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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: peterpatch on March 03, 2013, 09:01:00 PM

Title: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 03, 2013, 09:01:00 PM
Hi Everyone,

I plan on eliminating my remaining 7.5k in Canadian student debt by the end of July 2013.

The loan principle was originally 20.8k in 2007 and I have been aggressively (although not mustashian level until now) paying it down.

Here are the loans pertinent stats now:

Current amount owing the national students loan centre: 7,455.90
Interest rate (7.5% fixed) 6.4% after tax credit
Remaining term: 61 months
Compounding rate: daily

I see the debt pay down as a bond that pays a guaranteed rate of interest of 6.4% after tax. Right now Canadian bonds of equal risk and duration are paying less then half of this after tax 6.4% yield (http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/interest-rates/canadian-bonds/).

I also hate being in debt, the idea of being beholden to somebody like this just bothers the hell out of me.

I can't wait until July when I can say that I am free of any major financial obligations for the first time in about a decade. The only real financial obligation I will have left are a return on service agreement for my accounting designation through my employer (1 year left) and my cell phone contract ($54.24 a month).

ALL extra discretionary income I can muster is going towards this goal. Here is the current schedule of payments:

payment schedule   
Mar-13   3000
Apr-13   1500
May-13   1500
Jun-13   1500
Jul - 13     Pay small left over amount to close out loan

Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 04, 2013, 11:18:33 AM
I'm in.

This year I decided to embark on Operation Student Loan Annihilation 2013, but have been dragging my feet on posting the goal here. My total balance remaining is $55,913.53, split between 2 loans. One loan is a fixed interest rate of 3.25%, the other is a variable interest private student loan at 5.25%. The latter's balance is currently $17,454.78 and is the focus of annihilation. I net $38,480 annually and my husband (a SAHD) brings in about $3k annually (side jobs).  It started the year at $19,506.21, and I want to pay down the loan balance to $10k (or lower if possible).

Strategy:
-Halt contributions to 401k, RothIRA, and savings. Done.
-Monthly payments of $700. In progress.
-Two extra payments of $1400 each from "extra" paychecks from fortnightly pay schedule.
-Reduce monthly spending on gas, groceries, and cell phones. In progress.
-LS payment of $1500 from tax return. I effed up my withholdings last year by forgetting to take into effect lower wages from maternity leave, so I have a larger than expected tax return.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: anastrophe on March 04, 2013, 11:25:07 AM
I'm in.

This year I decided to embark on Operation Student Loan Annihilation 2013, but have been dragging my feet on posting the goal here. My total balance remaining is $55,913.53, split between 2 loans. One loan is a fixed interest rate of 3.25%, the other is a variable interest private student loan at 5.25%. The latter's balance is currently $17,454.78 and is the focus of annihilation. I net $38,480 annually and my husband (a SAHD) brings in about $3k annually (side jobs).  It started the year at $19,506.21, and I want to pay down the loan balance to $10k (or lower if possible).

Strategy:
-Halt contributions to 401k, RothIRA, and savings. Done.
-Monthly payments of $700. In progress.
-Two extra payments of $1400 each from "extra" paychecks from fortnightly pay schedule.
-Reduce monthly spending on gas, groceries, and cell phones. In progress.
-LS payment of $1500 from tax return. I effed up my withholdings last year by forgetting to take into effect lower wages from maternity leave, so I have a larger than expected tax return.

Ambitious!

I am saving up for a wedding in late 2013 but other than that, am going to try to hammer ours. Not sure I'm brave enough to post here but will follow along for inspiration.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 04, 2013, 05:41:43 PM
I'm in.

This year I decided to embark on Operation Student Loan Annihilation 2013, but have been dragging my feet on posting the goal here. My total balance remaining is $55,913.53, split between 2 loans. One loan is a fixed interest rate of 3.25%, the other is a variable interest private student loan at 5.25%. The latter's balance is currently $17,454.78 and is the focus of annihilation. I net $38,480 annually and my husband (a SAHD) brings in about $3k annually (side jobs).  It started the year at $19,506.21, and I want to pay down the loan balance to $10k (or lower if possible).

Strategy:
-Halt contributions to 401k, RothIRA, and savings. Done.
-Monthly payments of $700. In progress.
-Two extra payments of $1400 each from "extra" paychecks from fortnightly pay schedule.
-Reduce monthly spending on gas, groceries, and cell phones. In progress.
-LS payment of $1500 from tax return. I effed up my withholdings last year by forgetting to take into effect lower wages from maternity leave, so I have a larger than expected tax return.

Glad to hear your in, your debt is an order of magnitude higher then mine but your household income is about half, you are 10x the mustachian then I am! I guess I need to step up my game.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 05, 2013, 10:55:25 AM
Quote
Glad to hear your in, your debt is an order of magnitude higher then mine but your household income is about half, you are 10x the mustachian then I am! I guess I need to step up my game.

Heh! I think you may be paying off at a faster rate than I. July puts me at about $5k-$6k paid. I want to see if I can match your $7.5k. Currently, paying more in student loan payments than on rent - and that is saying something for my area. I am however, making the non-mustachian choice to not use my $8k emergency fund to aid this debt repayment. If the balance of the loan were equal to the balance of the emergency fund, then I might be tempted.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 05, 2013, 05:55:42 PM

Heh! I think you may be paying off at a faster rate than I. July puts me at about $5k-$6k paid. I want to see if I can match your $7.5k.

Yes but as a percentage of my total gross household income (including the wife) This is only about 7.5%. Yours however is more like 12% at a minimum which is almost twice as much as me. If I was going at your rate I would have the loan paid off in May.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 05, 2013, 05:56:28 PM
Here is an optional rule for this gauntlet

You have to provide proof that you paid down your goal amount of loan principle in time by posting a picture of the final loan paperwork (black out any any identifying information for privacy reasons ). I will be posting a pic from the Canadian national student loans service indicating my loan is paid in full (with identifying info removed). No BS here!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: DebtDerp on March 05, 2013, 09:56:51 PM
I'm loving this challenge. I have a total of about 100k to go and have paid close to $9k so far this year. My goals actually line up to where I plan on paying about $8k more by July. So I will go along with this challenge. My total pay off goal is still about four years out. Good luck op!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: sibamor on March 05, 2013, 10:32:44 PM
I'm in too.  Though I have been attacking it aggressively since OCT '12. Currently 16.8K @2% (was 21.4k before my tax return); making $1800/mo payments with any additional budget surplus getting applied. Should be done by NOV but may throw Savings at it in APR if I feel comfortable with our current situation to wait 1 month for a $1800 resurgence into savings.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on March 08, 2013, 08:01:44 PM
I'm in, but mine should be done by August.  I owe $24, 500 and started 7 years ago at 37,000.  Not too bad for a master's degree I think.  My husband challenged me to change our spending to save 4,000 a month for 6 months.  My interest is 1.65% and it's our last debt besides our mortgage.  We just paid off my husband's loan and now its my turn!  YAY!  I plan on sending in checks for 2,000 each month and putting the other 2,000 in our savings account until August.  Then I'll just send in the lump sum remaining using the 12,000 and some extra cash we have in our savings.  Good luck everyone!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Hotstreak on March 08, 2013, 10:02:20 PM
I'm on board 100% :).  I started this year with about 10.5k in student debt at ~6.5%, currently it is at about 7500.  I am paying down an extra principle of 810/m, which is about 40% of my take home pay (add in an extra $165 for my regular payment).  I also got a small tax return and am putting every extra dollar towards it.  My original plan of 810 extra would have made the last payment december, but with the extra's I'm hoping to finish by October! 

