Author Topic: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)  (Read 75515 times)

fantabulous

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2014, 02:32:36 AM »
This got me to finally register on the forums and post. I was doing some budgeting and realized I could eat some savings and kill off one student loan this month. Then seeing this topic, I realized I have a good chance of paying off everything by December should my tax refunds be about what I expect them to be. Also, it's time to step up and put my face at risk.

I am two time college dropout. My first attempt was at a private engineering school with a partial scholarship. The private loans I took out back then ($22k) were paid in full a few months ago. Second attempt was one of those online only schools, as my lack of a degree was making me a bit desperate ~5 years ago. I finally got on my feet about 4 years ago. With a bit of discipline, I should be able to swing $1,500/month at the loans.

Loans:  $20,724

BoA: $2,015 [6.419%] - My current focus

Nelnet:
$3,549 [6.0%]
$4,272 [6.8%]
$785 [5.6%]
$4,320 [5.6%]
$827 [6.8%]
$994 [4.5%]
$1,541 [2.35%]
$1,322 [2.35%]
$1,099 [2.35%]

I have never looked into refinancing those federal loans that Nelnet holds.

Charlotte

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2014, 04:03:46 AM »
Welcome Fantabulous!

I have an extreme dislike of BoA, so I completely understand the desire to be rid of them. That being said, why not get rid of the $827 loan with the higher interest rate. It will reduce your monthly payments AND save you money!

Just a thought....

fantabulous

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2014, 02:08:09 PM »
Welcome Fantabulous!

I have an extreme dislike of BoA, so I completely understand the desire to be rid of them. That being said, why not get rid of the $827 loan with the higher interest rate. It will reduce your monthly payments AND save you money!

Just a thought....

Irrationality on my part from the general rage of my student loans. Thank you for helping me see what should have been obvious. I had started out on my student loan payments doing kind of a reverse snowball. It just happened to work out that the largest balance also tied for the highest interest rate, and  thinking I was remembering the interest rates correctly when moving on to the next balance.

BoA isn't requiring another payment from me until August 2017, apparently, so the $827+ loan dies in a week or so. After that, probably the smarter thing to do would be to focus on the $4,272 @6.8% loan, although I could pay off the BoA loan in February for the psychological boost of being done with a lender.

norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2014, 07:02:14 PM »
Just now got around to sending out the first payment of the year (yay). Since January is a three paycheck month for my wife got to add the first one in with December income. That brings the starting stats to:

Wells Fargo:
$897 at 7%
$6,739 at 6.75%

Nelnet:
$15,257 at 6.8%
$3,919 at 6.8%
$2,572 at 6.8%
$5,264 at 5.6%
$11,049 at 3.4%

Total: $45,697

So goal is to try to wipe all that out by end of year, or at the very least hit a 0 net worth. With a little luck and a lot of expense awareness we should hopefully be able to manage it :)

Lentils5eva

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2014, 08:30:29 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.

Holy schneikes!  I thought my fiancee and I had done a good job last year and you have absolutely put me to shame.  WOW.  I'm so impressed.

I'm in for this challenge!  I was on KatieSSS's thread last year, and over 2013 paid 1/2 of my $107k balance across 4 loans, using the snowball method.  Both of the higher interest rate loans have now been eliminated so what remains is:

$8,519 [6.55%] (Down from $22,986 when it entered repayment in 11/12)
$42,804 [6.55%] (Down from $43,526.63 when it entered repayment in 11/12 - this is getting the bare minimum right now, so the needle is hardly moving)

RIP Loans 3 and 4 (down from $13,512 at 8.25% and $29,061 at 7.65%)

I want to finish these guys off this year, and I also need to save enough to pay for my wedding, so it'll be a challenge!  So excited to see how we all do!

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2014, 04:45:49 PM »
[
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!

