In December 2012 we decided it was time to open up to you, my readers, and gave our very first debt update.
As a quick review, I originally wrote Our Debt Pay Down Strategy to explain where my fiancee and I are in terms of debt. Currently we only owe for her student loans and the townhouse mortgage.
We just recently got engaged, but we aren’t married yet so we keep our finances separate. We plan on paying off her student loans as fast as we can.
However, we aren’t going to go into crazy insane debt payoff mode where we only eat rice and beans, never go out to eat and cancel our cable. We’ll be taking a more balanced approach. We also do not plan to pay our mortgage off prior to its due date, but that may change later down the road.
Student Loan Debt Update – February 2013
In late January my girlfriend was able to go back to work after her foot surgery. While she was out of work she was receiving a percentage of her income from disability but was not getting her normal full paychecks.
She had saved some money in advance of her surgery and now she’s back to making her normal paychecks again. We were able to take some of this extra buffer from her disability, as well as her income tax refund, and pay down another large chunk of her student loans this month.
Currently there are six groups of student loans that have balances on them.
Private Student Loan 1 – 8.0% Variable
The current balance on this student loan is $6,205.20. This is a decrease of $2,409.90 since the last debt update. We are paying this loan off first because it has the highest interest rate and is also a variable rate. It originally was well over $20,000 when my girlfriend began paying this down after college in 2011.
Federal Student Loan 1 – 6.8% Fixed
The current balance on this student loan is $7,839.04. This is a decrease of $51.86 since the last debt update. This will likely be the 4th student loan we pay off.
Federal Student Loan 2 – 6.8% Fixed
The current balance on this student loan is $7,366.75. This is a decrease of $49.00 since the last debt update. This will probably be the 3rd student loan we pay off.
Federal Student Loan 3 – 6.8% Fixed
The current balance on this student loan is $4,030.98. This is a decrease of $46.92 since the last debt update. This will be the second student loan we pay off because it has the second highest interest rate AND the lowest balance. On top of that, we hate the bank this loan is through so it gives us even more reason to pay it off.
Private Student Loan 2 – 5.75% Variable
The current balance on this student loan is $22,866.07… ouch! This is a decrease of $93.65 since the last debt update. This is the highest balance loan but it has a lower interest rate for now. Unless interest rates start rising we’ll wait to pay this loan off until the federal loans are paid off.
Private Student Loan 3 – 4.75% Variable
The current balance on this student loan is $8,318.13. This is a decrease of $25.30 since the last debt update. This is the lowest interest rate loan and, unless interest rates rise, this will likely be the last loan to be paid off.
Total Balance – $56,532.30 (-$2,676.85)
As I had mentioned in the past, I’ve been saving a large chunk of money help my fiancee pay her student loans when we combine our finances after we get married!
In total I have saved $36,863.99 to contribute toward this goal. This is an increase of $5,272.21 over last month… well, kind of… Right now the plan for this money is to use it to pay down the student loans when we get married later this year.
I’ve calculated this money the same way as last month but I made another change to increase this balance. The way I budget allows extra money in each category to roll over to the next period. Because of this I had some crazy balances in some of my budget categories.
This was a good thing because I could transfer all of this extra money into my massive cash account which will get us closer to our goal.
We have a long way to go but if everything goes according to a pretty aggressive plan we hope to have the student loans all paid of by the end of this year! There are only 10 months left this year… Aggressive, but completely possible!
Net Student Loan Debt – $19,668.31 (-$7,949.06)
Do you have any debt you’re trying to pay off? Do you have a goal for when you want it paid off by?
Lance Cothern, CPA holds a CPA license in Indiana. He’s a personal finance, debt and credit expert that writes professionally for top-tier publications including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Investopedia, Credit Karma, Business Insider and more.
Additionally, his expertise has been featured on Yahoo, MSN, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Kiplinger, Reuters, CNBC and more.
Lance is the founder of Money Manifesto. He started writing about money and helping people solve their financial problems in 2012. You can read more about him and find links to his other work and media mentions here.