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Posts tagged with: paying student loan with a balance transfer

Navient Issues


Thank you so much for your encouragement and support on my posts this past Monday (first post about paying off 2 additional debts and the second post about doing a balance transfer to pay off a high interest student loan). I was expecting a bit of backlash but overwhelmingly received lots of virtual high fives and words of support. Thank you!!!

So I just have to tell you what I’ve been dealing with this month with my student loan company, Navient. It just further solidifies my feelings that this balance transfer was the RIGHT move for us.

To back up a bit…remember this post? I wrote about how I wanted to pay extra on certain loans (and not on others) and how it would require me to make an additional payment (after the minimum payment was already applied) which would be applied equally to all loans, and then I’d have to call and have the payment re-applied only to the loans I requested. This process would have to happen every single month.

WELLLL…..let me just tell you about the extreme headache I’ve had dealing with Navient just for this balance transfer…

I’m currently 6 calls deep and over 2 hours of time invested in the process. This is because (surprise, surprise) the balance transfer was incorrectly applied toward the WRONG loan. My initial call was simply to have the funds moved to the correct loan.

“It will take 5 business days.”

A week later, no changes. I call again.

“It will be done by the end of business tomorrow.”

I check back. No changes.

“It will be done by the end of business today.”

I check back. This time the payment has been REMOVED from the wrong loan….but nothing has been applied toward the correct loan. It’s like that payment is just gone.

I call again.

“It should be done by the end of business tomorrow.” (seeing a pattern here?)

No changes. I call again.

“So weird. It shows like it was done on our end. There was some type of glitch in the system. I’m going to get my supervisor involved.”

38 minutes later (that’s the actual time from my cell phone record)….no change. According to the person, “it should be done by end of business today.”

LoL. Yeah. I won’t hold my breath, buddy.

Eventually it WILL get sorted out. Now it’s been well over 10 days, but I’ve been assured that since the error is on THEIR end that I won’t be charged for any interest that has continued to accrue (my payment was for the full 10-day payoff amount as of 4/2…but with interest the loan balance has continued to creep up).

So the moral of the story is that I am over the moon thrilled that I came to realize that balance transfers are the way to go for us. This issue is a one-time thing (sure, it’s taking a long time to resolve, but once its resolved it will be over and done!) I cannot even imagine trying to fight this battle every single month. It’d be enough to put me in the loony bin (or just give up on paying extra only toward certain loans!)

I did have a question that I wanted to address about my loans….

I do currently pay extra on my Navient Federal Loan. The way the system is set up, it groups all my Department of Education loans together (which is why its incredibly difficult to pay extra on just a single loan). But my Navient Federal loan (I only have one, not multiple) is separate. So it’s totally easy-peasy to pay extra on it. My Federal Loan is my other highest interest loan (at 8.25%…I think I’d accidentally said it was 8.5% somewhere else, but that was incorrect). The minimum payment is $16/month and I’ve been paying $116/month for the past several months (see debt payments here). My plan is to continue to pay extra on that loan both because of the higher interest rate and also because its easy for me to do so in the online system. My balance transfer loan, however, will be paid a little more aggressively (since it HAS to be paid within 12 months to avoid a huge interest penalty). So the plan is to continue paying $116/month on the federal loan, and to pay $500/month on the balance transfer loan (which was originally 1-01 on my Department of Education Loans listed in this post).

I owe you a debt update (coming on Monday), but if you want to see balances and APRs of my other debts, my last debt update post (from March) can be found right here….and my Pandora’s Box post, where I finally separate all of my department of education loans, can be found here.

So there you go. I just wanted to add a little bit of detail and clarification here and to reinforce my opinion that this balance transfer was absolutely the right move for us!

Thanks for your continued support and encouragement along the way!

Have you ever struggled to pay extra toward certain loans? How’d you solve the problem?

A new twist


This morning I shared the exciting news that I’ve finally paid off two more of our debts! YAY!!!!

I’m sure many of you wonder(ed) what this means in terms of our order of debt attack. Which debt will we target next?

Financial folks have made a strong case for turning our attention to the student loan debt (due to the super high interest rate). I’ve maintained my opinion that the car loan debt is more personally motivating and, therefore, my favored option.

About a month ago I finally broke down my largest student loan debt into all of its constituent parts, showing you exactly how high each debt is and what its associated interest rate is (see here).

I studied all our debts, interest rates, etc. After much thought and consideration, hubs and I have decided to do something a bit drastic with my highest interest rate student loan that is sure to be a bit controversial.

We decided to do a balance transfer.


The deed’s already been done. I called all my credit cards to see whom would do a balance transfer on a student loan (many will not), and found that my Capital One card would be willing to do a transfer at 0% APR for 12 months, with a 2% initiation fee. I sat on it for several days, called back 2 separate times to ask about getting a reduced initiation fee (which they declined), and finally decided to do it anyway. My highest APR student loan is 8.5%, with a balance of $5,820.95. To this I’ve added the initiation fee ($116.42) for a total balance of $5937.37. To pay this in full within 12 months I’ll be adding a $500 monthly debt to my debt list (in addition to my other student loans, the last remaining medical bill, and my car loan).

Being that I’ve knocked out so many other debts, I feel completely comfortable with the 12-month timeline. There is absolutely nothing that will prevent us from being able to pay this loan in full by the time April 2016 rolls around. In the meantime, I’ll also continue paying extra on my car loan, while paying lower amounts (just enough to cover interest) on my remaining student loans.

I like this balanced approach for several reasons:

  • It gives me a smaller, more manageable-sized debt to deal with.
  • It will save me hundreds of dollars in interest.
  • It makes it easy to pay extra toward this single loan (instead of having to call Navient every month to try to apply funds toward this account, I simply apply money toward my Capital One card online, which is super easy since I also have a Capital One 360 account <<refer a friend link).
  • It allows me to continue making big progress on my car loan (which is my personal preference) while also simultaneously making big progress on my highest interest rate student loan (which is the more financially sound decision).

Now, I want to acknowledge that doing a balance transfer to pay off a student loan is inherently risky. Stephanie from Six Figures Under has actually written several posts on the topic that I think do a great job of explaining the pros and cons, and in ultimately defending her position of doing the same thing (she and her husband have now successfully paid off one balance transfer and have just initiated a second balance transfer).

Doing a balance transfer to pay off student loan debt is not for everyone. I’m in a unique situation in that I have a lot of extra wiggle room in our debt payoff budget. Our minimum payments are now down to $478/month (that’s $453 minimum on student loans, and $25 minimum on medical bills; I have no payment due on the car loan until April 2016). My goal is to keep paying $2,000+ toward debt each month. But if we got in a bind, it’d be very easy for me to reduce extra debt payments in favor of getting this balance transfer loan paid off quickly.

So there’s my reasoning and rationale about the topic. I fully understand that some of you will simply be against balance transfers no matter what (and it’s your right to have whatever opinion you want on the matter). But for me and my family, this is the right choice. I’ll finally be taking my student loans off the back-burner to become a bit more of a priority. I’ll simultaneously continue making big strides with my car loan debt and will continue chipping away at our other remaining debts. I’ll also be saving a ton of money on interest. It’s a win-win-win all around!

Have you ever successfully completed a balance transfer before? What was your experience like?