Success – Student Loans Paid off in Full!

Filed under: All, Debt Elimination, Personal 
Comments Off on Success – Student Loans Paid off in Full!

Hey everyone! I know I don’t post much anymore, but I wanted to do a quick update today for anyone who still might be following along.

I paid off my student loans in full this week! This is immensely exciting as you will remember the total debt was once in 6 digits after a couple years of unemployment and deferring payments. There were many years when I was terrified about the amount of my debt and was worried about the effect it would have on my life going forward.

I am also pleased that I was able to pay off the rest of it on the eve of my 30th birthday. Now I am technically not a “thrifty 20-something” anymore, but I also have zero debt, so I am willing to make the trade.

For all of my readers out there that are still struggling with debt elimination and paying off their student loans, keep at it! Eventually, one day, you too will be debt free. And it feels wonderful once you’re finally there.

October 2012 Sallie Mae Student Debt Update

Filed under: All, Debt Elimination, Finances, Personal 
Comments Off on October 2012 Sallie Mae Student Debt Update

Well, it’s 2013 already. Where did all of the time go?

It’s time (past time) for my quarterly student loan update.

Again, I’m two months behind for the debt updated for October. In July, Sallie Mae dropped my monthly loan payment to $962.77. Between July and October I paid $1420.73 extra on my loans, including $190.73 in earnings from Upromise.

My new monthly payment is: $953.67

That’s a difference of $9.10 per month. I’m still paid way ahead on my loans, which is kind of screwing up these numbers, but I’ll take any reduction I can get and I will continue to pay extra each month. I’m focusing all of my extra payments on the loan with the largest interest rate (and coincidentally the largest balance). During the last quarter I finally got it under $30K, so that in itself is a mini achievement.

Here’s the stats for October:
Total Sallie Mae Debt: $82,792.95
Months of Payment Left: 144 (12 Years)
Original Monthly Payment: $1,024.70
Current Monthly Payment: $953.67
Total Pre-Payment Savings: $10,544.75

Stay tuned for the year in review post…

January 2012 Student Loan Debt Update

Filed under: All, Debt Elimination, Finances, Personal 
Comments Off on January 2012 Student Loan Debt Update

Yes, it’s technically February, but this my first chance to sit down and write this post.

January was the next month for Sallie Mae to reevaluate my monthly payment based off the extra payments I make on my student loan each month. Back in October, Sallie Mae dropped my monthly payment to $996.97. I paid an extra $1260 since then. Here’s what it is now:

$982.89–that’s a drop of $14.08. That’s my largest drop ever! Over the next 154 months of payments, that will save me $2,168.32. I like those numbers!

To make these posts more structured and consistent, lets do some debt stats:
Total Sallie Mae Debt: $90,276.28
Months of Payment Left: 154
Original Monthly Payment: $1024.70
Current Monthly Payment: $982.89
Total Pre-Payment Savings: $6,247.55

I am super excited for the next drop in April–my federal tax refund is on it’s way to me and most of it is going as an extra payment to Sallie Mae. I’m hoping for a big drop.

Student Loan Auto Debit Lowers My Sallie Mae Payment

Filed under: All, Debt Elimination, Finances, Personal 
Comments Off on Student Loan Auto Debit Lowers My Sallie Mae Payment

I haven’t written about my student loans in a little while. I’ve made some changes that are really helping me save money.

I’ve written many times about ways to lower monthly student loan payments. The one I hadn’t tried yet was utilizing benefits from my lender.

Honestly, Sallie Mae doesn’t offer many benefits to those of us with private student loans. I did find out that two of my loans were eligible for an interest rate reduction of 0.5% if I signed up for auto-debit of my bill every month. Since my monthly income is finally consistent, I decided to go ahead and sign up and see what kind of relief that reduction would bring me.

Now that my first auto-debit payment has been processed, Sallie Mae emailed me to let me know that my monthly payment has now been reduced from $1024.70 a month to $1012.95 a month. That’s a difference of $11.75. Not huge, but over the next 163 months of repayment, that’s a savings of $1915.25. And, of course, I’m going to continue using the money I have budgeted to pay my student loans to make extra payments each month to help pay down my principal balance faster.

Hopefully soon my monthly payment will be lowered again, and I’ll be just a few steps closer to my goal of eliminating my student loan debt.

Getting Back on Track Paying Off My Student Loans

Previously I posted about tricks I was using to pay off my ridiculous amount of student loans and the little strides I was making to cut those down. If you’re a long time reader, you probably noticed I promptly stopped talking about it. This wasn’t out of laziness but more out of shame because I backslid majorly during most of last year.

From the end of April to the beginning of December last year I was unemployed. I searched endlessly for a job, but all I had to support myself was unemployment and some money here and there from temp work and freelance projects. Unfortunately that was not enough to make my private student loan payments of $1021.59 each month (my federal loans were in unemployment deferment). I was determined not to go into forbearance again, because that’s how my student loan payments ballooned so much in the first place.

To make up the difference each month I drained my savings account until it reached the minimum I needed to have to keep the account open ($300) and then I had to start borrowing money from my boyfriend to make the payments. Then we reached a point where we couldn’t afford to make the student loan payments and pay our other bills.

I still did not want to put my loans in forbearance, so instead I started making two payments on my loans. When my due date came, I would pay what I had and then pay the rest as soon as I had the money. Luckily enough, Sallie Mae has a grace period of about two weeks or so after your bill is due where you can still pay without any penalties or late fees. I did that for a couple months, but as a result each month my monthly payment amount was slowly rising because I was being charged extra interest on the amounts I didn’t pay in time each month.

This became a vicious cycle where I couldn’t keep up, but then I got lucky and scored two part-time jobs and was able to catch up on my payments so I’m paying normally again. Even though I recently quit my seasonal job, I should still make enough money to cover my student loan payments as long as I’m smart with my money and stick to my budget.

Now that I am back on track, my monthly student loan payments are $1024.70. That’s 27 cents more than when I started making payments in January of 2009. I’ve basically undone all of my work and then some. Now I’m ready to get back on track.

I filed my tax return two weeks ago and received my refund on Friday. I decided to be smart with my refund money, so I transferred half of it to my savings account and used the other half to make an extra payment on my student loans to the amount of $650. I don’t know how much of a difference it will make, but hopefully I can lower that monthly payment soon and get back on track with snowballing away my debt. I will continue to round up my payments each month and pay whatever extra I can.

From now on I hope to do monthly updates on how my debt repayment is going. After I receive my next Sallie Mae bill and see how the extra payment effected my bill amount I’ll post an update. For now, I’m just excited to be back on track.

Next Page »

Other Sites: