Author Topic: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)  (Read 75594 times)

ingrownstudentloans

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New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« on: November 19, 2013, 09:28:58 AM »
My beard refuses to grow because of these darned stupid dumb man I was an idiot, student loans that keep weighing me down.  Over the course of this past year I found MMM, made some lifestyle changes, and made a promise to myself to get serious about these loans (all $102,251 of them).  Realistically I cannot pay off all of these loans in the next year, but I can put a serious dent in them.  Last year I paid off a minuscule $12,000 in principal.  This next year (calendar year 2014) I vow to pay off more than double that ($25,000 in principal - more if I get MMM-style serious).  Anyone else who wants to make a serious commitment to paying down/off their student loans, please feel free to use this as a place to verbally commit to it, and a place to track your goals.

Here are my loans as they were at the beginning of this month (11/2013).  I will update these figures as we get closer to the Jan. 1 start of this challenge.

$16,058 (3%) - Private adjustable rate (PAR)
$14,034 (6.5%) - Federal fixed rate (FFR)
$13,524 (3.5%) - PAR
$13,238 (6.5%) - FFR
$12,436 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,277 (7.5%) - FFR (targeting this one because of the higher interest rate)
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
= $102,251

hoodedfalcon

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 10:03:48 AM »
I'm in! I think? I am really nervous, and I don't know why. But what the hell?

Like you, I made some mistakes, went to an expensive grad school when I had much much cheaper options. But here I am, 6 years after graduation and barely a dent in my loans. I started reading MMM about 6 months ago, and have vowed to myself to DO BETTER. But now I will vow to the world as well. Accountability is a bitch!

So, this is just going to focus on my private loans. I have about 90K in federal loans, 4.25 interest rate, on IBR, hoping for PSLF, minimum monthly payment of $400. But I am going to pretend those don't exist for now, and focus on the private loans.

$51,448 (3.17%) - $258/month
$6956 (3.92%) - $46/month
Total: $58,404 - $304 minimum monthly payment
Extra payments - $400/month
Total payment - $704/month

All told, I am paying just over $1100/month on student loans. UGH. My goal for 2014 is to pay off the smaller loan, and ratchet my payments up an additional $400/month for a total of $1500 per month. 

Thanks for starting this thread! I look forward to watching everyone's progress!

mlipps

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 10:27:17 AM »
My beard refuses to grow because of these darned stupid dumb man I was an idiot, student loans that keep weighing me down.  Over the course of this past year I found MMM, made some lifestyle changes, and made a promise to myself to get serious about these loans (all $102,251 of them).  Realistically I cannot pay off all of these loans in the next year, but I can put a serious dent in them.  Last year I paid off a minuscule $12,000 in principal.  This next year (calendar year 2014) I vow to pay off more than double that ($25,000 in principal - more if I get MMM-style serious). 

Facepunch dude. At those interest rates, you had better "Get MMM-style serious" and pay off more than $25k if you can!

norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 11:52:51 AM »
Here's a challenge I can try to participate in. Due to a number of factors my wife recently graduated with 75Kish worth of student loans. We've been doing fairly well keeping expenses down and have already put a quick 10K in toward the highest interest loan with more than enough buffer left in our savings to keep us for a while if anything happens (in truth I have way too much in the buffer and will probably reduce it to 7,500 rather than 15,000).

Loans are currently as follows:
$15,412
$13,097
$12,233
$11,111
$5,228
$3,932
$2,580

About half of that is at 7% APR and the other closer to 4%; can't remember which are which at the moment since I'm drawing the numbers from Mint mobile. I bring in not-quite 3K per month after everything and with her new job my wife should be able to do the same (or possibly even more since my insurance covers both of us!). With monthly expenses ranging from 1K on a good month to 1.5K on a spendy month back of the napkin math indicates that if we really throw everything we can at this we might be able to kill it by the end of next year.

Life happens of course and it'll be really tempting to go below the 6 month emergency savings once we get near zero net worth, but it'll be really exciting if we are indeed able to kill a projected 15 year loan within a year and a half of her graduating :D

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 12:04:56 PM »
I'm in

My student loans:  $30,098.14.  Down from $34,0000 since October.  6.3% interest I think

Husband's student loans:  $9,759.97.  3% interest I think.