Thanks!  SoFi, the company i used for the refi is running a promotion right now, if you apply through a referral link you get $100 credit towards your loans (and I do too).  Shameless (i think very mustachian) plug here, if anyone has been thinking about using sofi, please use this link to help me pay down my loans and yours too.  (we will all need to debate whether to count this towards my commitment to paying off $25,000 this year - i vote yes)

http://friends.sofi.com/HGpn

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2014, 02:10:50 PM »
Ingrown,

I just completed my application today using your link.  I'm curious when you and I will receive the $100 bonus.  I had looked at Sofi a month or two ago and my school wasn't there yet, but now it was available and jumped on it.  Waiting to hear back as for my pre-approved rate.  If you don't mind me asking, did you opt for variable or fixed rate.  I'm assuming variable since your rates are so low.  I decided to go with variable since I am still going to act like my hair is on fire and pay it off as quickly as possible.

I'm so glad there is a service out there that can consolidate federal loans.  I highly recommend working with Sofi: http://friends.sofi.com/HNJs

skcook

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2014, 07:14:42 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!

Unexpected update - so the husband and I talked it over during the holidays and we agreed that since it will be at least late summer/fall before we get serious about buying a house, we should put some of our savings to work. And so we paid off that 6.8% loan yesterday, yay! That plus my previously scheduled January payment puts my total at $13,603.

We will now be focusing on rebuilding our house savings, but I am still going to shoot for the moon and aim to pay off everything by the end of the year. This will require quite a bit of side-hustling on my part but it might still be possible!

NV Teacher

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2014, 07:27:56 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.

January 2014 Update

I added in a little extra Christmas money to the payment this month.

Balance $11,894

Mazzinator

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2014, 01:25:02 AM »
We are focusing on tax deffered accounts to lower our agi so we can put the federal loans on IBR soon, so our "savings rate" is split between debt payoff and investing.

We are focusing on the private loans (3.57%) but the 0% loans are on a cc, so they must be paid off by march before the promotion period ends.

Good luck everyone!!

I tried to copy and paste from the 2013 gauntlet..
Quote
Quote from: Mazzinator on October 01, 2013, 07:57:49 pm

Here we are..

$9,800(0%)
$23,358 (3.57%)
$64,220 (4.75%)
$97,378 Total

Here we are..

$9,700(0%)
$23,359 (3.57%)
$56,720 (4.75%)
$89,779 Total

Under $90k...wooo hoooo!!!

9,500
22,055
56,503
$88,058 total

Jan 2014

Debt
-$7,000 (0%) (my high interest SL moved to a CC that offered 0 fees)
-$33,534 (4.75 % fixed) fed SL
-$22,482 (4.75% fixed) fed SL
-$11,485 (3.5% vary) private SL
-$10,274 (3.5% vary) private SL
Total = -$84,777 (-85k)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 01:29:23 AM by Mazzinator »

ethereality

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2014, 09:49:10 AM »
Joining this party late, but I'm 22, graduated from undergrad last June, and I'm trying to pay off undergrad loans before going off to grad school in 2015 or 16.

$5,955.45 (down from 10,000 in June '13) 4.25%
$10,400.88    3.15%

Goal: Clean out the $5,955.45 & work on investment savings before coming back to the lower interest rate one.

Good luck everyone!

norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2014, 10:40:29 AM »
Welcome! Never to late to join up I'd say. Looks like a pretty nice goal, good luck with it :D

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2014, 10:20:17 PM »
Good luck, Ether!  And good job taking the initiative early on in your career. 

Just in the process of refinancing my loans so instead of working from a balance of 28,388.96 I'm combining both loans and my starting amount for the year was: $81,888.23.  After making my monthly payments today the balance is at $81,343.95.  Not expecting too much from my tax refund, but going to apply nearly all of it to my student loans once I get it.  Sucks knowing that I paid $944 this month and it only knocked it down $545.  Can't wait to get a little lower interest rate with my refinancing!  Also, this month I had way more in expenses than I would most months.  I plan on paying about 2k a month normally.


ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2014, 09:38:51 AM »

$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.

First month check-in.

