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

Big Garage Sale #1

We’re doing it! We are going to sell most everything we own and moving to Europe. The husband was offered a job and it will be a good way to minimize our stuff and pay off some student loans.

Preparing for the garage sale, I’ve been going through things and pricing them, with my 4 year old’s help. LOL Then I go back through and reprice the really egregious pricing problems. We are planning on holding the garage sale this Saturday to get rid of wave 1 of stuff. I’ve found that we have a ton of buried things we can get at least $100 for. My student loan balances are going down in my head.

Dave Ramsey would be so proud.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Earn Money, Student Loans | , , | Leave a comment

The husband’s student loans are paid off!

About time. I just made the last payment on the husband’s student loans to close them out. That’s the good news anyway. The bad news? We might have to take one more out for $1000. 😦

Here’s the deal. The husband was supposed to finish and defend his PhD thesis this summer. The problem is that you need to be enrolled to defend your thesis so we paid $1000 for 1 credit so he could defend. Then it came out, oops, his committee was out of town for the summer and technically he’d be defending this fall. Now he needs to enroll for another 1 credit class this fall. Since we are moving for his post-doc, cash is a little short – so it looks like he will need to take out a small loan. Or put it on his credit card. Either way, adding to the debt.

July 4, 2009 Posted by | Student Loans | , | Leave a comment

Paying off Husband’s Baby Student Loan

Now that husband is employed and not enrolled in school, it is time to pay his student loans. Good thing they are itty-bitty compared to mine. So I decided to pay off the loans by mystery shopping and writing articles. As the beaucoup bux goes into my paypal account, I will send it off to the loan company.

Husband’s Student Loans

$98.19
$146.09
$160.44

So far I earned $20 hitting the computer store down the street from my house and writing about the interaction. It will take up to 2 months to get the money but when I do get it, off to loan #1…

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Earn Money, Student Loans | , , , | Leave a comment

Applying for College Scholarships

Getting to college seems so much easier these days. Pre-internet, I had no idea where to get scholarships so I ended up taking out a bazillion loans. Now there are websites and CDs with where and how to claim scholarships.

Paying back loans is hard! Writing essays to win scholarships is easy(er)!

Amazon has books, books and more books on the subject.

Scholarships.com also has a free online sign-up for students looking for scholarships.

Trust me, try to avoid the student loans. They. never. go. away.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Student Loans | , | Leave a comment

Too Many Installment Accounts Lowering Credit Score

The credit score sites have a wizard that attempts to tell the customer what is lowering their credit score. The big one on mine appears to be my student loans. For some reason my student loans were broken up into 10 installment accounts. Different kinds of loans I guess, but still. I’ve been paying them off using the Dave Ramsey method of paying the smallest ones first but I still have 7 loans. Now, I don’t really need a higher credit score right now but if I did, I would either have to pay off some more of those loans or consolidate. The last time I looked into consolidation, it looked like some of the benefits of student loans would be erased, such as the ability to easily defer and loan forgiveness in case of death or permanent disability.

I should look into consolidation again.

August 22, 2008 Posted by | credit score, Student Loans | , | Leave a comment

Student Loan APR Decrease

My student loan APR went from 8% down to 5% and I didn’t even notice. Today when I got my statement, I looked it over and noticed the different interest rate. Woo hoo! I wasn’t even trying. 😉 The interest on my student loans is variable so all I can think is a change in the prime rate changed my interest rate.

I did notice some discrepancies with the balances of the student loans so I will have to contact the company tomorrow and ask them about it.

Edited: Received a letter from the student loan company. They lowered my interest rate but didn’t say why. They also sent new coupon books. Between the paid off loan and the lower interest rate, I am saving $60 a month to put toward my debt snowball.

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Student Loans | , , | Leave a comment

Paid In Full Student Loan Letters

Yesterday I got my paid-in-full letter from the student loan I paid off about a month ago. It filled me with gooey happiness to have the letter stating that I have one less loan.

In other news, I checked my credit score and the score calculator said my score is lower because I have too many installment accounts on my credit report. The only installment accounts I have are my student loans but I had 7 of them. Now I have 6. Don’t know if this will raise my credit score but I’ll check and report back.

July 8, 2008 Posted by | credit score, Student Loans | , | 1 Comment

Stimulus Check is Here

Our stimulus check finally arrived. A friend of mine didn’t receive hers, something about a screw up that will be fixed in July. Too bad since she needed to buy a new washing machine unexpectedly. Ours arrived last week and it was for the expected amount too!

I expected to put all of it toward our debt but I think I will take a little bit out for a couple of things. Err, I mean to stimulate the economy. I bought some shelves for the kid’s room because her toys swallowed the floor and I thought she might sleep better if her room wasn’t so chaotic. lol That implies she sleeps in her room which just is not the case. I’m hoping to transition her to her room though and in my mind shelves will help. The other thing I want to buy her is a bike. Used of course. She won’t care though, she is 3.

The rest of the money will go toward our debt. Since I like crossing off lines in my spreadsheet, I am planning off husband’s smallest student loan ($98). I will probably put a couple of hundred toward one of my student loans so that it goes to the next lowest thousand mark. The rest will go to the car loan.

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt Snowball, Earn Money, Splurges, Student Loans | , , , | Leave a comment

June Goal Update

Two goals attained! I just called and paid in full one student loan and added $21 to my debt snowball.

In the mail today I got a statement for the car loan. Apparently husband owes $8090.33 to the car that I hate. Oh well. I will attack it soon.

Also in the mail today I got a letter from the government saying my stimulus check is in the mail.
With all the people paying off debt I am not too sure how stimulating this plan is.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt Snowball, Student Loans | , , | 1 Comment