We have been selling tons on eBay and Craigslist and using rewards cards for extra income.  I am hoping to have these all gone by the end of next year.

Bored

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 12:45:53 PM »
I'm in! My goal is to pay off my bank student loan as oppose to government student loan. Realistically I can't manage to pay off the entire loan within a year but the more I can pay off in 2014 the better. Currently sitting at a balance of £8000.

Grindin' Away

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 12:53:04 PM »
Great gauntlet that you started ingrownstudentloans.  Good luck in destroying your debt, and keep us posted.


I'm in as well.  Working on destroying my wife's SL Debt, and having the 3.5% mortgage our only debt by age 35:

$5,214 @ 8.40%   $55 min
$4,346 @ 4.18%   $40 min
$4,607 @4.18%   $40 min
$3,709 @ 6.80%  $61 min
$7,523 @ 6.80%  $125 min
$19,890.11 @ 4.75%   $160 min
$3,144 @ 6.80%  60 min

Total - $48,433

Currently paying all the mins, plus $150 extra towards the monster 8.4% one.

We both pull in around $2,500 a month, and working on mustachian techniques to decrease expenses and increase our monthly payments even more.  The goal is to knock out $10,000 of principal starting with the highest interest ones, and keep snowballing down the line.

schimt

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 01:16:03 PM »
Are any of you utilizing the Snowball Debt Reduction file? You can play with different strategies for paying off your debt and it will provide a pay schedule, total interest paid and time to pay off everything.

 I found this and entered all of the information for my SO's student loan's and it really opened her eyes when she saw how long it would take and how expensive it would be if we paid off on the minimum's and she couldn't believe how much we would save and how fast she could be debt free by implementing the snowball strategy.

I know you all are committed already, but this file may give you attainable goals, and may even push you to work a little harder! Also other may be reading and not so sure about committing to this.

I attached ours which you can use, because i couldn't find the original file, but itís on Google documents somewhere if you want to just search for it.

schimt

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 02:04:13 PM »
Schimt- Thanks for the spreadsheet. I can do all these calculations but the spreadsheet is MUCH faster!

Also, there's a link in the top corner of yours that leads to where you can download the original :)

Well there you go then! haha

Yea we could have done all the calculation too, but this is nice for sure. Plug and Play.

The only thing I think that I did different in my file is use conditional formatting to color code the payment schedule tab to make it a little more visual, instead of a white page with a lot of numbers.

Mrs.FamilyFinances

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 11:14:04 PM »
I'm in! I have 19k @ 3.6%  in student loans, and it is our only non mortgage debt, so it feels like huuuuugeeeeeee road block in our way. The really sad part is that I borrowed the money nearly 8 years ago, had it differed while in school for 4 years, then kinda ignored it/paid minimums and only recently realized what dead weight it is. The original loan amount for was for 16k or 17k, so the balance has GROWN!! It is, by far, the stupidest financial choice I've ever ever made.


Now that we are becoming mustachian, I'm committed to paying it of quickly. We can afford to send $800 a month to it now, due to some rapid budget cuts like getting rid of the gym membership, cable tv, less driving, changing ins. providers, and halting all our home renovation plans. Our first $800 payment goes out in Feb ( conveniently on my 28th birthday!) and our end goal is having it paid off 100% by my 30th birthday!

Thanks for starting this challenge!

DanishMM

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 06:19:59 AM »
Hi everyone!
Great challenge! I just went through what you are all embarking.
In 6 months we paid of 20K and are know debtfree since october this year. What a weight that's been lifted!
I just wanted to give a bit of advice that you might find helpful. When we first set up the pay-back-plan we also said "we can pay this much in that amount of time". A few months in we found that actually we ended up paying of more by saying "we need to throw everything possible at this debt".
To some people this would result in the same amount of money but for us a mental shift happened and we paid it of faster. Anyway, use it if you can. Will be great to follow your gauntlet!



ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 07:33:40 AM »
Awesome responses!  So far we have a commitment to pay off $198,200 in student loan debt!!!  Fantastic! Awesome! Incredible!

I agree that saying committing to throw everything you can at it can lead to better results, but I needed to put a number down.  If I beat that number, great (and I hope that I do), but that number represents my "minimum" payment next year, I need something concrete.

