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Hope’s Debt Update – March, 2019


I have been writing here at BAD for over 5 years now! Can you believe that? I can’t!

This was my first ever post which included my first ever debt update. It was published in February, 2014. My total debt was $78,518!

And without further ado, here is my current debt load.


(as of 10/14/17)
Min. Payment
Student Loans$34,9912.88%$0 (income based deferment)
Credit Card$2,43417.00%$60
Collections 3 (Ex-husband)06.25%$0
Collections 2 (Apartment)$499$0

Total Debt as of 3/13/2019 is $42,697

My last debt update is HERE if you want to compare the two, it was published in December, 2018.

I’ve got to admit, comparing my first ever debt post and today’s was a bit discouraging, especially when I compare myself to the headlines of others debt pay off journeys. But I won’t make excuses.

I do know that I have come a long way as far as mindset over the 5 years. Not to mention knowledge. And I am in a really good place as far as payoff mindset (finally, right, long time readers!)

The Plan

I haven’t put a lot of thought into my plan of action. Frankly, I haven’t had time to sit down and think about anything.

But in looking at my numbers, this is what I have in mind:

  • Pay off credit card! It’s time. The interest rate. I’m ready.
  • Pay off the non-interest bearing collection account because it’s not affecting anything but my credit at this point.
  • Pay off my car (if I stick to my $400 per month, it will be paid off in March, 2020 but it would be great if I could do it more quickly.)

In my dream world, I would love to have all three of these debts paid off by the end of the year. And I think it’s doable looking at my year as a whole.

Thoughts? Feedback?


  • Reply jj |

    Wishing you all the success in the world this year. Can you transfer the CC balance to a low interest/0 interest card for a year? Is that feasible? I hope you can knock off a big chunk too.

    • Reply Akasha |

      I do know one young woman who did that. Her name is Jessie Suren. She was featured in a documentary about young people with unmanageable student loans. She then Vlogged on her own YouTube channel and is now debt free. She did Dave Ramsey’s “debt free scream” on his show. She majored in criminal justice and the career she fell into was selling cruises ?. Now she’s saving to take the cruises she was selling. She did put thousands worth of one loan onto a 0% interest credit card. I’m not able to do so, though. I don’t qualify for a 0 credit, and Navient won’t accept payments from a credit card anyway

  • Reply JP |

    When does your student loan deferment end? I would start paying something on it. It is going to cointinue to snowball to a point where it seems unpayable if you don’t start getting some traction there.

    • Reply Laura |

      I wondered that too. You also need to budget for the payment, whatever it will be.

  • Reply Deb |

    I would like to offer some ideas and thoughts here. What will your student loan payments be when it comes out of income based deferment? The loan is still accumulating interest and will be componded adding to the total amount due on the monthly payments begin. Do you have a rough idea on what the payments will be like?

    I would work on getting the collection bill paid off as soon as you can. It will free up that money if needed to go towards one of the other debts you have accumulated.

    I would reallly consider beginning some sort of payments on the stuent loan even if it is paying the monthly interest to make sure that it does not accumulate and inflate the payments. What are you going to do if the payments become more than you can afford since you have not been making regular payments on it?

  • Reply SMS |

    Although the student loan interest rate is low, the amount has grown since 2014 (from 30 thousand something) so my suggestion is to start paying enough to keep it from growing more.

  • Reply Akasha |

    Are you worried about your IBR minimum being $0? Mine is $36/month, but I pay extra into principal. The regular payment without IBR would be $280.49, and I try to do $350 if not $300. An IBR of $0 is going to make the overall balance skyrocket over the years. Are you hanging on to the belief that all will be forgiven “in 20 years”, because I was in a Facebook group for single moms, and they all seemed to believe that!

  • Reply Akasha |

    I read your original post from 2014. You nearly cut your total in half! Awesome! Do you have four kids? God bless you! I only have one biological daughter, and I also have a boyfriend who has a daughter and son. I’m the closest they have to a mother, as their incubator abandoned them 5 years ago. I would love if we could have one together, preferably a boy to “make it even” but I’m 40 and want to pay off debt. My grandmother was 40 when she had my mom, and I have no idea how she did it! I’d be so exhausted. Both my ex grandmother in law and my great aunt said 4 kids is the ideal family

  • Reply angie |

    Are your student loans enrolled in REPAYE? At this point you’d be around 1/3-1/4 the way through the 25 year timeline. It might be worth keeping around if your IBR continues to be so low. Look into it first and run the math. Ensure your loans are eligible and triple check.

    REPAYE might allow you to catch up on retirement savings and allow you to get your loans forgiven.