When I make it I plan to reward myself by saving the same rate in order to fund my Roth IRA for 2012 (initial deposit) before the deadline next April.  This is exciting and I'm having fun thinking about the future!

Great throwdown!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: mobilisinmobili on March 09, 2013, 10:41:38 AM
I have more student loan debt, and can't do it by July, but I'm definitely wanting to tackle it more with a vengeance. Working on my BC student loan first which is about $6000 right now. The Fed loan.. I'll worry about that one after.

Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 13, 2013, 08:04:47 PM
Showing regular progress helps with motivation, because it provides frequent feedback.

Progress report:

Original Balance                          $7,438.17
Payment made (03.04.2013)   -$1,500.00
Closing Balance                          $5,958.85


I know the following people said they were in:

What is the progress is so far?:

Kaytee
DebtDerp
sibamor
imustachemystash
RobbyJ
mobilisinmobili


Please don't feel bad if you aren't hitting the target I think any forward progress on accelerating the payoff is a win.





Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 14, 2013, 07:56:07 AM
Starting balance (1/1/2013):       $19,506.31
Payments (3 so far this year):     -$2,925.00
Current Balance:                       $16,802.44

Goal Balance of $10k by 12/31/2013
Stretch Goal Balances of $12k by 7/31/2013 (& $7800 by 12/31/2013)
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: sibamor on March 14, 2013, 07:56:50 AM
Here's my ammortization table for the last 2 years and rest of this year
Loan   10/1/2010    -     -     -     $32,445.00
1   11/1/2010   250.00   81.11   168.89   32,276.11
2   12/1/2010   250.00   80.69   169.31   32,106.80
3   1/1/2011   250.00   80.27   169.73   31,937.07
4   2/1/2011   250.00   79.84   170.16   31,766.91
5   3/1/2011   250.00   79.42   170.58   31,596.33
6   4/1/2011   250.00   78.99   171.01   31,425.32
7   5/1/2011   250.00   78.56   171.44   31,253.88
8   6/1/2011   250.00   78.13   171.87   31,082.02
9   7/1/2011   250.00   77.71   172.29   30,909.72
10   8/1/2011   250.00   77.27   172.73   30,737.00
11   9/1/2011   250.00   76.84   173.16   30,563.84
12   10/1/2011   250.00   76.41   173.59   30,390.25
13   11/1/2011   250.00   75.98   174.02   30,216.23
14   12/1/2011   250.00   75.54   174.46   30,041.77
15   1/1/2012   250.00   75.10   174.90   29,866.87
16   2/1/2012   250.00   74.67   175.33   29,691.54
17   3/1/2012   400.00   74.23   325.77   29,365.77
18   4/1/2012   400.00   48.94   351.06   29,014.71
19   5/1/2012   400.00   48.36   351.64   28,663.07
20   6/1/2012   400.00   47.77   352.23   28,310.84
21   7/1/2012   400.00   47.18   352.82   27,958.02
22   8/1/2012   3,400.00   46.60   3,353.40   24,604.62
23   9/1/2012   400.00   41.01   358.99   24,245.63
24   10/1/2012   400.00   40.41   359.59   23,886.04
25   11/1/2012   400.00   39.81   360.19   23,525.85
26   12/1/2012   400.00   39.21   360.79   23,165.06
27   1/1/2013   1,800.00   38.61   1,761.39   21,403.67
28   2/1/2013   4,600.00   35.67   4,564.33   16,839.34
29   3/1/2013   1,800.00   28.07   1,771.93   15,067.40
30   4/1/2013   1,800.00   25.11   1,774.89   13,292.52
31   5/1/2013   1,800.00   22.15   1,777.85   11,514.67
32   6/1/2013   1,800.00   19.19   1,780.81   9,733.86
33   7/1/2013   1,800.00   16.22   1,783.78   7,950.09
34   8/1/2013   1,800.00   13.25   1,786.75   6,163.34
35   9/1/2013   1,800.00   10.27   1,789.73   4,373.61
36   10/1/2013   1,800.00   7.29   1,792.71   2,580.90
37   11/1/2013   1,800.00   4.30   1,795.70   785.20
38   12/1/2013   786.51   1.31   785.20   0.00

* 250 payments where simulatenous to another 250 payment on a 9k student loan that has was paid of Feb '12.
* Discovered MMM Septer '12 and tweeked my budget for the end of the year to save some more.
* I think I am going to run its full course till OCT because the interest difference is just $50 (to the parents) and the wife would not rather drain the savings this early in the year; but I am still ahead of the original DEC 2017 Payoff date so I'm happy.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on March 14, 2013, 10:28:13 AM
I'm most of the way through a home equity loan.  It's at about $7,740 right now and I want to have it paid off by the end of June.  So I'm right with you on this one!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: lark on March 15, 2013, 04:07:30 PM
Hey, can I join in? My goal is to pay off 30k in student loans this year, so maybe 15-20k by the end of July.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on March 15, 2013, 09:50:48 PM
It's good to have the group for motivation.  My loan was $24,500 and I sent in a check today for 2,000.  I am close to to saving 2,000 more to put in my savings which I will use to pay off the remainder in August when the total reaches 12,000.  We cancelled our cleaning service, gym membership, lowered our insurance by increasing the deductable, and changed phone plans.  That combined with paying off my husband's student loan gives us an extra $418 per month to save!  I can't believe we didn't do that earlier.  Good luck everyone and stay focused!  This time next year our student loans will be a distant memory!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 16, 2013, 12:19:51 PM
Hi Everyone here is my latest update

Original Balance                             7,438
Payment made (03.04.2013)            -1,500
Payment made (03.16.2013)            -1,500
Closing Balance                    4,438

I will only be making monthly payments and will contribute any overtime towards the goal as well.

Using Stoic Jedi mind tricks I keep my tranquility by thinking about how cool the stuff I already have is. My ancestors would have been thrilled to own the stuff I own and be able to do the things I do with the technology and wealth available to today's average 1st world person.

@Lark, yes anyone can join in at anytime! glad to have you in the gauntlet.

@Zaga welcome!

@Sibamor: Very ambitious!, I bet it will feel very good to have that debt shackle off!

@imustachemystash: Good work , glad to hear you dropped the cleaning service and gym membership. I still have my gym membership but my employer subsidizes 90% of it as long as I go on a regular basis making it very cheap (~$100 per year).

@Kaytee: you're a machine, what is your budget like for your major expenses (housing, transportation, food)?


Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 17, 2013, 09:50:53 AM
Here's the whole thing, with notes for context.

Net monthly income:
     Me: $2960
     DH: $376 (max, sometimes less)

Expenses:
     Housing: $1,100.74
          Rent: $825
          Gas: $75 (monthly average, we use a slush fund so it's always the same)
          Electricity: $55 (used to be $35-$40, but we run the dryer a lot more these days... cloth diapers)
          Phones: $105 (we're pulling the trigger in april to break our contract with AT&T & sign up with airvoice wireless)
          Internet: $30.99
          Renter's Insurance: $9.75 (to slush fund for annual payment)
     Loans: $875.67
          Fed Loan: $175.67
          Private Loan: $700
     Cars: $255.75
          Insurance: $105.75 (2 vehicles)
          Fuel: $150 (max) - (going to start biking to work when the snow melts & i'm not pumping milk 2-3x per day)
          Repairs: $0 (only while in debt annihilation mode, use emergency fund or reduce monthly private loan payment if critical repair needed. Our lease forbids us from working on our vehicles in the parking lot)
     Food: $600 (includes people food, cat food, litter, toiletries, etc.)
     Medical: $85 (diabetes supplies for DH copayments, Type 1)
     Fun Money: $100 ($50 to each of us for guiltfree spending. Usually on alcohol)
     Savings: None at this time, for debt annihilation period only.
     Misc: $318.84 (NTE) - for as needed items such as gifts, registration renewals, uncovered dr's visits, gardening stuff, etc.)