Also, for those of you with [US] federal loans with different interest rates, one thing that I found helpful was to put all of my loans on the graduated extended program (stretches out the loans to 25 years and then lowers the minimum payment), then I put the "extra" into the higher interest loan (along with my true extra principal).  Just one idea to help reduce the impact of compound interest.

Keep those commitments coming!

fallstoclimb

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2013, 10:31:40 AM »
I'm in.  I have about 29K remaining -- down from a height of 70K in 2011.  We are hoping to pay them off entirely by the end of 2014, although it might bleed into January or February of 2015. 

EUmustache

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2013, 05:04:52 AM »
Count me in! I'm actually working on a spreadsheet for our 2014 budget right now (accounting for an increase in my income effective January 1!) Husband and I just recently started taking a serious look at these about 4 months ago - rather than just paying the minimum. Since then we've already eliminated about $5k. This is for my undergrad and both of our MBA's. Anyway - here is our current student loan situation...

$6,905 - 6.55% ** actually plan to pay this one off with a chunk of cash on hand before EOY 2013
$12,667 - 6.55%
$7,823 - 6.55%
$11,881 - 6.55%
$12,898 - 6.55%
$7947 - 6.55%
$7926 - 6.55%
$10,941 - 6%
$16,009 - 6%

Total: $95,000ish (always sobering when I add it all up...)

Currently we're budgeted to throw $2,600/month at the loans (min payments are about $800 I think) - total of $31,200 in 2014. Hope the actual amount paid is greater than this, as any budget surplus is thrown at the student loans. Would love to actually pay about $40k to the loans. Goal is to have these completely GONE in no more than 3 years.

TheGadfly

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2013, 09:56:57 AM »
What better way to kick off my MMM membership (and the year 2014) than with a commitment to hack away most of my debt?

I consider myself lucky although I really should have gone to school in-state.  My student debt must look like a paltry sum to some of you with $90k+ in loans:

$1637 - 6.55%
$2229 - 6.55%
$4656 - 5.35%
$3822 - 6.55%
$4663 - 5.75%

Total: $17,007

That's down from about $21k in January 2013.  My goal is to cut my principle down to $7000. 

I make about $2500 per month but I also live in one of the most anti-mustachian cities in the US.  Still I plan to cut my spending by $400 per month in 2014 (I also expect to earn a little more) so I think this goal is well within reach!

KatieSSS

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2013, 10:29:40 AM »
I just wanted to stop in and say good luck to everyone and that you can SO do this! I started the "Annihilate Student Loans by December 31, 2013" thread and we have lots of folks over there who have done an amazing job tackling their debt this year. I'm at the $2,500 mark and plan to have it all paid off by Christmas!

My advice is the same as the above - focus on snowballing the debt and also throwing as much as possible at it that you can. Make things as automatic as possible. Come back to this thread when you get in a rut, but also when you achieve a major milestone. Everyone here will cheer you on!

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2013, 01:38:59 PM »
Thanks KatieSSS - your post was my inspiration for this one.  Congrats on everything achieved in 2013, good luck with finishing up before Christmas, and be sure tell us how awesome it is to be student loan free next year!  I am sure we will all need a little jolt at some point, and your encouragement might be just what we need.

KatieSSS

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2013, 02:17:58 PM »
Thanks KatieSSS - your post was my inspiration for this one.  Congrats on everything achieved in 2013, good luck with finishing up before Christmas, and be sure tell us how awesome it is to be student loan free next year!  I am sure we will all need a little jolt at some point, and your encouragement might be just what we need.

I'm happy you found inspiration from my post! I'll definitely stop in here to check up on how you all are doing in 2014!

TinyDC

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2013, 10:09:59 AM »
I'm in! I started aggressively targeting my student loans two months ago and have already paid down $4,400. Paying this debt has become my not-so-guilty pleasure. The red ink:
$16,000- 0% family loan- $500/month
$5,950- 7.8%- $1,700/month
$8,800- 6.7%- $67/month (will increase once the higher interest loan has been obliterated)
Total: $30,750

2014 goal: Everything but the family loan, which I will continue to pay at a rate of $500/month for the next few years.  That comes to a 2014 debt reduction of $20,750 and no more interest!

