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Posts tagged with: IBR



That was my immediate thought when I opened my email inbox to discover THIS message waiting for me inside.

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 7.17.53 AM

So there’s that. ACS (with whom I’ve never ever had a single issue) has sold my loans to Navient (with whom I’ve had multiple and ongoing issues). So that’s good.

I’ve got a couple months until the transition is complete, but I’m really contemplating what to do regarding my loans.

I’m still set on my current plan: focusing predominantly on my car loan, while also paying aggressively on my balance-transfer student loan. But, ugh! My passionate hatred for my student loan company makes me wish I could just write a check, pay them all off, and never deal with them again.

My Income Based Repayment (IBR) renewal is on the horizon as well, and once I submit our 2014 tax information I’m anticipating that my monthly payments will be going up a bit. I’m really not sure by how much (side note: one good thing is that they take into consideration income AND expenses…although our income went up in 2014 compared to 2013, so did our childcare expenses. We were paying $600/month when I initially applied for IBR, but we currently pay nearly double that, so hopefully that will help offset the increased income a bit in determining our monthly payment obligations).

Random question (I’m sure I could call and ask but thought I’d throw it out here)… for anyone else who has done IBR payments, when you renew does your payment immediately change or does it not change until the end of the year? I ask because I don’t have to renew until August, but I’m getting emails to renew now. Just wondered if I went ahead and renewed now if my payment would immediately change or if the change wouldn’t go into effect until August.

Ashley’s August Debt Update


It’s been awhile since my last debt update! (See previous from 1.5 months ago here)

Updating all the numbers really makes me feel at peace with my decision to switch my student loans from deferment into income based repayment (IBR). We’ve been putting so much money toward debt, and yet the overall figure of money owed has barely dented because the student loan balances have been continuing to rise (since they continue accumulating interest). My ACS loan IBR went into effect in July, but August will be the first month of IBR for my Sallie Mae loans. So hopefully this will put an end to the climbing balances since unpaid interest will be forgiven (on the subsidized loans).

With that said, let’s look at my big debt picture. Note that the balances reflect the amount owed at the end of July/beginning of August (after July payments had been made, before any August payments have been made).

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRMinimum DueJuly Payment Made 
Capital One CC$017.9%--
Mattress Firm$00%--
Wells Fargo CC$013.65%--
BoA CC$07.24%--
License Fees$40152.7%551069
PenFed Car Loan$223772.49%411411
Sallie Mae - Federal Student Loans$44598.25%6262
Sallie Mae - Dept of Ed$56668.5%00
ACS Student Loans$211647.24%246247
Sallie Mae - Dept of Ed$661147%00
Medical Bills$69310%150150

*Note: The “July payment made” in the license fee category only reflects the regular snowball payment for July. An additional $500 was put toward license fees from June’s surplus funds that are not included in the monthly payment figure.

I asked for your feedback regarding focusing my snowball toward my car loan (what I’m calling my “race to 20K“) or my higher-interest Sallie Mae student loans. Although there were advocates of each, I think most people were advocates of focusing on the student loan debt first. However, ALL said that whatever I decide to focus on (either the car or the student loans), that I should not split my causes (and try to pay money toward each). Everyone was pretty much in agreement that I should pay minimums of whatever is the non-focus and put all extra money toward the one current priority.

I think I still prefer to pay the car off first (and be free of consumer debt forever!!!!!!!). I mentioned that I have been making minimum payments toward 3 different medical entities for bills incurred during my husband’s mystery illness (from back in Nov-Dec 2013 timeframe). Two should be paid in full within about another 4-ish months and will free up $150 in payments. Instead of snowballing that toward the car, I may move that money toward the student loans. That way I’m not putting extra money toward the student loans, but its like I’m just moving my minimum payment from one entity to another. I’m not married to this idea, but its something I’ve been batting around.

But before I can turn my attention to the next debt down the list (either the car or the student loans), we first have to eradicate the license fees. Husband and I are having a budget meeting tonight to see where we’re at financially after such a painfully expensive month of July. I plan to have a budget update up by Monday.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Let me know what you think if you haven’t chimed in yet – focus on student loans or on the car? I keep going back-and-forth (obviously), but I’m still leaning toward tackling the car. I know its a higher amount and lower APR, but it just feels like something tangible that, once paid, we can say is OURS (as opposed to student loans….which I pay and feel like nothing has changed since I’ve got my degree either way). I think the psychological boost of crossing another debt off the list is nice, but I also think the car is a much more rewarding goal. Decisions, decisions…