Tag Archives: student loans

Sam’s December and January Debt Progress Reports

Debt Icon

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*

Brittany’s September Debt Progress Report

Today’s Debt Progress Report can also be found on the Financially Savvy Saturday Link up happening over at BrokeGirlrich. Be sure to click on the button below to head on over and check out all the other savvy posts!

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The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress across all of my individual loans. The blue column represents my debt totals for individual loans as of September 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of September 30, 2014. Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. My Great Lakes Student Loan 3 is my current focal loan, and I paid as much as I could above the minimum requirement in September. Because of that, it’s total decreased by nearly 9% this month, whereas in prior months it was moving down at a rate slower than 1% decrease per month.

Brittany's September Debt Progress Report

The bar graph below represents the long term and short term progress I have made on my overall debt. The grey bar represents my original total debt amount, the blue bar is my total debt one month ago, and the green bar shows how much debt I have today. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are making progress when you look at your BIG number on a month-to-month basis, but looking back to the beginning can remind you how far you have come.

Brittany's September Debt Progress Report

Having ONE target loan will increase the rate at which you can pay off your debt and decrease the amount of money you will pay towards interest to help you become debt free sooner!

Because I was paying above the minimum monthly requirement on my focal loan, the percentage being paid towards interest was small—only 6% of my total payment went towards accrued interest. In contrast, 18% of the total amount I put towards the loans I am making minimum payments on went towards interest!! You want to pay as much as possible toward the principal because that is what helps speed up the process of eliminating debt. The chart below gives you a visual representation of these numbers.

Brittany's September Debt Progress Report

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run.

Tell your Income Where to Go

The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of September. Just over 45% of my earned income went towards debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow. Just below 49% went towards my living expenses (food, rent, etc.), and 6% of my earned income was put into long-term savings this month to prepare for holiday season travels and any surprise wedding expenses I haven’t considered in my budget.

pie chart

 

Roadblocks: There were no major roadblocks this month—which is nice because the months leading up to September were full of plenty crazy. A moment to breathe was very much appreciated, and it gave me an opportunity to jump start my holiday saving without feelings of stress or anxiety.

September Dollar Hollaaass: I have felt pretty good about how my income is funding my life and debt progress lately, and because of that, I haven’t gone out of my way to make additional income. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but never say never :)

For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our Getting Started page by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page. How do you stay motivated and track your debt progress?

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 Brittany

Brittany’s June Debt Progress Report

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress across all of my individual loans. The blue column represents my debt totals for individual loans as of June 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of June 30, 2014. Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. My ACS Student Loan is my current focal loan, and in the month of June its total was nearly split in half by the end of the month, whereas loans I am paying minimums on only decreased by an average of 1%.

individual prgoress

The bar graph below represents the long term and short term progress I have made on my overall debt. The grey bar represents my original total debt amount, the blue bar is my total debt one month ago, and the green bar shows how much debt I have today. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are making progress when you look at your BIG number on a month-to-month basis, but looking back to the beginning can remind you how far you have come!

total progress

Having ONE target loan will increase the rate at which you can pay off your debt and decrease the amount of money you will pay towards interest to help you become debt free sooner!

Because I am paying above the minimum monthly requirement on my focal loan, the percentage being paid towards interest actually dipped to 0.4% of my total payment this month! In contrast, 40% of the total amount I put towards the loans I am making minimum payments on went towards interest!! My largest loan is being paid off SO SLOWLY because 86% of my monthly minimum is going toward interest! You want to pay as much as possible toward the principal because that is what helps speed up the process of eliminating debt. The chart below gives you a visual representation of these numbers.

interest comparison

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run.

Tell your Income Where to Go

The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of June. Fifty percent of my earned income went towards debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow—and the other 50% went towards my living expenses (food, rent, etc.). I did not delegate any money to long term or short term savings this month.

pie chart

Roadblocks: I experienced a couple of roadblocks during the month of June. The first was that I have SO MUCH free time since the school year ended, and this has really increased the temptations and opportunities to spend more money. Sticking to my bi-weekly allotted cash amount has been more difficult than it was when 8-10 hours of my day were consumed by work. I’m not complaining too much though 😉

The second roadblock I faced was a credit card payment that was about double what I typically pay each month. I had been ordering bridesmaids dresses from companies that offer free returns so that I can try them on, make a judgment, and send them back to get refunded and pretend like the whole thing never happened. It was an excellent plan until it my payment was refunded AFTER I had received my monthly statement. In other words, by the time my credit card payment was due; my current balance was LESS than original statement of money owed for my previous month’s purchases. I always pay the full statement amount because paying interest on a credit card is a complete waste of money. Instead of calling the company and trying to get my refund applied to the previous month’s statement (the statement whose payment was due), I just paid the whole thing off at once knowing that I will have little to nothing to pay in July and won’t have to waste any of my time dealing with the credit card company or worry about potentially earning interest. A roadblock for now, but I know that it will put me a little bit ahead in July.