Kristin

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2013, 10:30:27 AM »
I am totally in!  I just graduated with my Master's in June, so my 6 month grace period ends in December.  I have been making regular monthly payments to get a jump start on them, but official payments start next month.  I can't tackle all of this in 2014, but I can make a sizable dent in it.
In addition to making aggressive monthly payments, I have also vowed to allocate at least 50% of my tax return and 2 scheduled bonuses in 2014 to my student loan.  The other half of those windfalls will go to savings/emergency fund.
Fortunately our only other debt is the mortgage.

Here is what I currently have:

Sallie Mae      $1,735.00    4.50%
Sallie Mae      $3,480.00    5.60%
Sallie Mae      $2,331.89    6.80%
Sallie Mae      $3,625.51    6.80%
Sallie Mae      $5,649.43    6.80%
Sallie Mae      $5,804.01    6.80%
Sallie Mae      $8,485.00    6.80%
Sallie Mae  $10,090.00    6.80%

Grand total:  41,200.84

I am starting with $550/month payments.  After I get my raise in April 2014, I hope to increase that to $600 - $700/month.
Also plan lump sump payments of $7,500 total over the year.
So my goal is to contribute $15,000 in payments over the year.  I would like to get all 6.8% loans paid off by the end of 2015.

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2013, 02:03:31 PM »
$28,716 @ 7.65%
$53,653 @ 6.55%

Paid down about $19k of principal this year on those 2 loans.  Have a few other small student loans at much lower rates totaling 10k, but right now this is all I care about. My goal for next year will be to pay off  the 7.65% in full.  It will be difficult, but it has to be done.  Once that is paid off it should take me a little under 2 years to pay off the 6.55% balance.

At the same time, I am also working on building an emergency savings fund as I previously didn't have anything set aside along with finally setting up a 401k account with my company.  I am looking to take advantage of my employer's contributions so the last few paychecks of this year I am sending nearly all of my money to 401k.  I will be back on track paying $2,400 toward the highest rate loan every month beginning January.

Good luck everybody!  I will update once a month on my status.

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2013, 06:36:25 AM »
PAID IN FULL!!!!!!!!!

feels good.

norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2013, 08:10:39 AM »
PAID IN FULL!!!!!!!!!

feels good.

Congrats! Great job there :D

As an update I've gone through with taking our normal 12-month emergency fund down to 6 months. Also first paycheck from my wife's new job came in- with the overtime she's been putting in she definitely does manage to bring in more than me! We spent a bit more than normal this month due to a $300 weekend trip to a convention my wife is on staff for, but still managed to keep it down to a pretty nice $1,353.  As a result of these events we were able to post $10,950 to the highest interest rate loan (yay!), though sadly this will probably be the last above 10K post for a while since it was aided by the $7,500 boost from reduced savings (though January will be nice since it's a triple-paycheck month for my wife).

With one month to go before the starting line that brings me down to owing about $52,343

Hope everyone else is having luck preparing for the start!

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2013, 02:24:51 PM »
After 2.5 years of searching, I finally found a company that will refinance my federal student loans at a rate that makes the refinance make sense.  I work in the private sector (so no 10 years of IBR and debt-forgiveness for me) and because of my AGI I do not benefit from the student loan interest deduction, so for me the refi makes sense...others with different plans/situations, obviously, might find themselves in a different boat.

I took my almost 73,000 federal loans (90% with 6.8% fixed APR) and refinanced for 3.17%** with a 10-year variable loan (given my accelerated payment schedule should be paid off in 3.5 years, mitigating the risk of the adjustable rate).  [Edit- Once I apply the automatic payment incentive, my APR will be 2.92%!!!!]  I was given the option of a 4.5% 10-year fixed rate, but felt that I could maximize the almost 1.5% difference with an accelerated payoff.  Making this switch will save me close to $6,000 in interest, more if when I pay it off faster :)  Badass, I think so.  The company is sofi [https://www.sofi.com/].

Re-reading the above makes is sound like a cheesy infomercial.  I assure you, I am not paid/compensated at all for this posting.  I just want to point other mustachians in the direction of potential debt payoff savings


** I initially was quoted higher on the rates, but after speaking with a supervisor (pointing out my good credit score and decent job/income, etc...) I was able to secure the lower APR.  I made the point that the people applying for student loans are a finite set of individuals (those with student loans) and that my financial situation should put me at or near the top of the pile, and asking the question, "if I was not getting the low rate, who was?"
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:06:22 PM by ingrownstudentloans »

DirtDiva

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2013, 05:17:40 PM »
I'm in.  I am pret sure I have the oldest student loan balance on this website...perhaps on earth.

