Inherited money and what to do with it.
I have googled a bit and I looked on Nolo.com but I'm looking for more practical advice from people who may have been there. Basically, at the end of last month, my grandmother passed away. She was very frugal and quite financially-savvy, and as a result had a pretty good-sized IRA in addition to an estate worth a lot of money that she put into a trust. Myself (as living heir to my deceased father, her son) and her other 4 children are the beneficiaries. To put it simply, in the near future I will be inheriting a somewhat hefty amount of money from the IRA (which I have opted to take as a lump sum instead of rolling it over, for various reasons), and then sometime after that, 20% of her estate. Now, obviously, first on my mind is paying off debt. I want to create savings and retirement plans eventually but personally (and YMMV, but that's not really up for discussion) it's more important to me to be out of debt NOW and not living paycheck to paycheck than it is for me to be up to my ears now but well off 40 years from now (I'm 25). At one point last year I had paid off all credit card debt but now have re-accumulated about $2500 on credit cards. I am also about $50k in student loan debt. Literally the first thing that I will be doing when I have the money is paying off the credit cards -- no bones about it. However, my question is this: I know that student loan debt is "good" debt. My payments on them are all on time and some months, I've been able to put a couple bucks extra towards them. Should I pay them off with this money in one fell swoop, or should I just continue to pay them as scheduled? The $50k is across three different loans -- two private loans and one consolidated federal loan. Right now my payments on them combined are about $500-600 per month. Two of the loans are set to be paid off in 2026 and one will be paid off in 2011, IIRC. What would make most sense as far as helping my credit score (which is in the "fair-good" range, currently)? No debt or good debt? Sorry to be so rambly... any insight is much appreciated! :)