    • Reply Akasha |

      What guarantee is there that loans will be forgiven in 20-25 years? Look what happened to the public service loan forgiveness. 99% of people who applied were rejected. We don’t know what will happen in 20 years. The government could change their mind- as DeVos tried to

      • Reply angie |

        The people not getting forgiven did not ensure their loans were compliant. They also were not sending in the required annual forms. If you want forgiveness you gotta do the work! I didn’t say it would be easy or straightforward. But when youre adding to your loans every month and have 0$ payments what do you have to lose? The 0$ payments could have potential to count towards the 20-25 years of payments. Of course you need to do your research and triple check.

        My concern is hopes student loans keep increasing, she’s beginning to have health problems, she’s not getting any younger, and has ZERO saved for retirement.

        You should get grandfathered in or other provisions if they take away the program.

        • Reply Akasha |

          All 99% of the people who were denied forgiveness didn’t do the proper steps? I’d believe that if it were a much smaller percentage. Sounds like a lot of fine print was hidden enough to make sure the forgiveness didn’t happen. I strongly advise people not to depend on forgiveness. It’s about as reliable as all the other things said about obtaining a college education. You have to be aggressive with the payments.

          • angie |

            Unless you’ve been in it yourself I wouldnt give advice or throw out blanket statements. You’re just spouting out whatever internet article you read wants you to believe. I’ve heard of several people getting their forgiveness. The majority of people who don’t did not have the right loans to qualify and did not consolidate to the proper loan type. They also failed to submit annual paperwork because no one told them to. Did some people get some wrong information. Sure.I know if someone was gonna give me $30,000 I’d sure as hell read through fine print and make sure I was doing it right. I wouldn’t just trust it was happening in the background.

        • Reply Akasha |

          Were the articles about the public servants false? I really hope this works out for you. I see it similarly to a woman depending on a man to save her financially- although I personally trust my own boyfriend than I do the promise of REPAYE loans getting wiped out.

          • up |

            The headlines and Stats are misleading. The articles typically mention they had the wrong loan type or type of employer. Mainly leading back to misinformation at the start of the program. Or the lack of borrowers vetting the details. It must be noted that this is for PSLF which is different than REPAYE which hope would need to use.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    Things I am happy to see: a minimum.payment listed next to the credit card and a declining number now under $2500. Your car total declining to under $5000. Your student loan remaining under $35000.

    Things I am less happy to see: that stupid $499 dollar debt that seems to linger no matter how often it is discussed as being removed. No number next to that student loan despite the fact you need to budget $100 towards it in order to make headway in it. As you can see from your original budget in 2014 compound interest is not your friend when it comes to debt.

    Things I am concerned about: My concerns aren’t listed on your debt summary but go back to your budget and it’s process. You need a SAVINGS line item. Life keeps smacking you and you need to be able to respond to it by having this to refer back to. You just depleted your $2000 savings for car related expenses. I am concerned that you will need to stop debt repayment to respond to your next bump it worse revert to that credit card to get through that bump. Your travel related expenses don’t have a line item despite their importance to you. You spent $1700 on your last Texas trip in November and are preparing to repeat the trip. You just bought your son a $400 ticket. My calculations based on last spending say that you will be spending roughly $4000 by year end on things like travel to Texas and two trips each year for your son to spend time with you and siblings. It’s time to give FAMILY TRAVEL a line item.

    Things I question and wonder about: It is close to volley ball season and before you know it camp time will be upon us. Have you reviewed your kid related expenses line item? Is $150 cutting it or are you robbing debt pay down to give Princess extracurriculars. You don’t have to answer me but you should honestly review this. Kid related expenses always seem to creep up with you.

    My goals for you in the next three months: a realistic and sustainable budget that reflects not just debt pay down but what your life looks like. You should have a EMERGENCY SAVINGS line item and a FAMILY TRAVEL line item because you need savings in order to sustain debt pay down and because you enjoy interacting with your parents and believe it is important for your kids to get time with family. You need to set a student loan line item of $100. This will allow you to maintain this number below $35,000 while you work on the other 3 debts. Try to pull that credit card number below $2000 while saving $1000 for an emergency fund in the next three months. You should try to place $350 a month into saving and budget $200 to your card. If you do that you will likely achieve those goals. Your car payment is largely on autopilot and in the next three months will decrease your car loan value to under $4000.
    Extra credit: Find a way to.get rid of the $499 debt that isn’t accruing interest. It’s really a low priority though while savings should be your high priority.

    • Reply Walnut |

      This is great advice. I agree with every word of it.

      More than everything…make sure to prioritize your emergency fund! Having enough cash to pay a few months of rent will help you sleep comfortably at night.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    I have a question for the posters who mentioned student loan forgiveness. Why should anyone have their loans forgiven when they borrowed the money. How is that fair to everyone else?