Hubs started his undergraduate degree in 1986.  Through a combination of subsidized loans by Uncle Sam and deferment via ongoing graduate school, the loan repayment began in 2004.

Due to an interest rate of 2.87%, we never made payoff a priority.  Soooo...

nearly 70k is now 39,870. 

Goal:  0 by the end of 2014.

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2013, 09:36:52 AM »
The total amount of student loan debt pledged to be paid off is $365,236 give or take a couple bucks because some people pledged payments and others pledged principal reduction - either way, just plain awesome! 

How about a few more people pledge and let's see if we can kick this up to 1/2 million in debt reduction for the year!

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2013, 03:28:13 PM »
I've been a silent but avid reader around here--and this challenge finally pushed me to join.  We've been really trying to attack our (SO's) student loans for the last few years, but hoping that 2014 makes a huge dent!  Think it will help to have the motivation of the forum-as there are very few people that you can talk to for this type of motivation.  These are some really huge numbers - brace yourselves:

Loan1 - 27,311 @4.75%
Loan2 - 105,023 @4.75%
Loan3 - 8,447 @2.35%
Loan4 - 8,513 @6.8%
Loan5 - 40,664 @2.35%
Loan6 - 12,824 @6.8%
Loan7 - 5,697 @2.1%
Total: 208,482

For 2014, the goal is to pay off loan4 and loan6, and make a good sized dent in loan1.  So overall, the goal is to kill at least 30,000 this year.


mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2013, 05:38:46 PM »
I took my almost 73,000 federal loans (90% with 6.8% fixed APR) and refinanced for 3.17%** with a 10-year variable loan (given my accelerated payment schedule should be paid off in 3.5 years, mitigating the risk of the adjustable rate).  [Edit- Once I apply the automatic payment incentive, my APR will be 2.92%!!!!]  I was given the option of a 4.5% 10-year fixed rate, but felt that I could maximize the almost 1.5% difference with an accelerated payoff.  Making this switch will save me close to $6,000 in interest, more if when I pay it off faster :)  Badass, I think so.  The company is sofi [https://www.sofi.com/].

I've been looking for a place that will consolidate federal student loans and actually make it worth it.  Sounds like Sofi is the company.  Unfortunately just checked and DePaul university is not one of the schools Sofi currently works with.  I will have to keep my eyes open, because I'm tired of being at 7.65 and 6.55%.

Charlotte

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2013, 03:02:04 AM »
Not a student loan, but I'd like to pay off my vehicle in 2014 -- approximately $18,000.

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2013, 06:36:02 AM »
I've been looking for a place that will consolidate federal student loans and actually make it worth it.  Sounds like Sofi is the company.  Unfortunately just checked and DePaul university is not one of the schools Sofi currently works with.  I will have to keep my eyes open, because I'm tired of being at 7.65 and 6.55%.

Brother, I feel your pain with those high interest rates.  Good luck finding something, the fed rates are absolutely ridiculous given the current fed to bank rate of near 0%.

skcook

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2013, 12:41:37 PM »
I'm in for the challenge! I graduated in May with about $56,000 of grad/undergrad debt remaining (down from a high of $80,000 at some point during grad school), and have paid off a decent chunk since then. My current balance is:

$16,655 at 6.8%
$14,145 at 3.5%

for a total of $30,800. Not too shabby, right? I would love to wipe out everything by the end of the year, but my husband and I are trying to balance that desire with the knowledge of an upcoming temporary-but-undetermined period of somewhat lower household income and the goal of continuing to save for a future (in 6-12 months) house down payment. So, I will modestly shoot for a complete payoff of the higher-interest loan, but if his job situation sorts itself out soon, we will just knock out the whole damn thing.

Good luck to everyone else trying to get these monkeys off their backs!

PeachFuzzInVA

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2013, 07:38:50 PM »
I've got a few:

Chase $4996 @ 6.75%
Sallie Mae $8783 @ 4.75%
EDFinancial $6796 @ 3.125%
EDFinancial $3490 @ 3.125%

I currently have enough in brokerage to pay off the Chase loan and could likely knock out 1 or 2 more by the end of next year, but ROI has far exceeded the 6.75% I'm paying in interest on the highest rate loan. Should I focus on paying off the student loan debt (moral victory) or continue to invest the extra cash into the market?

