Aug 06

FedLoan Servicing is Terrible

If your student loans happen to get bought by FedLoan Servicing I have one word of advice for you: run! Run far, far away! But you probably have the same stories about your loan servicing company, so is there anywhere you can actually run to? It has been nothing but headaches since I first found my loans were being bought by them from Direct Loans.
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Jul 27

Frugal Tips: Dorco USA Review

One of the things that I see as a necessity, but used to hate paying for was razors and razor blades. They seem so simple to make, they have been around forever, and are obviously mass produced. Yet they always seemed to cost a fortune! If you go into your local CVS or Walgreens, you may even find that the razor blades are locked up because they are so damn expensive. That seemed a little ridiculous to me.
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Jul 25

New Student Loan Agreement on the Horizon

It seems like Congress is finally closing in on an agreement to and while it doesn’t solve the underlying problem (the easy source of money giving colleges an incentive to keep increasing tuition), they claim it will solve the problem of certain interest rates jumping from 3.4% to 6.8%.

This agreement will tie the interest rates to the market rate, or the 10-Year Treasury note plus 2.05% in interest rates which should set the rates at 3.85% [1]. At face value this seems fair, but I personally think it should really be a 1% increase over the 10-Year Treasury. The less graduates are paying on interest, the more money they can potentially spend in the economy sooner – things like cars and houses. Someone making large monthly payments towards student loans are highly unlikely to be getting a mortgage anytime soon.

The interest rates would be capped as well at 8.5%, 9.5%, and 10.% for undergraduates, graduates, and parents respectively. It would be nice if these caps were lower, but at least students will be paying the “market” rate instead of 6.8% while mortgages are at an all time low. If the Fed continues to keep interest rates at all time lows, student borrowers in the near future should be able to hang onto these low rates.

The part about this plan that I don’t like is the fact that students are being used for profit by the government. It already sucks that private loan companies exist to do this, but hey that’s what business is designed to do right? The federal government should not be doing that! The aim for this program, in it’s current existance, should absolutely to be to break even or make minimal profit as a buffer.

This will generate about $184B in revenue for the federal government, coming directly from students. There will also be an estimated additional $715M in revenue that is specifically going to be used for reducing the deficit [2]! Due to Congress’ own stupidity, they are going to be using us to pay for their budget mistakes from the same people they should be investing in – not taking from. Maybe Congress should stop wasting our money first before taking more money?

I guess we will have to wait and see what Congress ends up doing and if this plan actually does get approved. Unfortunately for future students I think it may take the Student Loan bubble bursting for the actual source of the problem to be solved.
Photo credit: Nastassia Davis [www.nastassiadavis.com] / Foter / CC BY-NC

Jul 24

Student Loan Progress – July 2013

As I was preparing to write this post, I was starting to feel a little burnt out about my debt again. But I have to realize that I’m making progress and keep pushing towards my goal to be debt free. I’m treating it like like as much of an emergency as possible with every last dollar going towards my goal! Since I’ve started this blog I’m doing much better and trying to put a minimum of $2,000 towards the loans each month.

This is where I stood at the end of June:

Loan
 Loan Amount 
Interest Rate
Private 1  $ 26,053.92 7.92%
Private 2  $ 19,971.82 7.92%
Private 3  $ –   7.92%
Private 4  $ 3,532.69 7.35%
Gov 1  $ 22,118.82 5.22%
Gov 2  $ 7,566.56 6.80%
Total  $ 79,243.81

You may remember that I was a little disapointed that my government loans had switched providers, so I was not able to make any payments on them last month. This led to me only putting $1,500 towards my private loans when in reality I could have put a full $2,000. I also thought my expenses would be higher last month with my camping trip, but I think they will actually up being high this month. Go figure!

Here are the payments I made for July:

Loan
 Loan Amount 
 Change 
Interest Rate
Private 1  $ 24,485.37  $ (1,568.55) 7.92%
Private 2  $ 19,919.49  $ (52.33) 7.92%
Private 3  $ –    $ –   7.92%
Private 4  $ 3,506.12  $ (26.57) 7.35%
Gov 1  $ 3,773.04 3.40%
Gov 2  $ 3,309.66 6.80%
Gov 3  $ 5,200.81 4.50%
Gov 4  $ 2,010.27 6.80%
Gov 5  $ 5,270.84 5.60%
Gov 6  $ 2,129.04 6.80%
Gov 7  $ 4,312.47 6.00%
Gov 8  $ 3,322.53  $ (356.72) 6.80%
Total  $ 77,239.64  $ (2,004.17)

As you may have noticed, my new provider has now split all my government loans up individually. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but may be more helpful in the long run. I’ll be able to target each loan individually in order of highest interest rate and it will be more of a psychological victory as I eliminate each one.

I paid about $2,500 in total towards my loans this month. I’m still working on completely paying off Private Loan #1 and I’m slowly making progress on that. The $356 you see for the government loans is in total, next month I will be able to show each individual loan. The $2,000 towards the principal was good progress compared to last month. Hopefully next month will bring more of the same!