No, no, no, no, no. Like all the others, I will tell you not to do this.
But you want to know why? I can tell you that, too.
I’m sure you feel like wiping out those student loans quickly would relieve some of the weight on your shoulders. But what happens if you hit age 65 and don’t have any retirement savings left?
If you can let that IRA grow as long as possible, it will continue to earn, even while you take distributions when you hit the minimum age. It will provide necessary income when you retire, or in the event that you can’t work anymore before your ideal retirement age.
I want you to consider a couple factors about your husband’s student loans, if you haven’t already.
First, make sure they aren’t federal direct student loans, which are typically discharged if the borrower dies. Second, if they’re private loans, consider contacting the lender for what’s called a “compassionate review,” which in some cases will result in a loan being discharged if the lender deems you unable to pay.
It sounds like you’re on the right track paying down credit cards during a no-interest period, even if you’re dealing with new bills right now. Your debt is not insurmountable. But when it’s finally paid off, you need to make sure your future is secure.
Consider meeting with a debt counselor who can take an objective look at your situation. To find someone near you who’s qualified, visit the online directories of the Financial Counseling Organization of America or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Brief debt counseling would have been part of your bankruptcy process, but it’s often just a cursory session; what you need now is someone to tell you if there’s a way you haven’t considered to ease your debt burden without putting your future financial security at risk.
Are you dealing with difficult financial choices made by someone close to you? Write to Dear Penny at https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/dear-penny/
Lisa Rowan is a personal finance expert and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Dear Penny. For more practical money tips, visit www.thepennyhoarder.com.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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