Lindzo

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2013, 02:54:59 AM »
I've been lurking these forums for a bit, but wanted to make this thread my first post. My SO and I have been working on paying off his loans since they're more painful than mine. Here are our current numbers:

$13,063.73 @ 4.25%
$6,783.77 @ 4.25%
$15,826.23 @ 13.125% <----- Ouch!
$10,802.67 @ 13.125% <----- Double Ouch!
$42.77 @ 2.35%
$47.95 @ 2.35%

Total: $46,567.12

We've been paying $1300 a month on the higher rate loans while saving up an emergency fund. Since we've reached that our goal number for the savings, it's time to really tackle these loans! The plan is, starting in January, to pay $3700 minimum on the higher interest loans and have them paid off by 2014. Any extra funds that come in will go to these loans. After that, my 4.25% loans will be next on the chopping block.

Good luck to everyone!

Avolonte

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2013, 11:38:59 AM »
I accept this challenge!

I have $12,500 @ 6.8% left in student loans with Sallie Mae. I hear trying to pay extra on principal is a real pain, but I will persevere and pay them off by May 2014. This, while taking a new job making much less at a non-profit around town. This is what's left of my graduate loans, for a degree that I never finished.

I had $17,000 in undergrad loans. I paid those off before graduating. I had a 2 year break before I came back to school to finish my one semester to graduate. At graduation, the finance office told us we had to sign some papers to say we understood we would have to pay loans back. I told this lady I had already paid off my loans. She stopped her spiel and stared at me, but then just continued on. I asked again if I had to sign all those papers since my loans were already paid. I remember she said she had never heard of such a thing, in all the years she had worked there. I know if I did it once, I can do it again--much, much faster this time!

hownowbrowncow

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2013, 11:46:58 AM »
Maigahane, were you successful with the balance transfer plan?  I tried that with Chase and they said courtesy checks were not available the Slate offer (0% APR for 15 months on balance transfer no fee).  Without a courtesy check I didn't see how it could work since my SL provider doesn't allow payment by cc. Oh if they did.

I'm in as well.  Started 2013 with ~$73k of SL at 6.55% now my balance is $17.2k.  Hope to have it done by end of Q1.

inthenavy

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2013, 07:22:39 PM »
I was part of the Annihilate Student Debt 2013-looks like it is going to take us one more month, taking us into January 2014.  We had planned on selling a vehicle to knock out the last 4k, but apparently its not a great time to sell a car on craigslist, so I am planning to just continuing paying as I have out of our monthly income and have it paid off by January 2014.

The great impetus for paying off loans this month is that I will be having our first baby this month and wanted to be a debt free mom, but I think our baby will understand. 

I just want to offer encouragement to everyone just starting on this road.  My husband and I started off with a tentative payoff date of our baby's first birthday for our approx 50,000 in loans (before we were married the total was more like 70k), and we nearly shaved that off by one year!  We are nothing special, we just gained momentum each month, and by the end, there is nothing material I want more than to to be debt free, so it got really easy to just not buy stuff.  It is so weird to say but I actually loved making each student loan payment, I got much greater thrill than from shopping or going out to eat.  I would look forward to my paycheck just so I could dump on sallie mae.  And no one understands except my husband, which has really brought us closer together.  Whenever I would get discouraged about "what might have been" if all this money could be going to investments instead of debt, my husband reminds me that what you are really doing is changing how you think and spend, and we will continue to reap those rewards throughout our life, this was just the beginning.

Good luck!!!

KatieSSS

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2013, 02:51:44 PM »
I was part of the Annihilate Student Debt 2013-looks like it is going to take us one more month, taking us into January 2014.  We had planned on selling a vehicle to knock out the last 4k, but apparently its not a great time to sell a car on craigslist, so I am planning to just continuing paying as I have out of our monthly income and have it paid off by January 2014.

I just want to offer encouragement to everyone just starting on this road. 

We are nothing special, we just gained momentum each month, and by the end, there is nothing material I want more than to to be debt free, so it got really easy to just not buy stuff.  It is so weird to say but I actually loved making each student loan payment, I got much greater thrill than from shopping or going out to eat.  I would look forward to my paycheck just so I could dump on sallie mae. 