I get paid fornightly and January was an extra paycheck month, so that's why my progress looks higher than it should based on my budget.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 17, 2013, 07:25:33 PM
Thanks for posting the full income statement. I guess I should also post mine.

This is basically averaged out from Mint.com and adjusted to my current expense pattern.

Take home pay   3,533
Student Loan   1,500
Rent   625
Food and dining   376
Travel budget   357
Shopping (books, clothing etc.)   270
Transportation (Gas, Public Transit, Parking)   200
Cash   100
Car insurance sinking fund (1,000 a year ( I live in Toronto) / 12 months)   83


That is how it looks on average. I am planning on reducing the shopping category by about $200 by using the library and Internet for almost all my entertainment needs.

The travel budget is pre-set. I promised my wife a trip and this is how I am financing it.

Once the loan is paid off that will be $1,500 in extra money per month (18k per year) being invested into stocks, REIT's, index funds etc. If I can find another $300 in savings then I will be saving 50% of my take home pay which I believe is the minimum threshold to be considered 'badass'. If I can somehow wrestle out another $500 then I will be saving 75% of all my take home pay which will I think be a real challenge but I am up to it. I think I will need to swing a new job or get a raise at the current one to get to this level. I also have a pension and RRSP (like a 401k) matching from my employer that I can't touch until I hit very old retirement age.



Expenses:
     Housing: $1,100.74
          Rent: $825
   

What is the difference (in meaning) between 'housing' and 'rent'?
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 18, 2013, 08:27:32 AM
Oh, I consider "housing" to be a spending category consisting of rent, electricity, gas, insurance, internet, and phone. A more appropriate title would be "housing & utilities." I'm the only one that ever looks at my spreadsheet, so I've never bothered with changing it.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: DebtDerp on March 18, 2013, 10:30:07 AM
Great work everyone! Keep it up!

Here is my progress so far this month:

Starting Balance (3/1/13): $62,690.29
Extra Payment (3/12/13): $600.00
Regular Payment (3/14/13): $728.46
Extra Payment (3/15/13): $3,170.00
Current Balance (3/18/13): $58,562.07
Total principal pay-off to date: $4,128.22/$7,500

I made a big extra payment on Friday with my tax return. I have to be honest, I almost didnít do it. I really want to buy a new computer and I could get a really nice one with how much I am putting towards my student loans. In the end I pulled the trigger and made the payment. I think without the community here that would hold me responsible for a boneheaded spending decision like buying a new computer I would have done it. So thank you! Right now I am projecting that I will hit the $7.5k goal sometime in June.

I should also note that I have about another $17k of federal loans that I am just making regular payments on while I focus on these private loans. So, I still have a long way to go. It does feel good though as the balance of my private loans was over $71k at the beginning of January.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 18, 2013, 10:48:27 AM
Fistbump to you, DebtDerp! Look at those numbers melt away.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: feistygg on March 18, 2013, 11:06:35 AM
Good job DebtDerp!
I'm trying to keep my student loan balance from going up (still in school) so I'm paying as I go. Damn if I don't like those $2400 classes every 7 weeks! I've been able to keep it holding steady, and only 4 classes to go!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: DebtDerp on March 18, 2013, 11:17:49 AM
Good job DebtDerp!
I'm trying to keep my student loan balance from going up (still in school) so I'm paying as I go. Damn if I don't like those $2400 classes every 7 weeks! I've been able to keep it holding steady, and only 4 classes to go!

This is extremely smart. I wish I had at least paid the interest that was accruing on my loans while I was still in school. Instead I spent all of my money on beer. Once I graduated about $15k worth of interest capitalized on my loans. That was pretty painful.

Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 23, 2013, 11:24:30 AM
Hi Everyone,

I hope the loan paydown is going well for all of you.

I got this chart from Mint.com today, and thought it was funny because of the large proportion represented by debt pay down:

(http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/8793/whereyourmoneywent.png) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/837/whereyourmoneywent.png/)

Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on March 23, 2013, 03:03:29 PM
Going fairly well, we're down to $6,871.  Next month property taxes are due so it'll be slow until after they are paid.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: mobilisinmobili on March 23, 2013, 03:19:11 PM
I'm at 5700. Might be a bit less.. I only get the remaining balance via paper statements.. there's no way to check it online. (barbarism!)

I've also lowered the % of my pay going towards company stock so that I can pay down the debt more aggressively.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Buttercup on March 23, 2013, 05:06:06 PM
Challenge accepted!

I have a lot of student loan debt to pay off, so hold on while I summarize...

Federal Loans:  $14,451.32 @ ~6% fixed (averaged out)
Perkins:  $6,480.92 @5.5% fixed
Private:  $60,453.39 @ 2.95% variable
Private: $4,614.64 - my parents decided to pay this one off for me (but I would like to be able to take it on myself)

Total:  $86,000.27

I just paid off another federal loan for about $2100 (tax return!) this month. Felt really good! It had the highest interest rate, so now I'm moving on to the 14K federal loans. Right now, if I still pay my original payment amount, which is higher than the minimum, I wouldn't pay this one off until April 2018. Scary.

I also contribute 20% of my income to my 401k now.

My goal is to pay the federal loan off by end of 2013, with 7.5k in July being a good midway goal. That's an extra $1560 per month I need to find somewhere!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 24, 2013, 07:31:44 AM
Welcome to the gauntlet Buttercup!

The size of some of these American student loans take my breath away. In Canada, in most cases, 40-60% of higher education is paid upfront by government which makes our student loans much lower. We pay for that as a society by having higher (progressive style) taxes. In the US you get to graduate into a lower tax environment (hopefully) which gives you more choices and take home pay. The extra pay makes it easier to pay off the massive loans but I know there are some people who are going to spend it on "penny whistles and moon pies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGi6iSNdhEQ)" no matter what and go bankrupt as a result.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on March 24, 2013, 08:18:31 AM
Welcome to the gauntlet Buttercup!

The size of some of these American student loans take my breath away. In Canada, in most cases, 40-60% of higher education is paid upfront by government which makes our student loans much lower. We pay for that as a society by having higher (progressive style) taxes. In the US you get to graduate into a lower tax environment (hopefully) which gives you more choices and take home pay. The extra pay makes it easier to pay off the massive loans but I know there are some people who are going to spend it on "penny whistles and moon pies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGi6iSNdhEQ)" no matter what and go bankrupt as a result.
But in the US you can't bankrupt student loans, they follow you for life in almost all situations.  Total disability or death is the only thing (other than paying them off) that will make them go away.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 24, 2013, 09:27:23 AM
in the US you can't bankrupt student loans, they follow you for life in almost all situations.  Total disability or death is the only thing (other than paying them off) that will make them go away.

