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Ashley’s July 2015 Debt Update


And, just like that, it’s time for another debt update!

This month has flown by! I think between our trip back to Texas the first week of the month and starting work in the middle of the month, I feel like I’ve barely batted my eyes and the month is nearly gone! But I’m happy to report that even with as fast as the month feels like it’s gone by, I’ve still made some decent progress on my debts. Keep in mind, I haven’t received a paycheck yet from my new job and we live on last month’s income, so there will be a month lag behind when I start receiving income and when I’m able to really bump up my debt payments. So this debt update only accounts for our regular income (from hubs’ business and my part-time job).

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment DateOriginal debt, March 2014
Capital One CC-17.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Mattress Firm-0%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC-13.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
BoA CC-7.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
License Fees-2.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
Navient - Federal Student Loan$36638.25%$266July$4687
ACS Student Loans$210397.24%$77June$21035
Navient - Dept of Education student loans$666146.55%$257July$63254
PenFed Car Loan$136652.49%$1000July$24040
Balance Transfer student loan (Former Navient 1-01)$48370% (through April 2016)$500July$5937
Medical Bills$60610%$25July$9000
Totals$115,871 (June balance = 118,051; May balance = 117,815)$2125Starting Debt = $145,472

Do you remember how last month I complained about my student loan balances going up, in spite of the fact that I’d made extra payments?? I’m still so confused about the whole situation (and, take this as another reason why you should avoid student loan debt like the plague!) because I had the same thing happen with BOTH of my loan service providers. That indicates to me that this is not an error on the part of my student loan company, but on the part of the national government (since my loans are government-backed). Does this even make sense? I must admit ignorance in that I don’t know how all the backchannel stuff works between governmental agencies and the student loan companies. But regardless, last month BOTH of my companies reported that my balances had gone up. This month, it looks like whatever error existed has been corrected because now both balances have gone DOWN more than they should have with just this month’s payments. It looks, to me, like whatever interest was added last month (which shouldn’t be added to any subsidized loans since I’m on Income-Based Repayment), has been removed and I’m back to the normal sized balances. So I guess that’s a sigh of relief.

You’ll also notice that I’ve made higher payments to my Navient loans – particularly the Federal loan. The federal loan is my highest APR loan. The minimum payment is only $16, but I’ve routinely been paying $116 for months. This month, however, I decided to really bump it up a bit more – to $266 (that’s the $16 minimum + $250 extra). I maintain primary focus on getting rid of the car debt (sooooo close to being at the half-way mark with the car debt and it’s going to go quick from there!!!), but I also wanted to beef up my Navient federal loan payment a bit, too, given the low balance and high interest rate. Forward progress!

I can’t wait to see what progress we can make once my new full-time job paychecks start rolling in! Wahoo!!!

And last note related to the job – I still haven’t been able to meet with the department head to ask about keeping my part-time job. A new department head has just taken office (so it’s not the same person who hired me anymore), and we were supposed to meet this week but I was emailed by the administrative assistant and told we’d have to push the meeting back to mid-August. I haven’t even met the department head yet (I think she’s working from home this summer because my office is right down from hers and I haven’t seen her), so I’m waiting to ask about it until we meet in-person. In the meantime I continue to work both jobs (doing the part-time job early morning and late evening). When I was hired I was currently teaching online for my part-time job and everyone knew about it so I’m assuming that my summer teaching is okay, though I’ll feel much better once I get official approval (fingers crossed) that I can continue teaching future semesters, too. I don’t expect my fall part-time contract until August, so the timing should work out in terms of asking permission and officially committing to continue teaching part-time.

On a more personal note, I’ve prescheduled this post because TODAY is my out-and-back trip to be with my Dad for an important doctor’s appointment. I’m not sure everything the appointment will entail (likely just a review of all previous tests and ordering one final additional test), but there’s a slim chance we could receive an official diagnosis. You may recall that I’ve said before I feel fairly confident I know what the diagnosis will be so this is just a matter of having it confirmed (side note: he was given a preliminary diagnosis already by another doctor, but this is a specialist, so we’re very interested in what he has to say). I feel like everything is “on hold” until we get the diagnosis and then the world will feel like its been turned upside-down, but at least we can start moving forward with the next steps and making a plan for the future.  I’ll have a lot more to say on the future financial implications once we know for sure-sure what the diagnosis is. So send happy/comforting/diagnosis-finding vibes my way : )  Not getting my hopes up for receiving a diagnosis just yet, but it sure would be nice if we get one today!

Happy Thursday, friends!


  • Reply Den |

    Thanks for the update – always great to see how you are doing! I can’t wait to see how your full time earnings affect your budget and debt repayment.

    Quick suggestion – either focus on your car loan or focus on the low student loan. If you focus on the student loan and send the extra $1,000 (from your car payment) to the student loan, you will have it paid off in 3 months and can then send $1,250 to the car payment. Or send the extra $250 that you are sending to your student loan to your car loan and get that paid off quick. Splitting between the two just slows them both down.

    • Reply Joe |

      Second this comment. You have a smaller, higher interest rate loan that is also a pain to make installments on. A triple win to focus on it, and ultimately it will actually speed up you car loan payment!

    • Reply Walnut |

      There’s still a minimum payment on the car, it’s not like the entire $1000 can be diverted.

      I think there are couple schools of thought on this one. I always feel better paying off a loan with the highest minimum payment, because when life hits the fan, the measily $16 student loan minimum is easier to navigate than the larger car payment.

      • Reply Walnut |

        My family is preparing for a possible layoff in the next few years and I am SO HAPPY that we busted our tails to eliminate nearly $1000/month in car loans. When we’re armed with just our mortgage and low fixed monthly expenses, we’ll hardly have to tap the emergency fund for month-to-month one income living.

        • Reply Maureen |

          I agree with getting rid of the biggest payment first and maybe throwing a little extra to the highest interest loan. It makes it seem like you are accomplishing two goals simultaenteouly. Then, when the student loan gets down to $1000-$1500 maybe you just pay it off all at once. Like Walnut, I have had intermittent income since my spouse relocated. Although, his job his solid and pays very well, my income allows me to put a lot extra to debt. I was just “laid” off from a contracting job yesterday (again). My income stream goes from 0 to mach 5 back to 0 pretty regularly depending on the availability of assignments. We paid off my car loan last November ($675). We do have another car loan (however hubby receives a generous car allowance as long as he maintains a car newer than 5 years), but the car is brand new and everything is covered including maintenance for the next 6 years, so we know it’s just the loan payment-no maintenance or repairs will be extra. If it was an older car we would lose a substantial car allowance, so it “almost” pays for itself. I would love to buy a new car again for myself, but I committed to driving mine until the employment situation stabilizes. My car is only 5-1/2 years old and has 75K miles, but I am one who usually gets a new car every 5 years.

      • Reply Den |

        Actually, I thought Ashley said she has paid so far in advance she doesn’t owe a car payment until January? I could be wrong on that though……but if I’m right, she could divert the whole $1,000 car payment to her student loan and get rid of it ASAP.

          • Ashley |

            Several months ago I’d mentioned that I’d pre-paid my car loan through January 2016. Having made several additional payments since then, I’m now pre-paid through July 2016. Not commenting right now on the car loan vs. student loan (really not in the right mental place to even think about it), but just wanted to clear up this question.

  • Reply Joe |

    Ashley’s job is secure for at least the year and likely beyond, well past the time frame of knocking out that high interest loan. I’d much rather see her save a couple hundred bucks than play the debt game in a defensive crouch completely unnecessarily (all IMHO of course).

So, what do you think ?