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Ashley’s April 2016 Debt Update + NEW Balance Transfer Loan

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Hi all!

Thanks for your patience with me as I was out of town and kind of absent (especially in the comments) for awhile. I only logged in a single time on our week-long vacation and then had to spend a few days playing catch-up with work-related obligations once I returned before really rejoining you here. LOTS of posts to come very soon, but for now let me get up this overdue April debt update!

Perhaps the first thing to note is that I initiated another balance transfer loan! I’ve labeled it in my debt spreadsheet as “Balance Transfer #2” (to distinguish it from the first balance transfer, which I paid off in full prior to initiating this new transfer). See my reasons for why I’m okay with using balance transfer loans to help pay down student loan debt in this throwback post.

I transferred $7,500 from my Navient student loans onto my Capital One credit card. I will have 0% APR for 12 months and paid a one-time $150 transfer fee. In my debt spreadsheet I list the new balance transfer debt as $7650 (which includes the $150 transfer fee). I also altered the “original debt” column of my Navient loan, reducing it by $7500 (since that debt has been moved to the balance transfer loan).

Here you go:

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment Date Original debt, March 2014
Navient$731686.55%$1476April$74218
ACS Student Loans$85966.55%$20April$8215
Balance Transfer Student Loan #2$76500% (through April 2017)$0transfer initiated April 2016$7650
Medical Bills$58360%$25April$9000
Balance Transfer student loan #1$00% -Paid off in March 2016$5937
PenFed Car Loan-2.49%-Paid off in January 2016$24040
License Fees-2.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
BoA CC-7.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
Mattress Firm-0%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC-13.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
Capital One CC-17.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Totals$95,250 (March balance = 96,175)$1521Starting Debt = $145,472

One thing you’ll notice is that nothing was paid toward the new balance transfer loan in April. I initiated the loan toward the end of the month, so I’ll begin making payments this month (May).

Also, I edited the APR for my Navient loans. It used to read 6.55%-8.25%. But the balance transfer loan covered the 8.25% APR loan in full, so now all that remains are student loans with 6.55% APR. Wahoo! Excited to be chipping away at those loans and to get rid of my last remaining >8% APR debt!

Also, you’ll see in an upcoming budget update post that we continue to save toward our Emergency Fund and the down payment for a new home. This impacts our debt payments, as we are prioritizing savings above debt for right now. We plan to begin house hunting soon-ish, and once that’s all locked away we’ll again return our focus to paying down debt with a vengeance. In the meantime, I’m still happy with our current level of debt payments. Not too shabby, especially considering all our savings! Look for the budget update post soon!

I hope everyone’s weeks are going well! I’ll be back soon! : )


12 Comments

  • Reply Ms. Mintly @ MintlyBlog |

    I just initiated a balance transfer from Navient to a Citi card – and am anxiously waiting to see it post to my Navient account! (Of course, Citi is already showing a balance…. lovely.) 😉 We used a 3% transfer fee offer and will save about $300 by doing it this way. Just thought it was cool that you and I did nearly the same thing (for almost the same amount of money as well) around the same time! Go us!

  • Reply Constance |

    Have you looked at Earnest.com? They advertise consolidation of student debt at fixed rates of 3.5%. Since I don’t have any loans myself, I haven’t investigated further, but might be worth looking at. Good luck! You’re doing great job.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’m not going to look into any loan consolidation programs until after the house purchase.

  • Reply Sarah |

    Any way to get that medical bill paid off? I know it is not a priority but I just figured out if you pay $25 per month, it is going to take you 19 years to pay it off. Just bugs me. 🙂

    • Reply Kiki |

      I actually think they have the right strategy here. The medical bills are at 0% interest. I’m sure they will be able to ramp those payments up as they pay down more of the higher interest debt. Also, they have made quite a bit of progress from the original $9,000 medical debt, so they must have decided to put that on pause for a while.

      Ashley, I bet when you are at just under $50,000 debt, you will feel that you are on the home stretch!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Kiki is right. We used to pay more monthly toward the medical debt (and paid really large chunks back when I first started blogging). We will, of course, pay it off before it’s full 19 year term, but it’s not a priority right now as there is no interest.

  • Reply Jan |

    0% balance transfers are great – I used them all the way through our debt payoff, just kept rolling over any remaining balance when the time was up. They really helped us get traction and get the debt totals down.

  • Reply Katie |

    Have you considered delaying buying a house for a bit longer? $10,000 really doesn’t go far when you’re looking at a down payment, closing costs, inspections, etc. Then there are moving expenses, repairs, etc. You would also likely get a better deal on a house if you wait to buy during a slower time for the market (like between Thanksgiving and Christmas) when sellers are anxious to unload, and there aren’t as many buyers out there.

    I love being a homeowner, but the expenses really never end. If you can start in a stronger position, you will be reap the benefits for decades.

    • Reply Maureen |

      I think Ashley has addressed this before. There are other funds to be included from other sources.

      • Reply Ashley |

        Maureen is right. The $10,000 would be our personal contribution and we will also have an emergency fund at that point. There will be additional funds coming to us as a personal gift that will also be applied toward the down payment/closing costs.

  • Reply Angie |

    I’m sort of surprised you did a new balance transfer right now. Are you planing to payoff the balance transfer prior to applying for mortgages? I would think a 7k credit card balance (regardless of the source) would not be favorable.

  • Reply Karen |

    Hi Ashley!

    Amazing progress! Question for you: do you open up a new credit card each time to get the 0% interest offer? I currently have about four credit cards and loathe to open a new one. In your first transfer I assumed you opened a new credit card for it but I don’t see that you did that here. If you have another way to get the 0%, I would love to start my own process of paying back one loan at a time at 0%!

So, what do you think ?