    • Reply angie |

      Well I agree in theory life just isn’t fair. I think it should be used responsibly for those who need it. Why should we continue to hold back the people who need it the most? I’m sure business owners who go bankrupt don’t feel a moral obligation to use their personal stash to pay off their debt. Businesses do it all the time!

      I paid off nearly 250k in student loans. I took them. I paid them. It’s one thing if you are scamming loan forgiveness ( I’m thinking of the dentist who takes multi year RTW trips and has like 1 million in loans). But if you’re using it because you have lived paycheck to paycheck for ten years that’s completely different in my opinion.

      • Reply jj |

        Kudos to you, that’s an amazing feat. It is sad that you’d be saddled with so much debt just for trying to better yourself and have a future.

    • Reply Drmaddog |

      A lot of these programs are used as incentives to get people to work in underserved areas that are more difficult, less lucrative, etc. (e.g, rural medicine, inner city schools) . What a lot of people don’t know or forget is that with some of these programs, even if you qualify and make your payments, you get a 1099 for the amount forgiven because the IRS considered some types of forgiven debt as income.

      • Reply Cheryl |

        Thanks, my stepdaughter years ago got a loan forgiveness for working for head start in our area. She still has other loans she is paying for but she never told us about paying an taxes.

        • Reply Drmaddog |

          Oh some are completely forgiven and that’s the end of it. But not all. So some people may assume they are all good and end up with a 1099 at the end. Depends on the program.

    • Reply jj |

      You seem to have a real problem with people’s loans being forgiven. So should everyone die with debt they cannot manage???? You understand how interest works, and how it can pile up? And how sometimes people cannot afford their repayments due to other reasons?

      • Reply Cheryl |

        I never realised I wasn’t allowed to ask a question and you were in charge. I asked why can some people just not pay what they owe, not everyone who doesn’t pay can’t afford to.

        • Reply jj |

          You gave off a similar vibe on another post, that’s why I asked you the question. Just because people borrow the money doesn’t mean they can afford it plus the insane interest rates that come along with it. Even people who get good jobs still have tough times paying off their debts. Not everyone is lucky to go right into their field and make the big bucks – life happens. Advocating against debt forgiveness is odd to me, the banks will be fine.

      • Reply Laura |

        You understand these loans aren’t always for tuition? That some people take out more then they need and use it to pay for luxuries? Ashley used her student loan money to go on vacation.
        I support the public loan forgiveness program. But just wiping out the debt after so many years of payments no matter where you work? I can understand why someone wouldn’t like that.

        • Reply jj |

          People who obviously are rich, should be paying off their debt. Many peeps where I live use their loans to travel and buy big items alas, and I don’t feel badly for them. But this poster asked a similar question on the post about her son’s medical bills – like damn, people should not have to pay out the wazoo to educate themselves and live life decently sometimes is what I mean.

    • Reply Akasha |

      “Why should everyone have their loans forgiven” is precisely why I don’t believe those who are “promised” loan forgiveness will actually receive it. I don’t believe anyone who thinks logically actually believes that loan forgiveness after X amount of years will happen. The government wants their money lol. And the term “bettering yourself” pertaining to college degrees is like nails down a chalkboard. People with a college degree aren’t “better”. As for me personally, I have worsened myself by getting it. The “better yourself” idea is why so many people say “oh well, there’s loan forgiveness.” We’ve been conditioned to want a degree no matter what.

  • Reply Drmaddog |

    Some are completely forgiven. But not all of them. It depends on the program.

    Also, I second the suggestion to pay interest payments on your loans. That dentist who made the news because he owes 1 million in student loans and pays on an income based repayment plan – his big mistake was continuing to defer his loans for seven years of training (if I remember correctly) while making zero payments. If he had paid a just the interest that accrued, when he was donewith training, he would have owed what he borrowed, not the interest on interest on interest total he owes now. And I read one article that said because of his program he’ll get a 1099 and a fat tax bill.

  • Reply Drmaddog |

    His big mistake outside of taking out such an enormous quantity of loans to earn a dentists salary in the first place, that is.

    • Reply angie |

      Actually. That guy bought a house in socal. Allowed his wife to be stay at home mom to his 2 kids while he was in dentist school. And goes on helicopter snowboarding trips around the world in his free time. He’s also broken his vertebrae and paid for that without going bankrupt He is gaming the loan forgiveness system to allow him to live his dreams with minimal payments. But the Forbes article or wherever covieniently left out all that incriminating info.

      He is doing it “right” in that hell have retirement savings and a house.

      • Reply drmaddog |

        completely agree. I was glad when I read he’d get a 1099 for his forgiven debt.

  • Reply Den |

    To me it’s simple snowball – get rid of that $499 debt, then throw everything you have at the credit card…..then get rid of the car debt…..and THEN get rid of the student loan.

    Great progress – keep going!

So, what do you think ?