$15,929.76 (3%)
$11,748.70 (3.5%)
$70,946.83 (2.92%)
=$98,625.29 

(That is $2,221.86 principal paid off this month for a total of $2,221.86 paid off this year)

EUmustache

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2014, 04:16:58 AM »
Yay progress for everyone! Keep up the good work!

I couldn't figure out how to insert this part as a quote - but this is what I posted on 12/27:

$94,997 ----> $83,637

So one month later we've gone from $83,637 ----> $77,501

That is a reduction of $6,136 for the month, and a total of $17,496 to date. This will slow down for a bit because I'm trying a new payback method on my loans. (I've elaborated on this in my journal - link below -  if you're curious). And we did a one-time lump payment of $2k to one of my husbands loans, that wont be a super regular thing. Regardless, love seeing that number go down.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/journals/the-one-where-i-rant-about-student-loans-and-things/

norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2014, 10:45:48 AM »
Alas, looks like this month's attack on the student loans may not be very substantial at all. This morning while making breakfast the fire alarm went off. Didn't think too much about it, it's literally been set off by boiling water before. Then I saw that there was light in the furnace closet and smoke in the house. Luckily had fire extinguisher on hand so was able to keep the house from burning down, but the power plug is completely melted and apparently our 20-year old furnace was in pretty bad condition anyways. Burnt out circuits, thermal limiter malfunctioning, mold-like growth(!), and of course a charred power cord.

Someone is coming in within the next few hours to give us an estimate on replacing it. The system is old enough we may end up saving money on energy bill, and with the removal of the mold and the possibility of putting in a filtration system while we're at it we may actually be able to breathe normally soon (year-round sinus issues we've blamed on city air to this point). Even so though, means we probably won't be able to put in the 4-5K this month we were hoping to be able to unless they have financing at a lower rate than our loans are at.

EDIT: a little over 8K from the event, but awesomely was able to do a 12 months same-as-cash thing on it. Should be able to sit on that for a bit while I tear down the student loans; inflation-proofing ftw!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 12:30:35 PM by norvilion »

Swbink02

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2014, 09:12:40 PM »
I am in!  I have been a lurker for about 6 months and finally decided to join. 

I have $73,000 to Sallie Mae between 6.8-7.9%. It will be paid off by December 31st, 2014.

Thank you to everyone on here and to MMM himself.   Giddy up!!!

yoyalia

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #67 on: January 31, 2014, 09:22:42 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!

After our $5,380 payment today, we're down to $17,462.21! Ah it's so close.

hownowbrowncow

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #68 on: January 31, 2014, 12:27:17 PM »
January was a big month for cutting down the student loan.  I put my bonus towards as well as a little bit from my emergency fund and the whole insurance payout for my wrecked car.  Of course with the market dipping down now I'm wondering if that was the best move...

Balance 12/31/13 $(16,981.02)   
Balance 1/31/14   $(7,112.49)

Also someone asked me about how I consolidated my loans on another thread and I thought I'd share the info here as well.  Warning: seeking blatant referral bonus

Quote
I had all federal loans and  consolidated them through an organization called SoFi.  Brought my rate from 6.55% to 3.92%.   If you use my referral link, they're currently offering a $500 bonus between now and Feb 7th.  Otherwise it's a $100.

http://friends.sofi.com/F2NL

For each of your referred friends who uses your unique promo link to create a SoFi account and submit all required documentation by the end of the promo, you will receive $500.  After February 7th, you will receive the $100 reward.  Your referred friends continue to receive $100 upon joining the community.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 04:22:50 PM by hownowbrowncow »

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #69 on: January 31, 2014, 02:08:15 PM »

Quote
I had all federal loans and  consolidated them through an organization called SoFi.  Brought my rate from 6.55% to 3.92%.   If you use my referral link, they're currently offering a $500 bonus between now and Feb 7th.  Otherwise it's a $100.

http://friends.sofi.com/HJcc

For each of your referred friends who uses your unique promo link to create a SoFi account and submit all required documentation by the end of the promo, you will receive $500.  After February 7th, you will receive the $100 reward.  Your referred friends continue to receive $100 upon joining the community.

