May or Bust!

Okay, January was a total let down.  I underestimated the powers of VSAC and made absolutely NO progress last month in the race to pay off these student loans. Dissapointed?  Yeah, me too.  I’ll explain.  First, the lame numbers…

27 Month Progress

  • Starting Debt: $41,868.53 (Nov  ’12)
  • Debt Today: $10,347.06
  • Total Debt Paid Off: $31,521.47

If you look back to last month’s numbers, you’ll see I barely made a dent.

January Review

  • Starting Balance: $10,408.41
  • End Balance:  $10,347.06
  • Payments Made: $90.35
  • Interest Paid: $29.15
  • Principle Paid: $61.20

I know… seriously sad, sad, sad numbers.  And it looks even worse when put on the graph…

Capture

Red = goal, Blue = loans remaining to be paid

Of the past 2-1/2 years, this is my worst month to date.  Not good timing, seeing as I’m only 5 months away from my goal date!  So why did I fall off the wagon?  Well, this month, the goal was to pay off the next loan on my list, a mere $1800 one too.  Well, this is the first of the VSAC loans I’ve paid off, and it isn’t setup the same as Sallie Mae (now Navient) online.  When I paid off other loans with Sallie Mae (all those pretty crossed off ones), I could pay them online (I make all my payments for everything online) thru their website and it asks you which loan you’d like the extra payment to go towards.  Easy peasy.

Capture

VSAC on the other hand, just allows you to pick an amount to pay, and they dispurse it among the loans.  So, I wrote up a letter and a check, explaining which loan I’d like the $ to go towards. Being conscious about what $ I had in the bank, I didn’t send the check until later in the month, guaranteeing the $ would be in there within a day or two, when the letter would probably arrive at VSAC.  And I only made the minimum payments on loans in January, thinking I was using all my money to pay off this loan.  Hence, the itty bitty numbers this month, boo! Three weeks later (today), the payment finally cleared on their website.

In the meantime, I filed my taxes.  I was hoping for at least $3k, and getting the refund by March, and that’s how I planned to pay off the big $4k loan I have coming up on the list.  Luckily for me, my federal refund came quickly(the biggest of the three – yes, three.  Since I worked in Mass & VT this year, I had to file with both states… we won’t get into that mess tho!).  So, even before that first check cleared, I sent another $2k check to pay off the ‘February loan.’ So, technically, I’m not behind at all.  Just held up a little bit.  Oh and since I sent that check a week ago, it sure as heck better clear before March!

Loan Pay Off Plan

  • January February: Pay Off Loan C (payment cleared today!)
  • February: Pay Off Loan B (payment sent last week)
  • March: Pay Off Loan A (Work Bonus & State Tax returns & usual $1800/mo)
  • April: Pay Off Loan 1-04 (usual $1800/mo)
  • May: Pay off Loan 1-03 (usual $1800/mo)

So, although January was a dud, it’s only mid February and I’ve already sent out the check for paying off the loans for this month, which catches me up to my goal of paying off one loan a month til May.  Now, I just save up until I have the whopping $4k for March’s big loan pay off. I can usually save up to $1800 a month, plus I have my work bonus and state tax returns coming to me, so shouldn’t be a problem at all!

I’m way to optimistic for such a lame report.. 😛 I bet if I keep $ tight, I might get those two last pesky ones paid off before the end of May!  I am soooo ready for these loans to be gone, so I can start hoarding money away for a down payment… house, here we come!!  Hopefully in 7-8 months, I’ll be blogging from my very own office!!!  It’s sooo close now that i’m getting antsy to pay these off so you can imagine how frustrating this past month was for me, urgh!

I’ll be back in 2-3 weeks with a MUCH better update, and hopefully better reviews of VSAC’s payment processing… geesh!

❤ Meghan

Check out my About Meghan page for more posts on finances and paying off my student loans.

P.S. This blog post, on a Sunday, was brought to you by stickers, scissors, and markers – Avery kept quite occupied while I typed this up.  Oh and we had to resort to the iPad for the last portion because Avery tried working on Mommy’s computer while she went potty, so he had to use his computer for a little while too.  Now we’re off to go shoot Nerf guns at SOLO cups… woohoo!

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