Today I have an unexpected and wonderful loan update: I just paid off the remainder of my Stafford 2 loan! I officially only have two loans left and $8,633 left in debt!
This month my goal was to pay off my Stafford 2 loan. That loan had a balance of $1,515 at the beginning of March. It also had an interest rate of 5.35%. As I am following the debt avalanche method, that was the next one on the chopping block. I am proud to say that as of today, it has a balance of ZERO!
To really explain how I was able to do this, let me explain a little more about my finances.
I have five part time jobs. That means I have five separate paychecks. Three of my jobs pay me every other week (but operate on different schedules, so I don’t receive them all on the same day), one job pays me once a month and one job pays me whenever I invoice them- roughly twice a month. So, that means my paychecks arrive all over the place throughout the month. That is awesome for debt payoff.
One of the things I have found to be most effective in debt payoff is making frequent payments. Not necessarily huge ones, but just paying something once a week or once every two weeks has been the number one thing to help my debt crumble. Since my paychecks come more than the normal twice per month, I am able to do this really easily. And since debt payoff is my priority right now, my frequent payments are large.
There are the payments I made this month:
3/3/15- $600 (entire first (of two) paycheck from my non profit job)
3/5/15- $100 (part of a catering paycheck)
3/10/15- $116 (monthly minimum payment, deducted automatically. $57 goes to another loan.)
3/10/15- $200 (random check from my Grandma! Thanks Gma!)
3/12/15- $557.91 ($255 from catering paycheck that came in on 3/12, $302.91 from checking account)
Total amount: $1,573.91
Here are the dates I’ve gotten paid this month:
Notice a trend? As soon as I get paid I make a loan payment. I don’t let the money sit in my account for no reason and I don’t let interest accrue on my loans for one second longer than I have to. This means more of my payment goes towards the principle, not to interest. Making more payments each month has been a game changer for me!
I still have two paychecks to come this month, which means I may be able to make another $200 payment. Of course, I still need to pay rent and fill my gas tank, so that also may not happen. But here’s hoping!
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Alas, I will not be able to keep up this kind of payment level past April. I have been working as much as possible since the beginning of the year to take as much action as I can on my loans. I’ve been going 110% and while that has added up to great loan benefits, it’s not feasible for the long term. It gets to 110 degrees in Austin during the summer, making catering a sweaty and even more laborious job. Not my cup of tea. My coaching job also ends in mid-May, which is roughly $900 a month gone from my monthly income. Plus, I’m planning on using my last coaching paycheck that’s coming in early May to pay for my San Diego trip. I didn’t forget about planning for that trip!
So what’s next for my loan game plan? I’ve got two loans left: MyCampus Loan, with a balance of $4,586 and an interest rate of 5%, and my final Navient loan, with a balance of $4,047 and an interest rate of 4.35%. Since I’m following the debt avalanche method, I’ll be knocking the MyCampus Loan off next. I hope to do it by the end of July!
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.
9 Replies to “I Just Paid Off Another Loan! (And How I Did It)”
Kara, you have done amazingly well! This “take no prisoners” approach has really worked for you. I don’t believe I have read too many finance bloggers who are as committed as you are. It’s nice you have your vacation to look forward to. That debt will be gone before you know it. You are the poster person for how to get it done!
Thanks for the kind words! I’m a little surprised myself but how much I’m able to zero in on it all. So looking forward to the day it’s gone!
Great job. I found you through an article you wrote on another site. Keep up the motivation. I just paid off my biggest student loan. http://financebard.com/loan-e-paid-off/ I also put a reference to your blog. I hope you don’t mind.
Hey and welcome! Thanks for the shout out and the share. Paying off loans feels amazing- congrats to you! We can do it, one loan at a time. =)
That’s awesome, congrats! You’re almost there! I’ve been doing the ‘multiple times a month make a payment’ strategy since the beginning and do 3-4 payments a month. It’s one of the best tips/strategies I’ve learned.
Thank you! Multiple payments are where it’s at. It’s better than huge lump sum payments once a month by far. Let’s do this thing!
[…] of 5.35%. I made eight payments total this month. Five were on my last Stafford loan, which I paid off on March 12th. (Whahoo!) I am now down to two loans in […]
Hi Kara, I absolutely love your strategies of managing your loans! I’m about to enroll into my university this coming August and I trying to understand how to manage my own study loan when the time comes. It’s not going to be easy so I’m very lucky and happy that I found your site through one if your articles on elite daily. I’m going to have a good day reading through your tips and guides to help me to better manage my loans! 🙂 thank you for sharing!!
Hey Miranda, thanks for reading! I would just say take out as few as possible and work on paying them back even while in college. Don’t let them build up, because the longer you have debt, the more money you lose!