You link doesn't work [for my referral bonus] . . . try this one http://friends.sofi.com/HGpn

hownowbrowncow

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2014, 04:24:48 PM »

Quote
I had all federal loans and  consolidated them through an organization called SoFi.  Brought my rate from 6.55% to 3.92%.   If you use my referral link, they're currently offering a $500 bonus between now and Feb 7th.  Otherwise it's a $100.

http://friends.sofi.com/F2NL

For each of your referred friends who uses your unique promo link to create a SoFi account and submit all required documentation by the end of the promo, you will receive $500.  After February 7th, you will receive the $100 reward.  Your referred friends continue to receive $100 upon joining the community.

You link doesn't work [for my referral bonus] . . . try this one http://friends.sofi.com/HGpn

Fixed!  Thanks for the heads up.

Correct link: http://friends.sofi.com/F2NL

minimos

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #71 on: February 01, 2014, 09:38:09 AM »
Want to stay on top of being honest, so providing a monthly update of progress made:
Loan1 - 27,301 @4.75%
Loan2 - 104,983 @4.75%
Loan3 - 8,339 @2.35%
Loan4 - 8,403 @6.8%
Loan5 - 40,139 @2.35%
Loan6 - 10,725 @6.8%
Loan7 - 5,331 @2.1%
Total: 205,221

Progress was a decrease by $3261 in principle since first reported.  A whole lot further to go, but happy with the progress.  Between a bonus and probably are larger than usual tax refund, hoping to make a big jumps over the next 3 months.

On another note of refinancing - I see alot of people recommending Sofi - but the school my husband attended isn't on their eligibility list.  I've considered looking at other sources - but given that about 18,000 of the student loans is >5%, and we are aggressively trying to pay that off, is it worth it to consider looking for other sources to refinance the high interest student loans?  The next highest is at 4.75 and don't know if a refinance will get us much lower.


norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #72 on: February 02, 2014, 10:12:59 AM »
Well, after this month's flaming furnace extravaganza resulting in 8K worth of extra expenses we've been set back a little bit. On the other hand those 8K are on a 0% interest for 12 months so I've added it as a bonus round of sorts. Definitely going to have to bring top game for rest of year if I want to still finish this challenge :)

Wells Fargo:
$0 at 7% - Yay as far as i can tell paid off!
$2,351 at 6.75% - Next month I'll be able to call them and get an exact pay-off amount :D

Nelnet:
$15,268 at 6.8%
$3,891 at 6.8%
$2,555 at 6.8%
$5,287 at 5.6%
$10,968 at 3.4%

Total: $40,320

Bonus Round: $8,327 at 0% | Total: $48,647

If we manage to pull off both the challenge and the bonus round definitely going to have to make up a fancy dinner or something to celebrate.

fantabulous

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #73 on: February 02, 2014, 01:25:16 PM »
January check in. For some reason I remember getting a lot more back from my tax return last year than I actually did, and this year's return is smaller still. On the plus side, this is the first year I haven't been able to take the full $2,500 student loan interest deduction. I still have a shot at this, but it's going to require tighter budgeting that I anticipated. Also considering balance transferring that BoA loan to my new Discover card to use the 0% APR, but that would involve a 3% fee. Discover believes it would save me around $85 if I use the full 14 month 0% period. I got the card specifically for the free monthly FICO score, rather than explicitly for a balance transfer. I'm not super keen on getting the one 0% APR/0% balance transfer card I found, as it doesn't do anything neat for me after the 0% introduction. But that's me being irrational and apparently my credit score can take a small hit for a cancellation down the road.

