Tag Archives: student loan payments

Sam’s December and January Debt Progress Reports

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Monthly Progress on Individual Debts

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress during the month of December and January.

  • The blue columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of December 1, 2014.
  • The pink columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of January 30, 2015 (two months of debt payoff).

Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. You can also see that the debts I made minimum payments on only decreased by a relatively small amount.

2015 Jan Progress Report Ind DebtsI made my minimum payment plus additional payment of $350 toward my principal balance in December and $350 in January (see how I did it at the bottom of the report!). This is a new habit and works best when I make my minimum payment as soon as I receive the statement. Most of my minimum payment went toward my principal balance because I had just paid my previous statement 4 days before (I used to wait until the due date to make a payment).

Total Debt Progress

2015 Jan Progress Report Total DebtPaying more than the minimum has made a significant impact toward decreasing my debt.

 Amount Applied towards interest

2015 Jan Progress Report InterestBecause I made two payments just a few days apart, there was not a lot of accrued interest. Typically, almost my entire minimum payment is applied toward interest.

2015 Jan Progress Report Total IncomeRoadblocks: Saving for wedding expenses and building my emergency fund to prepare for a one income household once I get married has stopped me from putting significant amounts of my paychecks toward debt.

December Dollar Hollaaas: My new side job/hobby has created extra income that is strictly dedicated as debt payoff money. $350 in December and $350 in January were applied toward my principal balance. Thank you Beachbody!

For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our info on Getting Started by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page. How do you stay motivated and track your debt progress? Do you have any tips that help you stay motivated when you aren’t able to put as much as you’d like towards debt because you have other looming expenses?

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Sam

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich and Simple Cheap Mom*

Mythbusters: How to Make Your Debt Payments Count

Lies and MoneyCongratulations! You’re doing great on your debt snowball…paying off loans like it’s your job and suddenly the last loan on your list is your student loan managed by Navient (the old SallieMae) or some other federal student loan company. Unlike most of your other debts, you don’t have the choice to click a button that says, “I want to allocate this payment toward my principal balance” which forces you to pay your OLD interest rate without making a dent in your principal balance.

The Problem: When you pay online or call to make a payment, you’re unable to allocate extra payments the way YOU want to allocate them. When you make an extra payment online or over the phone, your payment is applied to outstanding interest.

What That Means: You are paying down your already accrued interest without making a dent in your principal balance. Your goal should be to decrease your principal balance as much as possible because the interest accruing will end up being LESS because the interest charged is based off of a smaller number. Confused yet?!

The Solution: If you search and search and search on your federal student loan service providers website, you will see a little tiny line that says, “you can allocate your payments differently if you mail in your extra payment with a WRITTEN notice describing how you want the payment allocated”. Tricky, tricky, tricky.

AVOID: What you don’t want to happen is make extra payments that results in payment due dates that get pushed further and further in the future. You want your extra payments to go toward your principal balance ONLY! That means, even when you make an extra payment, your normal balance is due the next month.

The LIE: If you call Navient or your federal student loan provider, they will tell you over and over again that, “your extra payments are applied toward your accrued interest”. They will not even mention any other option, even if you tell them that you read online that you can allocate payments differently. They are out to make money and the more money you pay in interest, the more money they make. DO NOT settle…this is YOUR hard earned money and you want to do what’s smartest and will eventually save you THOUSANDS!

If you’re confused, extra payments should ALWAYS go toward principal balance.

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How have you been allocating your extra payments? Have you seen a drastic decrease in your principal balance? What’s your “trick” to making your payment count?

For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our info on Getting Started by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

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Sam

Disclaimer: This blog post is based on my personal experience with my student loan service company. Not all student loan companies have this policy.

Sam’s post is also found linked up with other brilliant folks on Financially Savvy Saturdays. Click the button below to head on over!

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