The Canadian system is similar, it is extremely difficult to discharge student debt through bankruptcy these days. However from what I understand back when we had the socialist NDP running the show in Ontario people could declare bankruptcy on their student loans to the same effect as other types of loans. I have met at least two people who did just that, took out the maximum Ontario student loans and then upon graduating promptly declared bankrupty and just lived life on a cash basis for however long it took before they were eligible to get credit again. I think that is why they no longer allow bankruptcy to discharge student loans so quickly, the government is counting on the present value of your future earning stream as collateral so normal loan rules like having hard assets as collateral (like a home) don't work for student loans. This makes the bad debt reserve for student loans unacceptably high and forces the tax payer to shoulder the burden through the lower economic output of a bankrupt person and having to pay the bad debt off through taxes. I don't know if it is really a good policy or not but my loan has an 'interest relief' safety valve where the government will pay my interest and hold principle payments if I am out of work or otherwise unable to pay the loan. I don't know if the US has a similar system but again student loans here are treated differently then say bank loans, the government wants their money back but they don't want to kill your credit or come and seize assets to get it.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Buttercup on March 24, 2013, 10:09:22 AM
Welcome to the gauntlet Buttercup!

The size of some of these American student loans take my breath away. In Canada, in most cases, 40-60% of higher education is paid upfront by government which makes our student loans much lower. We pay for that as a society by having higher (progressive style) taxes. In the US you get to graduate into a lower tax environment (hopefully) which gives you more choices and take home pay. The extra pay makes it easier to pay off the massive loans but I know there are some people who are going to spend it on "penny whistles and moon pies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGi6iSNdhEQ)" no matter what and go bankrupt as a result.
But in the US you can't bankrupt student loans, they follow you for life in almost all situations.  Total disability or death is the only thing (other than paying them off) that will make them go away.

Very true. You can also get them discharged if you show extreme financial hardship, but I'm pretty sure it has to be very extreme and the only way you could get to that is through longterm disability.
I don't think I would ever try to discharge my student loan debt through bankruptcy anyways though. I got myself into this by being a jaded 18 year old with big dreams and now I just changed my big dream to make them gone! And I would like to avoid a slap in the face from my sister if I tried to discharge them.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on March 26, 2013, 10:42:53 AM
Quote
But in the US you can't bankrupt student loans, they follow you for life in almost all situations.  Total disability or death is the only thing (other than paying them off) that will make them go away.

The exception being private loans. Private lendors are not required to forgive a loan in the event of the borrower's death, so your family can inherit your private student loans if you die. Highly recommend knowing the death-related policies of your lender. I'm not sure if that is the same for every country. Awesome, eh?

Welcome, Buttercup!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 10, 2013, 04:52:59 PM
I hope everybody is still onboard this gauntlet and are hitting their student debt objectives.

I have been a bit of a bad boy recently ordering a few pizzas and not bringing my lunch to work for a couple of days. It won't affect my debt pay down but I need to cut that stuff out. In 5 days another 1.5k of student debt will be wiped off my balance sheet.

I also had to spend some money on changing the back brakes on the family vehicle. I built in a budgetary miscellaneous buffer for that kind of thing but I would have rather said that I made a bigger debt payment then planned. Maybe next month will yield a surplus.



Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: jrhampt on April 11, 2013, 08:53:17 AM
I don't know if this is motivating or not, but in December 2010 I calculated my net worth for the first time and it was negative due to student loan debt, which I had been paying off in a half-hearted sort of way for some time.  I paid off my loans in a big push by June 2011, and since then my net worth has increased in a quite lovely way...just clocked in at $162k, not including home equity or my spouse's investments, just my own personal savings.  In less than two years since paying them off!  So once you ditch that millstone, good times are ahead.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on April 12, 2013, 01:18:56 PM
April standing:
Starting balance :       $16,802.44
Payment:                    -$700.00
Current Balance:        $16,162.99

This was a spendy month for us also. The baby got her first and second colds within a few days of each other, and DH also got two colds, which left me to take care of both of them and keep the house running. We're in the middle of a diet change to dairy free in additional to gluten free (increasing our food budget), that plus CST and chiro for the baby to correct chronic constipation. Bottom line is that we spent more than I budgeted, so the next month will be lean spending month. The good news is that both baby and husband on are on the mend. (the bad news being that the first molar appeared this week. Not awesome.)
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 12, 2013, 04:19:54 PM
I don't know if this is motivating or not, but in December 2010 I calculated my net worth for the first time and it was negative due to student loan debt, which I had been paying off in a half-hearted sort of way for some time.  I paid off my loans in a big push by June 2011, and since then my net worth has increased in a quite lovely way...just clocked in at $162k, not including home equity or my spouse's investments, just my own personal savings.  In less than two years since paying them off!  So once you ditch that millstone, good times are ahead.

going from a negative net worth to a 162k positive net worth in 3 years  is incredible! Sounds like you are well on your way to buying a yacht or perhaps early retirement :-)
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 12, 2013, 04:31:01 PM
April standing:
Starting balance :       $16,802.44
Payment:                    -$700.00
Current Balance:        $16,162.99

This was a spendy month for us also. The baby got her first and second colds within a few days of each other, and DH also got two colds, which left me to take care of both of them and keep the house running. We're in the middle of a diet change to dairy free in additional to gluten free (increasing our food budget), that plus CST and chiro for the baby to correct chronic constipation. Bottom line is that we spent more than I budgeted, so the next month will be lean spending month. The good news is that both baby and husband on are on the mend. (the bad news being that the first molar appeared this week. Not awesome.)

Most people would have gone into more debt in your situation, but you managed to make a dent in the debt while dealing with your family's health issues. If you know in your "heart of hearts" that you made an improvement from where you were before then you should feel good about that. Don't feel down because you didn't hit an ideal state but at the same time I personally believe you could get a little closer to the target next month.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on April 12, 2013, 06:53:52 PM
No recent progress, but that's because DH got a new job and until we know the timing of his new paycheck we're holding onto the money.  Plus there's another chunk of money being held onto for a potential expense that looks like it will pass us by (yay!) 

So once the dust settles there should be a significant payment to the loan, probably over 1/3 of what's left ($6,871).
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on April 15, 2013, 10:23:23 AM
Thanks, Peterpatch. Medical bills are the bane of my existence. I've tried planning for them in my budget, but they vary so wildly every year that it drives me crazy. Our insurance makes it's coverage stupidly difficult to understand, there are hidden rules all over the place, and they often contradict their own policies. I am fortunate enough that we have been able to cover these surprise costs every year and haven't had medical debt since I was in grad school. I know I can (WILL) do better next month. If we continue to be diligent for the rest of this month, we should be fine.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 16, 2013, 08:14:30 PM
Today I made a payment of $1,500 towards my student loan. The loan balance is now as follows:

Beg Bal    4,475
payment    1,500
End Bal    2,975

I feel like I am within striking distance of debt freedom because the 2.9k ending balance is below my monthly take home pay. At this level I am starting to think of ways to pay the balance off immediately. I am tempted to wipe out the debt with some emergency cash and investments. It would have virtually zero effect on my net worth but could create some short term liquidity problems if I were to suddenly find myself out of work. Therefore I will just let things unfold as planned this month and maybe next month I will pay it off completely.

No matter what within three months I am going to have the enviable problem of having $1,500 of extra income a month that I will need to manage.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on April 17, 2013, 09:21:19 PM
So far I'm on track with saving enough money to have my loan payed off in August.  I have started shopping at Grocery Outlet, getting my hair cut at a training school, and buying second hand for my kids.  It's really fun to be more creative about how to save money.  I can't wait for August and I will be free of this loan!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on April 19, 2013, 07:35:13 AM
Just when I thought I was done with this month's payments and minimal progress, a larger than expected tax return appears and is immediately applied towards this challenge. Evidently, not only does one receive a deduction for having a dependent child, but there is also a child tax credit that is applied whether you want it or not.