Whenever I would get discouraged about "what might have been" if all this money could be going to investments instead of debt, my husband reminds me that what you are really doing is changing how you think and spend, and we will continue to reap those rewards throughout our life, this was just the beginning.


This is exactly how I approached it, inthenavy. Sorry you didn't make the 2013 cut-off, but only one month to go! How exciting.

Again, much good wishes to all of you. I paid off around $21,000 in 2013 and am now debt free. All while living on one income in an expensive city with a modest salary. If I can do it, so can you!

madgeylou

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2013, 03:29:57 PM »
i'm in!! we're finishing up my husband's credit card debt next month (if all goes well) and then we'll be throwing $4K a month at my student loans until they are gone. also i am getting a raise in april, and possibly a bonus, so whatever shakes out with all that will get dedicated to the loans as well.

we are aiming to be done no later than may, which incidentally is 20 years exactly after i graduated college. aaahhh where is that hair on fire smiley!?!?!

kyidkim

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2013, 01:09:20 PM »
Glad I found this thread! I finished graduate school this month and am starting my first full-time job January 2. I'm hoping to pay off my loans within two years. Here they are:

$2,830 @1.75% (Total is approximate, I threw $30 at this guy today to cover interest for the year.)
$3,392.24 @1.75%
$19,529.94 @6.8%
$6,000 @5.41%
$33,333.16 @6.8%
plus $3,503.72 in not-yet capitalized interest
TOTAL: $68,589.06

I need to build an emergency fund, so I'm starting slowly with $1000 towards loans each month. I plan to double this (at least!) by mid-year. So, I'm committing to $18,000 for the year.

I'm hoping that this will turn out to be a conservative estimate, as my motivation builds and I begin to direct whatever discretionary income that's left at the end of the month towards loans. No bonuses or raises on the horizon til 2015, but later this year I will begin traveling 50% of the time for work, at which point I'm hoping that per diems will take a big bite out of my food and incidental expenses.

Best wishes for total debt destruction to everyone! Looking forward to checking in next month.

EUmustache

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2013, 08:30:49 AM »
Wanted to do a check-in before the official starting line of 1 January! We made some good progress in December (easily our single best month ever). I hope this doesn't set the bar too high in terms of expectations for future months - I don't think we'll ever be able to replicate this.

Balances as of 21 November & Current Balances:
$6,905 ----> $0 ! GONE
$12,667 - 6.55% ----> $12,109
$7,823 - 6.55% ----> $7,478
$11,881 - 6.55% ----> $11,828
$12,898 - 6.55% ----> $12,846
$7,947 - 6.55% ----> $7,891
$7,926 - 6.55% ----> $5,130 *additional $560 payment should clear before EOY
$10,941 - 6% ----> $10,926
$16,009 - 6% ----> $15,998

Total: $94,997 ----> $83,637 (counting the $560 we are waiting to clear).

That's $11,360! (Toot! That is me tooting my own horn).

We have $2,646 scheduled to post against the loans in January - this will probably scale back in Feb, March & April because we are expecting a tax bill of $4-5k, so we are going to keep our cash reserves higher than normal until we know the exact amount. After the taxes are figured out we are back on it. I should note, that after talking to my husband I may have been overzealous with my $2,600/month pledge. We have agreed on a minimum of $1,500/month, as we have a savings goal too. I know, I KNOW that it makes little sense to be saving a concurrently paying down debt (hair-on-fire-debt, at that), but that is what we could agree upon, so here we are. We will see - as we gain momentum, I could see him coming around.

Happy (almost) New Year everyone! Excited to go on this journey with you all. Will check-in periodically.

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2013, 10:11:15 AM »

Here are my loans as they were at the beginning of this month (11/2013).  I will update these figures as we get closer to the Jan. 1 start of this challenge.

$16,058 (3%) - Private adjustable rate (PAR)
$14,034 (6.5%) - Federal fixed rate (FFR)
$13,524 (3.5%) - PAR
$13,238 (6.5%) - FFR
$12,436 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,277 (7.5%) - FFR (targeting this one because of the higher interest rate)
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
= $102,251

OP here, here is my update to reflect approximate EOY numbers.  I refinanced all of my federal loans, which has reduced, but not put out, the flames on the top of my head.

