One of the main reasons that I started this blog was to prevent others from repeating the same mistakes that I did. If we can learn from others or help out others, why not do that? One of the reasons that I did end up with such a large student loan balance was the fact that I really never had any bills to pay, and I didn’t understand how my student loans would translate as a monthly expense. This doesn’t excuse any of my decisions or choices, it’s simply the truth. I had never taken a personal finance course in high school, and everyone basically told me to go to my school of choice. The intentions were good from all sides, but I could have been more informed to make a better decision. I’m hoping that I can help others make a more informed decision with an Excel spreadsheet I have created.
It’s finally done with. Done with my student loans? No, not quite. But I will never have to deal with FedLoan Servicing ever again. I received my bonus from work this month and decided to go all in on my student loans with that extra income. I expected to completely pay off one of my government loans this month as it only had a $200 balance remaining after last month. Being able to pay off both government loans completely was just icing on the cake. Unfortunately I did run into some issues a few days ago that ruined my budgeting for the month, but I won’t focus on that right now. I filed my taxes recently too so when I receive my tax returns in April that should easily cover the cost of the setback. It feels great though, this is a goal that I have been working towards for a long time now. Going forward I will now only have a single loan payment to make each month.
Is Winter over yet? Sadly the answer to that in my area is a solid no, as we are still dealing with extremely cold weather waiting for Spring to come. Luckily even though that has made me not want to leave my house, it has not prevented me from paying my student loans. Probably because one of my payments is automated, and I make my payments on the internet anyways! Even if I did have to run to the bank to make those payments, you know I’d be one of the first in line. I continued to make good progress in February as I get closer and closer to paying off all my government student loans.
If you have any private student loans, one of the best ways to save money on them is by refinancing your student loans. I have refinanced my loans not just once, but twice through two different banks. I was able to bring my interest rate down from 7.92% to it’s current 5.49%. Even if you are only able to save a few hundred dollars, I think it is worth the short amount of time to fill out an application. This two percent drop in interest will save me thousands of dollars over the life of these loans. I’m hoping to be able to share some banks and servicers that you can use to get student loan refinancing. This list will make it easier for those looking to do the same thing that I did – save money on your private student loans through refinancing!
It’s the first month of 2015, and that also mean it’s my first student loan payment for the year. 2014 was a year of great progress for me as I put $27,000 towards the principal on my loans. I was as diligent at tracking my numbers in 2013, but after adding everything up it looks like I put around $21,000 towards my principal from May going forward which makes sense when you add up the numbers. Before I started blogging around then I had only made the minimum payments. My payments had started in December 2012 after the six month grace period, so realistically I had probably only knocked off a few hundred dollars before the first giant payment in May of 2013.