July 2011 Student Loan Update: Lower Payment

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When I got an email from Sallie Mae last week telling me I had a message about my account information, I couldn’t wait to log in because I knew–I just knew–that the extra payments I’ve made on my account the past few months must have finally paid off. They have.

Sallie Mae lowered my monthly payment amount to $1012.95 in April when I signed up for auto debit, which reduced my interest rate on a few of my loans. In hopes that I could lower my payments even more, I made extra payments each month. For the first two months it was about $100 extra each month. Then I was offered an official full-time position at work and got a little pay bump.

There was a bit of a delay between the time my pay increased and my health insurance and 401K kicked in, so I had EVEN more money than I was budgeted to spend each month. I funneled all that extra money towards my student loans, paying an extra $500 in June and July (plus $23 from Upromise earnings) hoping to make some sort of dent in my principal.

Finally, it made a difference. My new monthly payment is $1000.45 a month.

Oh Sallie Mae, you’re killing me! I’m just 46 cents away from a three digit monthly payment. Soon, hopefully, I can get it below a grand.

So thanks to the extra $1200 I put towards my loans during the last four months, I will now save $12.50 a month over the next 160 months of repayment. Total savings is $2000. Not too shabby. That’s almost enough to shave two entire payments off of my loans.

Combined with previous savings from Sallie Mae lowering my payments, my total savings so far is $3915.25 (the equivalent of almost 4 months of payments!).

I also started tracking the amount of interest accrued per day because it’s a ridiculous amount. Back in April I was accruing $22.81 a day in interest (after my payments were lowered thanks to the direct debit). After the most recent lowering, I am now paying $22.31 a day in interest. Not very impressive but it certainly adds up over time.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll make too much progress over the next few months. Now with 401K contributions and health care eating a good portion of my monthly budget, there won’t be much extra money around each month. I’ll do what I can though.


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