April 2.0 payment:
Balance: $16,162.99
              -$2000
Balance: $14,190.88

Net change since beginning of challenge: -$5,315.43

With 3 payments left in the challenge, this seems doable. The loan provider keeps lowering my monthly payment to match the loan term. It's heartening to watch that number retreating, especially when I reminisce about what that number looked like when I first starting repaying the loan in 2006 with it's 10% interest rate and capitialized interest. Good times.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 19, 2013, 10:50:58 PM
Good job Kaytee, you won't find a much better , risk adjusted, investment then paying down student loan debt.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on April 20, 2013, 07:14:05 AM
I'm most of the way through a home equity loan.  It's at about $7,740 right now and I want to have it paid off by the end of June.  So I'm right with you on this one!
We got some things sorted out, so the money we were holding onto was able to go to the student loan.  Made a huge payment that will go through next week of $3,493.07, bringing the total owed down to $3,377.93.  Whee!  Half of the remainder gone in one swoop!

From here on out we'll slow down to half of what's left each month, because of a fallen retaining wall that really needs to be fixed.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on April 22, 2013, 08:32:49 AM
Looks like there has been some excellent progress posted this month! Looking forward to seeing those screen captures in a few months.... or possibly earlier.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: tomatoprincess on April 22, 2013, 02:33:54 PM
Reading through these, what kind of education did you pursue, was it worth it and would you do it again?
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 22, 2013, 03:59:09 PM
Reading through these, what kind of education did you pursue, was it worth it and would you do it again?

Business degree.

I would have taken a much broader sample of subjects before deciding on a major.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on April 23, 2013, 07:01:53 AM
Quote
Reading through these, what kind of education did you pursue, was it worth it and would you do it again?

BS in Civil Engineering from a state university, M. Eng in Environmental and Water Resource Systems Engineering from a fancypants university.  I would do it again, but I wish I knew then what I know now. I had no idea it was possible to take generic undergraduate courses at a community college and transfer the credits. Growing up I was told that I had to go college and there was no other option, yet there was no preparation or planning for it. I wish I had known that taking all my classes at the nearby college for my senior year of high school would give me too many credit hours to apply as a freshman in the eyes of the university. I wish I had known that taking a year off between high school and college to decide what I wanted to study and save some money for college, along with my accumulation of credits from high school would mean I wasn't eligible for most of the scholarships in the eyes of the requirements. There is a lot more I wish I knew before starting out, but getting up to my eyeballs in debt going through school has given me the opportunity to learn financial sense. I'm not sure I would have that without these experiences. Meanwhile, my parents are divorced, yet both are living paycheck to paycheck with minimal retirement or emergency savings yet plenty of money for fun toys and experiences.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on April 29, 2013, 05:58:50 PM
Every once in a while we all get lucky, maybe you win the lottery or find 50 bucks lying on the sidewalk. Like Manna from heaven I received a $400 wire transfer from Japan in my bank account today. To make a long story short in 2007 I worked for a company that went bankrupt in Japan and never paid me. They are still unwinding the company and this is my pro rated share of the company's liquidated assets. I realize that I earned the money and this is actually less then I earned but it was so long ago that it feels like free money.

I am going to have to pay taxes on this money in Canada so I am putting aside $100 as a conservative estimate on the income taxes. $300 will go towards my student debt bringing the balance down to around $2,700.

Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on April 30, 2013, 10:44:55 PM
I got a Master's in Communication Disorders which is needed to become a speech and language pathologist. I would absolutely do it again.  I love my job and I think my education helped me grow as a person.  My job allows me to help people have a voice and that is meaningful way to spend my life.  My career also allows me to balance work and family life because I have summers off and can work part time.

This is a good question.  I look forward to reading what the others say.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Mazzinator on May 07, 2013, 08:40:03 PM
Kaytee.. Have you checked ou the irs withholding calculator?? You can adjust your withholdings now so you can keep your money..

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator

Great work payingdown the debt!!! We have a ton, so it's good to see someone near the end..
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on May 09, 2013, 04:35:39 PM
I am putting my $1k income tax return towards my student loan. Here is where I am at now:

Beg Bal: 2,708.95
Less:     1,000
End Bal: 1708.95

I will probably pay the whole thing off when I get my pay cheque this month, that's 2 months earlier then planned.

One of the cons of doing this is that I always feel a little empty about paying down the debt. I am very rational and I know I am doing what is best but I cannot escape the feeling that it would be great to spend this money on a new computer or something like that. When you pay down the debt there is no physical exchange like consumer shopping provides so it's nice to be able to come here and let you all know how it's going and get some feedback. The shackle is almost off!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: tomatoprincess on May 09, 2013, 05:50:05 PM
Keep at it! Think of the interest you save!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on May 10, 2013, 07:41:17 AM
Quote
Kaytee.. Have you checked ou the irs withholding calculator?? You can adjust your withholdings now so you can keep your money..

Why have I not known about this before? Gah! This is way more accurate than my back of hand rough calculations. According to this, I've practically paid all the income tax that I need to for the year already. Thank you for sending this to me. Although, I'm not truly keeping money these days. It passes from my hands where I immediately use it to attack my student loans with mindful, tenacious ferocity.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on May 10, 2013, 07:50:27 AM
Quote
I will probably pay the whole thing off when I get my pay cheque this month, that's 2 months earlier then planned.

Do it! Then post a picture of the zero balance. It'll be inspirational for the rest of us.

I have the exact opposite feeling when I pay something off. I am filled with giddy glee a la carte empowerment, in a "another one bites the dust" kind of way. Then I delete that column in my spreadsheet and breathe freer air. Maybe try celebrating with something small and completely out of character. Take the day off from work and hike a mountain while wearing a chicken hat or see a movie or something. It's all about mindset.

Edit - I am holding off on posting my own progress this month because I am hoping to make another payment after this second round of medical bills shows up. I'm not sure how much it will be for yet.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on May 10, 2013, 05:10:49 PM
Quote
I will probably pay the whole thing off when I get my pay cheque this month, that's 2 months earlier then planned.

Do it! Then post a picture of the zero balance. It'll be inspirational for the rest of us.

I have the exact opposite feeling when I pay something off. I am filled with giddy glee a la carte empowerment, in a "another one bites the dust" kind of way.

It is extremely likely I will do it and I will definitely post a picture of the $0 balance. I get paid mid month so stay tuned.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: freerider156 on May 10, 2013, 10:06:40 PM
Just wanted you all to know that reading through this post has been very inspiring to me! My wife and I have a combined $90k in student debt and $13.5k in credit card debt. I have been "working" to pay off the debt for the last several years and constantly get sidetracked with other things that come up. Hence, I've had this credit card debt for around 8 years. It used to be up over $20k, but i haven't made real good progress in the last couple of years and its getting to me. I'd like to do a similar challenge and get my credit card debt paid off ASAP! We just had a baby girl and want to buy a house - those have been the driving forces for me to working hard at making us debt free a reality. I am new to MMM, but hopefully soon I will have a similar success story :)

way to go!!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: LivingOnLess on May 11, 2013, 11:01:13 PM
You guys rock! 
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: lark on May 13, 2013, 06:39:01 PM
Time for a student loan repayment update. So far I'm ahead of schedule and I'm adjusting my goal for the year to $45k, which would be about half my remaining balance. Thanks to a better than expected tax refund and a couple of bonuses (and cutting back on new clothes/eating out problem), I finally feel like I'm making progress. It's sad to think that by the end of this month I'll have paid back more in loans this year than the last 4 years combined.

