Student Loan Progress – September 2014

Fall is finally here, and though I’m not looking forward to the Winter I do enjoy Fall almost as much as I enjoy Summer. I’ve continued with my steady pace of paying off my student loans this month, using the avalanche method (mostly) of paying back the highest interest loans first. My strategy has changed a bit in recent months as I try to eliminate minimum payments in anticipation of moving out, but I’m still targeting the highest interest loans out of my government loans. Unfortunately my private loan remains the largest loan and highest interest loan, but the balance is a bit too high to be able to pay this off and move out early next year.

I continued targeting Government Loan 7, which should be paid off next month barring any major financial setbacks. I was so close this month, but I didn’t want to push it as spending has been somewhat high this Summer and next month I’ll be going camping again so I’d rather keep on the same pace so I don’t stretch my budget out too much!

Next month I plan on moving the bulk on my payment towards government loan 5 because obviously I’ll be able to pay off #7 with around $200, maybe even less. If you recall I’m trying to put $2300 towards my loans each month with $500 going towards the private loan and then $1800 going towards my government loans. That will mean I should end up putting $1400-$1500 towards government loan 5 putting me closer to paying that loan off as well.

Here are what my goals look like after making my September payments though:

Main Goal: $20,000 Principal Reduction: $21,151.52 so far = DONE!
Stretch Goal: $25,000 Principal Reduction $21,151.52 so far = 84.6%
Extra Goal: $30,000 Principal Reduction $21,151.52 so far = 70.5%

So I have completed my original goal of paying $20,000 towards my loan this year! It feels pretty awesome and even though I knew months ago I would be hitting this goal (and added the other goals accordingly) it’s a pretty huge milestone to know I put that much towards my debt this year. I’m also on pace to hit my stretch goal as the September payment puts us 3/4 through the year, and I’m 84% of my goal. I should be able to hit that goal in November and then surpass it in December.

I’ve fallen behind on my extra goal, as I should now be at 75% of that goal but I’m not worried about that as I’m still pushing as hard as I can to pay off $30,000 of my loans this year. If I can hit that goal it will be somewhat of a double milestone as I’ll hit $30,000 paid and my total remaining loan balance will also be around $30,000, proving to myself that I could actually become debt free in 2015 at the current pace. Whether or not I hit that extra goal all depends on how my spending for the rest of the year goes, and how much “extra” cash I end up with. Then the decision comes down to putting that money towards my loans, or putting it into my Roth IRA like I did last year.

For now I won’t worry about that and just continue paying off my loans on the same schedule and seeing where things fall into place 🙂

6 thoughts on “Student Loan Progress – September 2014

    • Thanks, now if only I could have a machine make the money for the payments as well 😉 I probably won’t become debt free in 2015 as I plan on moving out next year, but it’s nice to know I could in my current situation and the pace I’m going.

  1. I continually find it amazing that “regular” people are paying down such tremendous debt. Whether it is student debt, consumer or mortgage I find it fascinating at how well everyone is when it comes to managing their debt. Keep doing what your’re doing and look forward to your next update and progress. By the way, once debt free do you plan on investing in stocks/real estate or something else?

    • Thanks, I appreciate the motivation! I might be a little different than a “regular” person in the fact that I still live at home, but the logic and strategy still apply even if the actual numbers wouldn’t be as large.

      I’ve actually started investing already even if it may be a bit foolish since I have guaranteed return on my student loans. Since the stock market went crazy it actually ended up being a good decision the year before though. I maxed out my Roth IRA last year in this year, and I’m currently just invested in a Vanguard Target retirement fund. I’m also putting 8% into my 401k and getting a 3% match (I get that on 6%, but bumped it up a bit when I received a raise). I posted a mid-year update if you were interested: http://www.fromdebttodreams.com/retirement-accounts-update-mid-2014/

      For now I’ll stick with index fund investing, but I do read other strategies like your blog and a few other dividend investing blogs. Real estate is probably out of the picture in the near future as well.

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