PinchingPennies

Saving money to pay off student loans and consumer debt

Credit Cards and Student Loan Debt Oh My!

Or an update.

My student loan balances have been going down steadily but the credit cards have been a bit of a challenge. When we moved, I had to put part of the move on the credit cards and paying down the balances has been slow going. If I was following Dave Ramsey, he’d say to pay off my smallest student loan to gain momentum and then pay off all debt from smallest to largest. I tend to pay things off from the biggest interest rate to the smallest but that would put my student loans dead last.

Since my smallest student loan is “only” around $600, I think I will focus on knocking that one off first. Maybe Dave Ramsey will be right and it will get the ball rolling so to speak. Even if he is wrong and I am still discouraged, that student loan will never come back the way my credit card balances did. 😦

Updated my debt chart to keep myself honest.

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April 3, 2011 Posted by | Credit Cards, Student Loans | , , | Leave a comment

Using a Credit Card After Balance Transfer

The introductory 0% interest rate on my credit card is coming to an end. I have the money in savings to pay it off but since I was laid off, I think it might be more prudent to transfer the balance to another 0% interest. That brought up an interesting point.

If the husband or I make any charges on that credit card, we will have to pay off the 0% interest balance, all the while paying the interest on the charges.

So let’s say the balance transfer is for $1500 at 0% until next May. The husband charges car repairs for $100 on the same card at 10% interest. We will be paying 10% interest on the full $100 until we pay the big balance off or until next May when we start paying interest on that too.

The credit card with the balance transfer will have to just sit there until the balance is paid off, whenever that might be.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards | , , | Leave a comment

Husband’s Credit Score Went Up 12 Points

Time to go yacht shopping. lol

The only change to his credit report, I think, is the payoff on the AMEX card. It lowered his utilization which on his revolving accounts was pretty high. He has a couple of old dings that I am researching on the Credit Board forums. I am pretty sure I can get those off with a little work. Not that it really matters, we don’t plan on taking out any loans or opening any cards. We are just being prepared.

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Credit, Credit Cards | , , | Leave a comment

$4924.11 Paid To Date

Since I started this blog, I have paid off $4924.11 not counting husband’s car loan. I have completely paid off one credit card and have most of the money for the other one in savings. Next week I will pay off more and try and get details out of husband about his car loan. Also next week I will pay off one of my student loans and at least one of the husbands. I am so excited I can barely contain myself.

According to my trusty spreadsheet, we still owe: $30,943.42 – mostly to student loan companies.

Link to the the details.

May 31, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards, Debt, Student Loans | , , | 3 Comments

Opening ING Direct Savings

After I deposited my tax refund, I opened an ING Direct savings account. Since I got a referral, they added $25 to my savings account for making an initial deposit of $250. I deposited $750 that will go toward paying off the WAMU credit card after the interest starts accruing in November. Until then I will be earning interest on the money. OK, very little interest given the current interest rates but still.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards, savings | , , | Leave a comment

AMEX is Paid Off!

Hurrah for tax returns! I just sent off a payment to AMEX that brings our balance down to 0 and frees up $100 a month for our debt snowball. Dave Ramsey is right about how good it feels to pay off a debt and have one less payment each month.

Husband pays for the AMEX card out of his account so I will have him redirect the $100 per month to the car loan.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards | , , | Leave a comment

AMEX Lowers Our APR and Refunds 3 Months Interest

Husband called today to ask about the interest rate on his AMEX card. It has been pretty high for a while because he would pay late occasionally until he set up automatic bill pay for the minimum amount. After a minimal amount of nagging, husband called to ask them to lower the interest rate.

He calls and asks, “I want to find out my interest rate.” That is it. AMEX customer service goes into Defcon 1. The cs person looks at the interest rate, lowers it 10% and apologizes. Then he offers to refund the difference in interest rate for the last 3 months. The refund will be applied in 24 to 48 hours and then I will have a payoff amount for the card.

Doing a happy dance. *yay*

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards | , , , | Leave a comment

Making Husband giddy

Paying $1000 off the AMEX card has made husband positively ecstatic. He walked in the office this morning after checking the balance online talking about making an extra payment so the balance is below $2000 (currently $2027.27) for the first time in ages. Dave Ramsey is right about one thing, psychology of debt paying is important.

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards | , | Leave a comment

$1000 Goes To American Express

I just sent $1000 off to AMEX to pay down husband’s credit card. Although the new balance looks pretty nice, sending $1000, even electronically, is psychologically difficult. Now I have a little more than $8000 in the savings account which will go down quite a bit once we decide what to do with our car.

Someone offered us $5500 for the car today which is about $3000 less than we owe. Ouch. We might be keeping this car for a while. I’ll list it on Craigslist and see what happens.

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Credit Cards, Debt | , , | Leave a comment

Paying Wamu Credit Card in Cash

Wamu’s credit card FAQ tells of ways to pay our credit card online but I didn’t see a way to pay at a branch in cash. So I email the good people at Wamu to ask about paying cash at a local branch.

It can take up to 24 days to be posted to your account!

The powers that be at Wamu really don’t want cash. You would think with the latest news that their credit is downgraded, they would welcome a little cash.

March 15, 2008 Posted by | Credit Cards, Debt | , | Leave a comment