Date             Payment   Amount      
05/09/2013   Payment   $6,000.00      
04/21/2013   Payment   $222.94      
04/15/2013   Payment   $4,000.00      
03/21/2013   Payment   $222.94      
03/19/2013   Payment   $4,000.00      
02/21/2013   Payment   $222.94   
02/19/2013   Payment   $1,500.00   
02/04/2013   Payment   $1,500.00      
01/21/2013   Payment   $222.94   
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on May 13, 2013, 08:21:03 PM
I'm most of the way through a home equity loan.  It's at about $7,740 right now and I want to have it paid off by the end of June.  So I'm right with you on this one!
We got some things sorted out, so the money we were holding onto was able to go to the HEL.  Made a huge payment that will go through next week of $3,493.07, bringing the total owed down to $3,377.93.  Whee!  Half of the remainder gone in one swoop!

From here on out we'll slow down to half of what's left each month, because of a fallen retaining wall that really needs to be fixed.
Thanks to a job change for DH (with no 401-K, mixed blessing) our take home pay has increased.  The final $3,400 will be mostly gone by the end of May, woot!  Then one tiny payment left in June, that will have to be a certified check mailed in, what a pain.  So it looks like I'll make my end of June goal with time to spare!

Also, we've decided to wait until late summer to fix the retaining wall.  We can take it down ourselves so it's no longer a danger, the rest can wait.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on May 15, 2013, 08:41:54 AM
I just paid off the rest of my school loan. I am a little more free then I was before, it feels great! It was totally worth the short term pain to pay off the loan.

I am really glad I posted my goal to this forum because the community support and the expectation I set was a key success factor for me. The expectations combined with a "SMART" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria) goal made this gauntlet a very powerful tool to get out of debt. Thanks to everyone for your support.

I am expecting the rest of the people who agreed to this gauntlet to achieve their goals too. Hopefully we will see more peoples final results soon.

 I will post the screen shot of whatever the government provides me to show the loan is finished as soon as they provide it to me in the mail or through their website.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: lark on May 15, 2013, 06:02:10 PM
Quote
I just paid off the rest of my school loan. I am a more free then I was before, it feels great! It was totally worth the short term pain to pay off the loan.

Congratulations! It must be such a good feeling. I'm looking forward to having my smaller loan paid off by the end of the month and then starting to tackle the big one. I can't wait to be free of this debt.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Mazzinator on May 16, 2013, 07:44:38 PM
Quote
Quote
Kaytee.. Have you checked ou the irs withholding calculator?? You can adjust your withholdings now so you can keep your money..

Why have I not known about this before? Gah! This is way more accurate than my back of hand rough calculations. According to this, I've practically paid all the income tax that I need to for the year already. Thank you for sending this to me. Although, I'm not truly keeping money these days. It passes from my hands where I immediately use it to attack my student loans with mindful, tenacious ferocity.

No problemo..we did the same thing..soo stupid..we have two little tax credits running around here..who knew kids could actually save us money?? We also already overpaid uncle sam (as of april) dumb!!! We also are paying off a shit ton of debt, but no way will we be done by july..sigh.. $99k left..yikes..

Congrats Peterpatch!!! I am totally jealous!!! In a good way, of course ;-)
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on May 23, 2013, 09:16:24 AM
Quote
I just paid off the rest of my school loan. I am a more free then I was before, it feels great! It was totally worth the short term pain to pay off the loan.

AHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (we howl to celebrate good news on occasion)

You did say that you might be able to shed this debt in May and so you have done. Congratulations! An enviable position indeed.


Quote
No problemo..we did the same thing..soo stupid..we have two little tax credits running around here..who knew kids could actually save us money?? We also already overpaid uncle sam (as of april) dumb!!! We also are paying off a shit ton of debt, but no way will we be done by july..sigh.. $99k left..yikes..

We have $51,066.18 left, but started at $107,336.20 almost 5 years ago. We just hit the 50% payoff last month because of THIS challenge. I have $13k left on one particular loan that I have targeted for annihiliation that will be paid of next year if I continue with this payoff rate. The rest is another student loan at 2.5% interest rate, and I am not sure in what direction I will go at that point. We'd like to buy a house or land at some point before our kid starts school in 4 years. If I continue saving the money that I was paying to the targeted loan, we'll have a hefty downpayment rather quickly, and I am leaning towards that direction. My husband is a carpenter turned SAHD, so we may look at buying a fixer-upper to eventually become a rental house.

May Update
Balance:     $14,190.88
Payments:  -$1,150
Balance:     $13,104.62

Remaining in challenge: $1,098.31, seems totally doable with two payments left in the challenge. Despite this being a 3 paycheck month, I was not able to apply the entire balance of the 3rd paycheck towards this challenge.  Most of it went to more medical bills. Yay! We're in the awkward time of the year where our bridge & FSA money is spent, but we haven't yet reached our deductible and coinsurance amounts. I am grateful that I was able to cover the cost of all these medical bills without breaking a sweat. Not living paycheck to paycheck does truly have intangible benefits.

My current goal is to adjust my witholdings based on the calculator link from Mazzinator and increase my monthly payments. By the end of this month.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on May 24, 2013, 09:04:24 AM


AHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (we howl to celebrate good news on occasion)

You did say that you might be able to shed this debt in May and so you have done. Congratulations! An enviable position indeed.



Thanks Kaytee. I am glad to hear you are still paying down that loan quickly. Before you know it you will get to keep a whole lot more of your paycheck!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Mozactly on May 26, 2013, 08:13:34 AM
This post has been inspiring to me.

I've had about $6,000 in student loan debt lingering while I saved for a down payment on a house, and got used to the new paycheck at my new job.

I figured: student debt is "good debt" and won't negatively affect my credit score, and doesn't look irresponsible at that level. So I'll take my time paying it off.

What a dumb mindset. It took this blog to make me realize that.

So now I'm challenging myself to pay off that debt (currently at $5,133) in the next five months. I'm moving my monthly savings deposit into my student loan payments ($850 a month) on top of the $300 I was already planning to start paying.
(Previously I paid about $100 a month on the student loan)

I'm also the kind of person who keeps a $1,000 balance in my checking account. Before each paycheck, I'm usually hovering right around or right below that mark. I used to have the bad habit of spending it down to $1,000 if I had extra (buying new shoes, new clothes, going out to eat, etc.).

NO MORE! Now every penny above the $1,000 mark is going into my student loan each month.

I'm proud to say I just put in $121.29.

I plan to have this puppy paid off by October.

Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on May 26, 2013, 11:58:01 AM
This post has been inspiring to me.....


NO MORE! Now every penny above the $1,000 mark is going into my student loan each month.

I'm proud to say I just put in $121.29.

I plan to have this puppy paid off by October.

Wish me luck!

Good luck Mozactly!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on June 01, 2013, 01:09:18 PM
Hi Everyone,

I got my final letter from the Canadian government declaring that my student loans are paid in full!

(http://imageshack.us/a/img837/807/93972900.png)


This is the end of my 6 year journey from $20.8k in student loan debt in 2007 to no student loan debt today.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: reginna on June 01, 2013, 03:54:45 PM
Serious clapping!!Well done peterpatch.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on June 01, 2013, 08:01:24 PM
I'm most of the way through a home equity loan.  It's at about $7,740 right now and I want to have it paid off by the end of June.  So I'm right with you on this one!
We got some things sorted out, so the money we were holding onto was able to go to the HEL.  Made a huge payment that will go through next week of $3,493.07, bringing the total owed down to $3,377.93.  Whee!  Half of the remainder gone in one swoop!