$16,016.50 (3%)
$13,404.04 (3.5%)
$71,426.61 (2.92%)
= $100,847.15  (I will drop below $100,000 next month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Best of luck to all this year.  Keep us posted.



D4NIM4L

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2013, 11:24:26 PM »

Here are my loans as they were at the beginning of this month (11/2013).  I will update these figures as we get closer to the Jan. 1 start of this challenge.

$16,058 (3%) - Private adjustable rate (PAR)
$14,034 (6.5%) - Federal fixed rate (FFR)
$13,524 (3.5%) - PAR
$13,238 (6.5%) - FFR
$12,436 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,277 (7.5%) - FFR (targeting this one because of the higher interest rate)
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
$8,227 (6.5%) - FFR
= $102,251

OP here, here is my update to reflect approximate EOY numbers.  I refinanced all of my federal loans, which has reduced, but not put out, the flames on the top of my head.

$16,016.50 (3%)
$13,404.04 (3.5%)
$71,426.61 (2.92%)
= $100,847.15  (I will drop below $100,000 next month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Best of luck to all this year.  Keep us posted.

Awesome job on the re-fi. Great rates you have there! That will make a huge difference for you...plus only 3 payments to make now!

NV Teacher

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2013, 09:07:48 AM »
Count me in.  I owe $13,021 @ 3.5%. 
My plan is to pay $1000 a month and then throw my tax refund at that sucker and be done by Nov. 2014. 

amyable

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2013, 01:57:31 PM »
Here's what we have now:

Loan 1:  13,997 - 4.64%
Loan 2:  19,754 - 5.96%
Loan 3:  10,602 -5.86%

I'd like to pay off loans 1 and 3 by the end of this year, and I think I'll actually be able to.  It will definitely take some work, but it would be amazing to only have one left to deal with.  I'm going to make myself post here at least once a month to hold myself accountable, which I struggled with last year.

yoyalia

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2013, 09:20:05 AM »
I am in!

After our payment of $4,444 today, my loan balance will be at $29,109.34 (6.75%), down from $101k in June 2013! My husband and I are committed to hopefully paying this off by May 2014!

I'm 4 years out of grad school and spent most of that time in denial deferring loan payments, and when I was making payments, it wasn't even hitting the principle (I was banking on PSLF). My husband discovered MMM last year, and we both quickly 'saw the light' and knew this (our only) debt had to go. Ever since then, everything has gone into this loan and it FEELS SO GOOD. It's a bit tough living in NYC, where cost of living is high and temptations to spend are everywhere (mostly on the good food!), but we've flexed some serious financial muscle and have been lucky to find other opportunities to bring in extra income.

Every payment we make I feel closer and closer to freedom and I'm grateful we have this 'hair on fire' situation to train us for a lifelong badassity lifestyle :) Good luck to everyone!

Akscal

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2013, 11:59:30 PM »
@Yoyalia, your debt destruction has been impressive thus far, from 101k to 29 k is ridiculous. Congrats that must have taken some extreme discipline or selling something. How did you do that?

I have decided that 2014 will be the year that I kill my student loan debt, and be debt free. I have a total of 64,900 in loans at 5.375%. I figure by December 2014, I should be able to get it done. YAY 2014!

yoyalia

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2014, 07:32:09 AM »
@Akscal - It's mostly attributed to serious discipline (and lots of PB&Js!). We have a spare room that we've been able to rent out on airbnb, which has helped a lot, but it's the saving that has really put a dent in it. Our total gross income is around 110k combined (not including airbnb) and after rent and groceries, pretty much all of it we throw at the loan.

It really does feel great and I've been spreading the loan pay off gospel to all my friends! Best of luck!

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2014, 09:58:18 AM »
I am down to $28,300.  My original balance was $34,000 at 6.3% interest. 

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2014, 11:28:54 AM »
My Grad plus loan is starting the year at $28,388.96.  Looking to knock out at least $20,000 but ambitiously hoping for it all to be gone, and then I unfortunately still have ~$54,000 still to pay off.  This will be a long battle.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2014, 06:53:16 PM »
Alrighty. I'm throwing down the gauntlet and pledging to pay off $24,000 in student loans -- that's two student loans. Let's see if we can do it!