Loans:  $20,724 -> $18,750

BoA: $2,015 [6.419%] -> $2,015

Nelnet:
$3,549 [6.0%] -> $3,514
$4,272 [6.8%] -> $3,291
$785 [5.6%] -> $777
$4,320 [5.6%] -> $4,277
$827 [6.8%] -> $0 (paid off!)
$994 [4.5%] -> $984
$1,541 [2.35%] -> $1,514
$1,322 [2.35%] -> $1,299
$1,099 [2.35%] -> $1,079

Lina

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #74 on: February 02, 2014, 03:08:02 PM »
I'm not familiar with the american student loan system so I am curious why so many of you have several loans and some with really small amounts. I have had 2 loans but that is due to a system change in the swedish student loan system. Our student loans are government based so there is only one loan provider.

The interest on studentloans this years is 1,2 % so I don't really have an incentive to pay them down. I can cover the cost by keeping money in a bank account or by investing the money in the stock market.

NV Teacher

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #75 on: February 07, 2014, 07:53:58 AM »
Count me in.  I owe $13,021 @ 3.5%. 

January 2014 Update - Balance $11,894


February 2014 Update - Balance   $10,400
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 02:06:18 PM by NV Teacher »

Mazzinator

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #76 on: February 07, 2014, 11:49:30 AM »
We are focusing on tax deffered accounts to lower our agi so we can put the federal loans on IBR soon, so our "savings rate" is split between debt payoff and investing.

We are focusing on the private loans (3.57%) but the 0% loans are on a cc, so they must be paid off by march before the promotion period ends.

Good luck everyone!!

I tried to copy and paste from the 2013 gauntlet..
Quote
Quote from: Mazzinator on October 01, 2013, 07:57:49 pm

Here we are..

$9,800(0%)
$23,358 (3.57%)
$64,220 (4.75%)
$97,378 Total

Here we are..

$9,700(0%)
$23,359 (3.57%)
$56,720 (4.75%)
$89,779 Total

Under $90k...wooo hoooo!!!

9,500
22,055
56,503
$88,058 total

Jan 2014

Debt
-$7,000 (0%) (my high interest SL moved to a CC that offered 0 fees)
-$33,534 (4.75 % fixed) fed SL
-$22,482 (4.75% fixed) fed SL
-$11,485 (3.5% vary) private SL
-$10,274 (3.5% vary) private SL
Total = -$84,777 (-85k)

Feb 2014

Debt
-$5,500 (0%) (my high interest SL moved to a CC that offered 0 fees) <--going first (promo ending)
-$33,484 (4.75 % fixed) fed SL
-$22,431 (4.75% fixed) fed SL
-$11,426 (3.5% vary) private SL
-$10,098 (3.5% vary) private SL
Total = -$82,939 (-83k)

Apples

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #77 on: February 07, 2014, 12:09:13 PM »
I want to join!  I created account just for this.  As of the beginning of January 2014, my fiance's 2 student loans were:

$44,094 @ 6%
$17,334 @ 5.75%

At the end of January we were able to sign up for automatic withdrawals for the larger of the two loans, and that reduced our interest rate so they're both at 5.75%.  Once we're married, we will throw $12,000 of my savings at these loans, and each month we will throw $1500 in savings to them (b/c I wasn't just going to sit around and watch the interest eat away at the payments).  It's a bit of a compromise we've agreed on.  Right now we are putting $900/month into debt payments out of our net income of $5000 or so.  But whenever we go under budget, that extra dough gets thrown at them too.  My fiance isn't quite into cutting living expenses, but this is a bit of a squeeze on all of our non-essential money.  We also have an emergency fund w/ 3 months of living expenses and save 7% of our take-home income for retirement (another 4% in 401(k)s further matched by employers).  We expect to be above the income limits for Roths in 6 or so years, so won't bring that number down at all.  Hoping to get the principal down to $25,000 by the end of the year! Woo!  In January we made normal small payments b/c the savings payment went to kill a credit card balance from the fiance.  So now that that's taken care of, the balances are $44,014.37 and $17,218.65.  February is looking good though!

skcook

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #78 on: February 08, 2014, 06:56:26 PM »
January balance: $13,603

Balance as of February 10: $13,345

Not very much progress this month, but that was expected. Most of our savings in January went into the house fund, we probably won't be up to full steam earnings-wise until at least March, and I am in the midst of a couple of projects that won't bear much fruit until April. Goal for the next 2 months is a $300 payment per month, but a big upswing in payments starting in May to reach a July 1 goal of $10,000.