From here on out we'll slow down to half of what's left each month, because of a fallen retaining wall that really needs to be fixed.
Thanks to a job change for DH (with no 401-K, mixed blessing) our take home pay has increased.  The final $3,400 will be mostly gone by the end of May, woot!  Then one tiny payment left in June, that will have to be a certified check mailed in, what a pain.  So it looks like I'll make my end of June goal with time to spare!

Also, we've decided to wait until late summer to fix the retaining wall.  We can take it down ourselves so it's no longer a danger, the rest can wait.
All done, sent in the final payment on Thursday.  It had to be certified funds sent to a special address, so it will hopefully process by the middle of next week.  Yay, one more loan down, only one monster to go!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on June 03, 2013, 08:12:44 AM
Congratulations, Zaga!

I indulged in a bit of loan repayment therapy last week by taking $600 out of my slush fund and applying it to this loan, so I made three payments in May instead of two. I want to be rid of this beast!

May Update, revised.
Balance:     $14,190.88
Payments:  -$1,750
Balance:     $12,525.34

Edited to add: Mint.com sent me an email telling me that I might be potentially overpaying on my private student loans! If mint only knew how funny that was.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Mozactly on June 04, 2013, 06:40:18 AM
Hi Everyone,

I got my final letter from the Canadian government declaring that my student loans are paid in full!

This is the end of my 6 year journey from $20.8k in student loan debt in 2007 to no student loan debt today.

Yay! Congrats!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on June 24, 2013, 05:07:17 PM
Congratulation Peter and Zaga!  So how does it feel?  I still have 2 more months to go.  I like the mustache on your letter by the way.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on June 25, 2013, 05:56:04 AM
Congratulation Peter and Zaga!  So how does it feel?  I still have 2 more months to go.  I like the mustache on your letter by the way.

Feels great!


2 months to go. You're almost there, keep pushing that boulder and you will be at the top of the hill soon. Going down the hill is much easier ;-)
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kio on June 26, 2013, 06:12:39 PM
Wow this thread is really inspiring!  We won't be done by July, but we are on track to finish up by next July.  Between my husband and I we have 3 degrees from the USA (a Bachelor's for each of us, and my husband has a Masters). 

Our grand total for student loans was $114k in 2011 which is so hard to look at even now!!!  But I thank god for the loans every day because they turned us into Mustachians, and the rest of our life will be better off for it.  We've learned so much about ourselves and each other in this time that we have been aggressively paying off the loans.

Currently our balance is "just" $36k.  I will post our progress for end of July!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on June 26, 2013, 06:22:29 PM
Wow this thread is really inspiring!  We won't be done by July, but we are on track to finish up by next July.  Between my husband and I we have 3 degrees from the USA (a Bachelor's for each of us, and my husband has a Masters). 

Our grand total for student loans was $114k in 2011 which is so hard to look at even now!!!  But I thank god for the loans every day because they turned us into Mustachians, and the rest of our life will be better off for it.  We've learned so much about ourselves and each other in this time that we have been aggressively paying off the loans.

Currently our balance is "just" $36k.  I will post our progress for end of July!

Good luck! Please keep up updated with your progress.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on June 27, 2013, 07:02:03 AM
Congratulation Peter and Zaga!  So how does it feel?  I still have 2 more months to go.  I like the mustache on your letter by the way.
Awesome!  Still one monster loan to go, but it's great to be down to just the one!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: lark on June 28, 2013, 03:24:48 PM
First loan officially paid off. Now *55k* to go. Can't wait to be free of student loans.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on June 28, 2013, 04:39:31 PM
First loan officially paid off. Now *55k* to go. Can't wait to be free of student loans.


way to go lark!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on July 03, 2013, 07:25:44 AM
Because this is a challenge, I probably need to come clean and report the hiccups as well as the successes, right? I have $519 remaining left to pay in the challenge - same place I was at the end of May, and 28 days to do it. I have paid over $1700 in medical bills in May and June.  Another $600 coming down the pipeline this month, plus some supplementary expenses such as a water filter that we will need to install to help address the medical issues. This has consumed all of my discretionary income allotted for this challenge. This has not pushed me further into debt, but I have not had much appreciable progress on my existing debt. My goal for this month is to see if I can pound out that last $519. Still optimistic.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Rebecca Stapler on July 03, 2013, 08:53:25 AM
Because this is a challenge, I probably need to come clean and report the hiccups as well as the successes, right? I have $519 remaining left to pay in the challenge - same place I was at the end of May, and 28 days to do it. I have paid over $1700 in medical bills in May and June.  Another $600 coming down the pipeline this month, plus some supplementary expenses such as a water filter that we will need to install to help address the medical issues. This has consumed all of my discretionary income allotted for this challenge. This has not pushed me further into debt, but I have not had much appreciable progress on my existing debt. My goal for this month is to see if I can pound out that last $519. Still optimistic.

I'm sorry about all of those hiccups. Having such a concrete goal might help you push through the month and achieve it. Sometimes I take a month to squeeze out every last bit of cash / value where I can -- Squeeze out some cash from a yard sale, consigning clothes liketwice.com/FlB4H (http://liketwice.com/FlB4H), selling back books www.bookscouter.com (http://www.bookscouter.com), cash in points / miles from cc's or airlines to get things you would otherwise pay cash for -- or cash them in for gift cards to places you'll be spending money this month). Or cut down expenses just until next month (skip the grocery store one week and see how resourceful you can be with what you have? Make purchases with any extra gift cards you have hanging around? Find the very best deal you can on that water filter -- I love Google Shopper and always use ebates http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=yWYPcbC2uGhTxEx8S51wXA%3D%3D (http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=yWYPcbC2uGhTxEx8S51wXA%3D%3D) -- but you won't get your cashback until later with ebates).
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on July 03, 2013, 12:15:17 PM
Those are some great ideas, Stan. Thank you. What I may end up doing it taking enough money out of my emergency fund to complete the challenge and then reducing my principal reduction payments on my loan for the duration of this medical hiccup. The amount of money I'm overpaying to the student loan should cover these expenditures easily - funny how that works out, eh? At most, there will be 3 more months of these medical expenditures. I think I have found a filter that fits our situation, but won't break the bank. We need to remove chloramines from our water as our PWS uses that instead of chlorine for disinfection.

There are a few books I could probably sell and those will be hard to part with, I've been downsizing my collection for years and only kept the ones that our local library doesn't have, yet I love to re-read. Same thing with clothing - just don't have a lot of it. We grocery shop every other week, and unfortunately, my pantry is full of foods that can't be eaten right now. We can't do corn or rice as we get sick when we eat them, yet I have bags of polenta and rice stocked up.

So, I'm not truly concerned about where the money is going to come from, I'm just annoyed that it's throwing off my debt repayment schedule.  I suppose this is somewhat of an enviable problem to have.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on July 16, 2013, 08:16:50 AM
Challenge accomplished. I punted one of our medical bills by sending in a partial payment with the remaining balance of our flex spending account card, thus allowing me to finish the challenge by the end date. I probably would have done this anyway as it is typically how I use up remaining awkward amounts on the flex account.

July Update
Balance:     $12,525.34
Payment:    -$625
Balance:     $11,983.07

Beginning 2013 Balance: $19,506.31
Total 2013 payments: $7,523.24 (....+ interest)

Met the goal by the deadline! AAAahhhhhhhwwwwoooooooooo!

Our medical treatments should last about another 2 months and then I will resume an equally aggressive payment schedule and hopefully, by this time next year I will have paid off this loan as well. Thank you, Peterpatch, for posting this challenge!


Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on July 16, 2013, 10:35:42 AM
That's  great Kaytee! You had a challenge with those medical bills but you made it through the gauntlet nonetheless.