June Dollar Holllaas: Other than my regular paycheck, there were no dollar hollaaas in June. I think I may be hollering a bit louder on payday though—does that count? 😉

Looking Forward: My goal is to have my ACS Student Loan completely paid off by the end of July. Because I can see my next smallest loan—my car loan—decreasing each month I feel pretty good about it, and I have decided to tackle my biggest loan (and biggest headache) as soon as the ACS is wiped from my slate. After nearly a year of minimum payments that $21,000 loan has only decreased by about $500, and it is MAKING ME FURIOUS. It’s time to grab a life vest and save myself from drowning in those Great Lakes….too much? I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

For more information about how to start making progress on getting out of debt or gaining control of your finances, check out our Getting Started tab at the top of our page.

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 Brittany

Student Loan Repayment Options and What They Really Mean

 Below explains each Student Loan Repayment Plan as described by the Department of Education and my explanation. Be sure to look at the bottom of the page for tips and resources on student loan information!

Repayment Standard

Repayment Graduated

Repayment Extended

Repayment Income Based

Click on image for full size.

Repayment Income Contingent

Repayment Income Sensitive

Repayment Pay As Earn

Other Helpful Tips:

  • Feel free to choose the standard repayment plan or another repayment plan you feel comfortable with and qualify for. The good news is that if you can’t afford your monthly payments, simply call your loan provider and they will lower your monthly payments. This, of course, means that if you continue to pay low monthly payments toward your loan you will pay more overall due to interest. Lowering your payments should be an EMERGENCY ONLY situation.
  • Don’t be afraid to call your loan provider and discuss each option with them so that YOU get the best payment plan that works for your lifestyle.
  • REMEMBER: Whatever payment plan you choose and how low your set monthly payment is, you are always able to pay higher monthly payments to decrease the amount of time and money (toward interest) that you will have to pay.
  • For example: If you choose a plan that fits your monthly budget, but expands your payment terms across 30 years, don’t hesitate to choose that plan. As your income increases and you perfect your budget, you can make higher monthly payments, decreasing your total loan terms and total amount paid.
  • If you pay extra, be sure to pay toward your principal balance insuring that your total balance will decrease resulting in an overall decrease in your total interest paid.

The ultimate goal is to pay extra toward your student loans monthly and pay them off as quickly as possible!

Don’t let this be you…

Repayment Pic

Resources:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans

https://www.mygreatlakes.org/borrower/fiq/repayment-step2decide.html#

For more information on starting a personal budget, check out our Getting Started tab at the top of the page.

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Sam

Brittany’s April Debt Progress Report

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress across all of my individual loans. The blue column represents my debt totals for individual loans as of April 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of April 30, 2014. Look at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. My ACS Student Loan is my current focal loan, and in the month of April it decreased by nearly 25% whereas loans I am paying minimums on only decreased by an average of 1%. One of my Great Lakes student loans actually increased!

monthly progress

The bar graph below represents the long term and short term progress I have made on my overall debt. The grey bar represents my original total debt amount, the blue bar is my total debt one month ago, and the green bar shows how much debt I have today!

total debt progress

 

Having ONE target loan will increase the rate at which you can pay off your debt and decrease the amount of money you will pay towards interest to help you become debt free sooner!

Because I am paying above the minimum monthly requirement on my focal loan, the percentage being paid towards interest is very small—only 1.5% of my total payment went towards accrued interest. In contrast, 45% of the total amount I put towards the loans I am making minimum payments on went towards interest!! The chart below gives you a visual representation of these numbers.

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run.

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run.

Tell your Income Where to Go

The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of April. Forty-one percent of my earned income went towards debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow. Just over 35% went towards my living expenses (food, rent, etc.), and 23% went into my savings account because I am doing some long-term savings for a wedding early next year. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and went full steam ahead to come within less than $100 of completing my long-term savings for my wedding budget J Now I can increase my monthly cash flow towards debt by about 15% each month!

pie chart

Roadblocks: I didn’t face any significant roadblocks during April.

April Dollar Holllaaaas: During the month of April I received my tax refunds for both states I worked in during 2013, and I put each of those checks straight into my long-term savings. They weren’t as big of a chunk as my federal return, but they helped me get within less than $100 of my total savings goal for my wedding. Next month my percentage of income put towards savings will drastically decrease and my debt payments will increase.

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 Brittany