Swbink02

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2014, 03:11:26 PM »
Just put another $2500 onto the loans.  Down to under $71,000.   After I file my business and personal taxes for 2013, I should have an extra $50,000 to throw at them.  Accounting error by my CPA (this time in my favor) he forgot to carry forward depreciation for the equipment in my practice when he estimated my tax liability for 2013.  I saved an extra $50,000 in anticipated increase in taxes due to increase in profits.  Happy early birthday to me!!  Definitely getting paid off by December of this year!!!!

Thanks again to everyone here for the motivation.  After the student loans, it is off to $28,000 in auto loans/or selling one of our vehicles for something less expensive.

Apples

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #80 on: February 11, 2014, 03:28:27 PM »
After signing up for automatic withdrawals with the Chase loan too, now that interest rate is .25% lower to 5.5% while the Great Lakes loan (which is 2.5x as big) is at 5.75%, so we will now switch our focus to paying the GL loan down first.  This interest rate change should save us around $250 in interest paid over the life of the two loans based on our current payment plan.  Woohoo!  But switching plans means that we won't have the first loan paid off (GL) until 2016, which seems verrrrry far away right now.

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #81 on: February 11, 2014, 04:24:48 PM »
Good luck, Ether!  And good job taking the initiative early on in your career. 

Just in the process of refinancing my loans so instead of working from a balance of 28,388.96 I'm combining both loans and my starting amount for the year was: $81,888.23.  After making my monthly payments today the balance is at $81,343.95.  Not expecting too much from my tax refund, but going to apply nearly all of it to my student loans once I get it.  Sucks knowing that I paid $944 this month and it only knocked it down $545.  Can't wait to get a little lower interest rate with my refinancing!  Also, this month I had way more in expenses than I would most months.  I plan on paying about 2k a month normally.

Just made a $500 payment yesterday and the current balance is at $81,174.96.  Baby Steps! We are travelling to London and Dubai in a week and a half (I know, very anti-mustachian, but all we had to pay for was flights since everything else will be covered by family) so will likely only put 1k toward loans this month.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #82 on: February 11, 2014, 05:01:04 PM »
I'm joining a bit late, but here goes. Want to try and pay this off by the end of the year -

8,675 @ 2.5 % interest rate.

I've already been making double the minimum payments, but this will be a good motivation to step up my game.

TinyDC

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #83 on: February 14, 2014, 07:29:00 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!

7.8% loan down for the count! Now on to the 6.7%er, which I am scheduled to have paid off by June.  Feels AMAZING!

madgeylou

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #84 on: February 14, 2014, 07:36:23 AM »
Started the month at 21,200 @ 6% interest

Put 2,000 on it already, and am sending another 1,500 today. Let's do this!

yoyalia

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #85 on: February 14, 2014, 09:40:10 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!

After our $5,380 payment today, we're down to $17,462.21! Ah it's so close.

We made our bimonthly payment today of $4,280, bringing us down to $13,228. 3 more payments to go until it's GONE!

LanceBurkhart

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #86 on: February 14, 2014, 03:23:36 PM »
Married couple with combined SL debt of 75,000, almost all at 6.8%.

We're looking for cheaper apartments. Gonna slay this dragon in 1-2 years.


norvilion

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #87 on: February 14, 2014, 04:17:21 PM »
Ack, just found out that there was another 3.5K to tack on to loans. ECSI hasn't been very good about keeping in communication with us it seems. Luckily caught the account fairly early and it's only at 5% so I'll be killing some of the others first.

clarkfan1979

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #88 on: February 16, 2014, 08:15:05 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!

