my degree look like a giant collections notice that I just happened to frame.

Amidst the daily cycle of stressing out at home after stressing out at work, a friend of mine sent a referral to Darien Rowayton Bank’s student loan refinancing service (DRB Student Loan). DRB’s website states that the average borrower saves $13,600 after refinancing. It seemed like a no-brainer to refinance, but I am a procrastinator. And with the billables I was putting up at work, there wasn’t much time to put the extra money to good use anyway. I closed my computer and prepared to hit the sack, telling myself to deal with this later. I had work tomorrow.

As a brushed my teeth, I wondered how many times I would see the same resigned expression in the mirror. How many days could I last looking at this same expression every night?

That’s when I recognized it. I’m sure you’ve heard of the classic saying “time is money,” because that’s how billables work. I was literally trading in more hours at my firm for more money to pay off a big city rent and an even bigger debt. Figuring out how to lower my student loan interest rate meant giving a bit less to the firm and a bit more to myself. I realized that money could buy time and that time is the most precious asset that I have.

I snapped out of my small epiphany and went back to the computer. I opened the email back up and applied for refinancing with DRB Student Loan. I fulfilled the degree, steady job, strong credit pre-reqs, so the process was fast and easy. I went to sleep comfortably knowing that I was one step closer towards a better, financially healthier life.

Upon the approval of the loan a few days later, I extracted a little bit more freedom out of life and lifted a great weight from my shoulders. A few months later, I used my accumulated savings to fund a short vacation to see friends. A few breaks from the grind plus less stress at home means that I’m happier overall. That additional peace of mind and the $13,600 that DRB saved me are worth it.

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