Very inspiring success, please keep us up to date on your debt fight for next 12 months.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Rebecca Stapler on July 17, 2013, 07:46:11 AM

Met the goal by the deadline! AAAahhhhhhhwwwwoooooooooo!


Awesome! Congratulations!!

We plan to pay off a SL next week, we're just waiting for the check to clear ...
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: MakingSenseofCents on July 20, 2013, 09:34:14 AM
Good luck! I just paid off my student loans and it feels awesome!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: DebtDerp on July 24, 2013, 01:36:22 PM
Alright, almost the end of the month and I have completed the challenge with room to spare!

Starting Balance (3/1/13): $62,690.29
Extra Payment (3/12/13): $600.00
Regular Payment (3/14/13): $728.46
Extra Payment (3/15/13): $3,170.00
Regular Payment (4/14/13): $728.46
Extra Payment (4/15/13): $1,150.00
Regular Payment (5/15/13): $728.46
Regular Payment (6/15/13): $728.46
Extra Payment (6/15/13): $1,700.00
Extra Payment (7/10/13): $1,000.00
Regular Payment (7/15/13): $728.46
Ending Balance (7/24/13):  $53,221.89

Total Principal Pay-off: $9,468.40/$7,500.00

I must say it feels good, but I still have a long ways to go. Thanks for the awesome challenge peterpatch!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Rebecca Stapler on July 24, 2013, 01:49:17 PM
Well done Debt Derp!

I can't believe it, but I've done it too! We paid just a smidgen over $10k on a student loan, and kicked its ass right off of our balance sheet. YAHOO!!!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on July 24, 2013, 03:21:10 PM
You guys are getting me excited to pay mine off next month!  So far I've met my goal to save at least $4,000 per month and next month I'm going to pay it all off in one lump sum!  We will all have to come up with a new challenge soon.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on July 24, 2013, 05:00:50 PM
Wow it's like an avalanche of debt repayment reports now that July month end is rolling around!

Congratulations and excellent work: MakingSenseofCents, DebtDerp, stan and imustachemystash.

It's like MMM says you have to treat debt like your pants are on fire and just put everything you can into getting rid of it. I don't want any of you to miss out on the great feeling of being completely debt free. I am so used to putting boat loads of my income into my debt that saving just comes naturally so I just move the money I normally would have put into my student loan into my retirement accounts. Slaying these debts will make you a savings wizard by default. When the debt is paid just keep living the same lifestyle and invest wisely, compounding and time will take care of the heavy lifting.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Rebecca Stapler on July 24, 2013, 07:41:10 PM
When the debt is paid just keep living the same lifestyle and invest wisely, compounding and time will take care of the heavy lifting.

Amen. Our retirement accounts are going gangbusters lately and we haven't done anything with them in a year!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kio on July 31, 2013, 11:02:00 AM
Alright all, here is an end of month update for our loans:

June 2013: $36,255.62
July 2013: $34,657.15

Difference: $1,598.47

A little disappointed with this difference, but we also took 2 road trips during this month to visit family, so there were some extra expenses there.  We definitely can be more Mustachian next month!

We were supposed to get to pay off our 'spotlight loan' this month, but the people over at our lending office Edgeucation Loans are always getting confused, and they applied our payment wrong.  Usually I call back, but we have a few massive payments coming in August, and I'd rather just make sure those go through correct.  There is only so much time that I can spend on hold with these people :-/ 

Also, I just found out the loans are getting sold again!  They were just sold in April from Direct Loans to Edgeucation, and in Sept. they are heading off to MOHELA.  Ugh. There was such a headache in the last transfer that I am NOT looking forward to another one.  Its really a great motivation to get these loans gone... every time they get sold off I feel like such a chump, since, you know, my debt is somebody else's asset.  :(

I am also going to do a 0% balance transfer for one of our loans over to my Discover card in August. Its great timing to be able to do it before they sell to MOHELA, because at least Discover has their shit together enough to know how to apply payments!  Not sure how much MOHELA is going to suck, but I haven't heard many positive reviews online.

Anyway, August is going to rock because it is triple paycheck month, bonus month, and we don't have any planned big expenses. YAY!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: mariarose on July 31, 2013, 01:10:07 PM
Mine got sold to MOHELA, with no warning.  Sucked because I had paid ahead enough on Direct Loans to be able to take a month off, which I had decided to do because of some other financial hits.  That month I get a demand for payment from MOHELA, which I could not do, because of the money already being spent.  So my credit probably took another hit for a late payment.  Since then, however, there has been no problem, and all my payment amounts have been recorded correctly and promptly.  Just bad timing for that 1st month...
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Zaga on August 03, 2013, 12:31:43 PM
Our last student loan is with Mohela, and really they have been just fine.  They are certainly much easier to work with than Sallie Mae was!  Also their website is pretty user friendly for everything except putting your extra payment towards just one part of your loan.  The loan we have has 2 parts, one subsidized and one unsubsidized.  I thought it would be nice to pay off the smaller one first, but the extra payments I've been making get proportionately split between the 2.  I asked, and would have to call customer service every month to have all of the extra go to just one loan.  Not sure it's worth the trouble.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: imustachemystash on August 19, 2013, 09:39:46 PM
Guess what!  I sent in a lump sum of $21,494 to pay off my student loan!  I'm just waiting for it to clear.  This gauntlet throw down really held me accountable, so thanks for everyones support!  Now that I'm debt free I need a new challenge.
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kaytee on August 20, 2013, 08:28:31 AM
Holy shit, imustachemystash, congratulations! That's awesome!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on August 20, 2013, 06:11:33 PM
Guess what!  I sent in a lump sum of $21,494 to pay off my student loan!  I'm just waiting for it to clear.  This gauntlet throw down really held me accountable, so thanks for everyones support!  Now that I'm debt free I need a new challenge.

That's almost 3 times more then the gauntlet goal IMMS!

We're not worthy!

(http://mlkshk.com/r/1F6)
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: Kio on March 06, 2014, 09:36:56 PM
Alright all, here is an end of month update for our loans:

June 2013: $36,255.62
July 2013: $34,657.15

Difference: $1,598.47

A little disappointed with this difference, but we also took 2 road trips during this month to visit family, so there were some extra expenses there.  We definitely can be more Mustachian next month!

We were supposed to get to pay off our 'spotlight loan' this month, but the people over at our lending office Edgeucation Loans are always getting confused, and they applied our payment wrong.  Usually I call back, but we have a few massive payments coming in August, and I'd rather just make sure those go through correct.  There is only so much time that I can spend on hold with these people :-/ 

Also, I just found out the loans are getting sold again!  They were just sold in April from Direct Loans to Edgeucation, and in Sept. they are heading off to MOHELA.  Ugh. There was such a headache in the last transfer that I am NOT looking forward to another one.  Its really a great motivation to get these loans gone... every time they get sold off I feel like such a chump, since, you know, my debt is somebody else's asset.  :(

I am also going to do a 0% balance transfer for one of our loans over to my Discover card in August. Its great timing to be able to do it before they sell to MOHELA, because at least Discover has their shit together enough to know how to apply payments!  Not sure how much MOHELA is going to suck, but I haven't heard many positive reviews online.

Anyway, August is going to rock because it is triple paycheck month, bonus month, and we don't have any planned big expenses. YAY!

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to say that we paid off our Student Loan balance in full last week!!
Title: Re: Eliminate 7.5k student debt by end of July
Post by: peterpatch on March 08, 2014, 01:40:04 PM


Hey everyone!  Just wanted to say that we paid off our Student Loan balance in full last week!!

Student debt is a shackle, enjoy the freedom!