I do the same. I signed up for the 25 year, but pay it off like a 10. When you pay extra, you get to pick which loan you pay. If you just sign up for the 10 year, you don't get to choose.

Integrate

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #89 on: February 16, 2014, 08:33:57 AM »
Late to this thread.

Last week I just finished paying off my student loan.

Balance as of May 2012 was $28,018.07. As of Feb 2014, $0.

$8031.56 of it was this year if you want to include it in your total.

Debt free!

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #90 on: February 18, 2014, 01:58:28 PM »
Congrats, Integrate!

hownowbrowncow

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #91 on: February 19, 2014, 08:33:43 AM »
My 2/14/14 payment finally posted - that plus my automatic 2/3/14 payment kicked me under $5000!

Balance 12/31/13 $(16,981.02)   
Balance 1/31/14   $(7,112.49)
Balance 2/19/14 $(4,452.05)

NV Teacher

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #92 on: February 19, 2014, 10:05:54 AM »
Count me in.  I owe $13,021 @ 3.5%. 

January 2014 Update - Balance $11,894


February 2014 Update - Balance   $10,400

2013 Tax Refund - Balance   $8,900

mrfilthyrich

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #93 on: February 19, 2014, 12:57:08 PM »
Another $500 payment posted today, which puts my current balance at $80,783.54.  Shooting for at least another $20,783.54 in principal reduction this year.

ethereality

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #94 on: February 19, 2014, 09:37:14 PM »
$16,355 (Jan '14) -> $14,117.45 (Feb '14)

Yay!

Cwadda

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #95 on: February 19, 2014, 11:12:03 PM »
I have a $5400 loan at 6.8%. Want to have it paid off by the end of the year. I'm in.

EUmustache

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2014, 09:33:32 AM »
February check-in!

Progress from last post to date:

$77,501 ----> $75,385

Total reduction for Feb = $2,116
Total reduction since gauntlet started = $19,612

Things have slowed down a bit since we needed to ear-mark some cash for an anticipated tax bill. Hopefully the taxes will be less than expected, and we'll be able to put that toward the loans. Hoping to break $3k in reduction for March. Keep up the good work everyone! I love hearing about everyone's progress!

yoyalia

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #97 on: February 28, 2014, 11:47:35 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!

After our $5,380 payment today, we're down to $17,462.21! Ah it's so close.

End of the month payment of $4409.97, bringing us down to $8,286.71. Should have this paid off in 2 more payments by the of March :D

minimos

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #98 on: February 28, 2014, 08:19:38 PM »
February Update:
Loan1 - 27,287 @4.75%
Loan2 - 104,931 @4.75%
Loan3 - 8,282@2.35%
Loan4 - 8,346 @6.8%
Loan5 - 39,864 @2.35%
Loan6 - 8,741@6.8%
Loan7 - 5,208 @2.1%
Total: $202,694

Making progress in the right direction-$2,500 in principle payment, $5,636 since starting this challenge!  What's sad is how much interest we've paid since the beginning of this challenge -- 3,000! Ugh!  One day at a time...

fantabulous

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Re: New Year Student Loan Challenge (2014 edition)
« Reply #99 on: March 02, 2014, 05:58:59 PM »
February check in. I feel very much like Nelnet and BoA are each holding one of my arms and making me hit myself in the face while saying "Stop hitting yourself!".

Loans:  $18,750 -> $17,231

BoA: $2,015 [6.419%] -> $2,040 (Still prepaid on this, so going to avoid any payments until the 6.8% Nelnet loan is paid off. Forgot to add accrued interest last time.)

Nelnet:
$3,514 [6.0%] -> $3,481
$3,291 [6.8%] -> $1,906
$777 [5.6%] -> $770
$4,277 [5.6%] -> $4,236
$984 [4.5%] -> $974
$1,514 [2.35%] -> $1,488
$1,299 [2.35%] -> $1,276
$1,079 [2.35%] -> $1,060

Total payments for February were $1,611.