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Debt Update & Automating Payments on my Student Loan


I have decided to automate my debt payments. Maybe automate isn’t the right way to say it…

For my student loan, which requires a minimum monthly payment of $307, I have decided to pay $100 per week. By breaking down the payment every week, it helps me get ahead a little bit at a time, saves on interest, I think, and at the end of month all my bills are paid and there are no large payments. (Well, except rent, and I think it would irritate my landlord to receive weekly payments.)

I guess this is still a bit muddled still in my head. But I’ve decided to give it a try…

I’ve scheduled $100 to go towards my student loan every Saturday. My pay hits for my work through Upwork on Thursdays. Therefore, I have a couple of days to make any changes if the need should arise. But by the end of the first month, I should be almost an hundred dollars ahead. And I’m assuming they will be putting it all toward principle, but I’m going to have to watch to see how it goes.

$100 per week x 52 weeks = $5,200 towards my student loans

Student Loan: Current balance is $33,779

That’s definitely not gazelle fast on pay off, but definitely more than the minimum and when I have several months of abundant workload, I can put some extra toward it.

I’m planning on doing the same thing with my car loan…but I’m thinking of doing $250 per week on it. I have to finish my new budget to see if this is sustainable for me though. But I won’t start it until the new year.

$250 x 52 weeks in the year = $13,000 towards the car.

Car Loan: Current balance is $19,492

That’s not too shabby. I am definitely slowly digging myself out of this mess.



  • Reply SB |

    Please check with both on how their payments work as a lot of times if companies do not get the full payment they don’t count it toward the payment and just as additional principle. You don’t want your weekly payments to not get counted as a payment.

  • Reply Alice |

    You should NEVER assume they will do the right thing and apply that payment toward principle. I can almost assure you that it’s going to count as a prepayment of the next payment due. You’ll have to call them and have them apply it the correct way.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    Hope, several times to have provided examples here of how you have assumed the best of companies and programs (your son’s dial enrollment comes to mind), only to find that things didn’t work as you had thought. Please do confirm with the lenders how they will apply your payments with your proposed payment schedule.

    While I applaud you for wanting to aggressively pay down your car loan, that is $1000 PER MONTH! That’s far more than the rent for the roof over your head. Wouldn’t you rather be putting $1000 per month in your retirement fund, towards a home purchase, or to give your more time to spend with family in this time of grandma’s health struggles? It’s too late now for this car, but perhaps this will guide you the next time you make a large purchase.

  • Reply scarr |

    I paid off my student loans in two years by making extra payments each payday (in addition to the monthly payment). For all extra payments . . .
    Every. Single. Time.

    I am not joking.

    • Reply scarr |

      FYI these were paid off in 2016 and the loan companies are operating the same way. You have to call them for all extra payments so they are applied correctly.

    • Reply Sarah |

      There is no “LIKE” button! Thanks for the laugh (though I know you are serious and it is not a joking matter)!

    • Reply Emily N. |

      Wow, that sounds incredibly frustrating! I wonder if this is normal for loan companies. For both mine and my husband’s student loan servicers (Navient and Nelnet) we were able to to designate online whether extra payments go toward principle or advance the due date.

  • Reply gmtb |

    My student loan provider will never, ever apply extra amounts towards principal unless they are called in every. Single. Time. Not kidding.

  • Reply Megan |

    Just chiming in with the crowd. Never assume anything about student loans. I always had to double check online and often had to call if I did anything beyond the standard once a month payment.

  • Reply angie |

    I’m all for adding extra payments to your loans. But you’re asking for trouble by paying $100 weekly on your student loan. Your monthly payment is $307. So you HAVE to make all 4 payments or else you will be delinquent. Depending on the timing of the payments and statements, I could see this getting 5 payments one month and 3 payments the next, causing an error in your loans. If you want to send extra, the best way to do it would be to keep the minimum payment of $307 on autodraft once a month. Then send in $25 weekly or $50 biweekly for the extra. That way you know you won’t miss any payments. And you’ll still be eligible for any auto-debt interest rate deductions.

    I also agree with all other commentors. Never assume they will add it to the principal. You need to identify it as that every single time. I figured out the only way my loan would apply to principal would be if I sent in paper checks with “PRINCIPAL PAYMENT” in the subject line. So I sent paper checks in every single time, sometimes as much as 15/month.

  • Reply Canadian_Sadie |

    How I did this when I started getting my payments organized, was that I opened a separate account that all my payments came out of and paid my bi-weekly payments into it–with a little bit extra. That way, I just scheduled my full payment to come out on the due-date, and I could choose to make extra payments to whomever I wanted when I had a bit of money accumulate in the account.

    This made a HUGE impact on my not missing any payment due-dates and accumulating late fees; but also on my self-esteem as I was able to see a bit of extra money starting to accumulate. Eventually I was able to get a full month ahead on my payments and have the money just sitting there waiting–just in case. Anything extra, got paid down on a debt.

    The peace of mind was worth every extra $0.50 I put in there. For the record, this is STILL the method I use today, nearly 20 years later.

    I’m so proud of you and how you must be feeling about your change in circumstances 🙂 You’ve worked hard to get where you are–keep up the good work. Happy new year!

So, what do you think ?