Student loans….again

 

I sent in my first “real” student loan payment the other week and it applied to my account today. I felt such a thrill! Granted for a little over a year now, I’ve been making “payments” but it didn’t feel real as it was to get the loans out of default status.  And the one loan went into deferment so I haven’t made a payment on it.  (As much as I wanted to, the car had to come first along with a few other items that cropped up unexpectedly.  I’d much rather not make a payment on something that isn’t due yet then have to withdraw the money from our very baby emergency fund. Maybe that isn’t what other people would do but I’m okay with that.  I had to make a tough choice and went with what I thought was best for us.)

It didn’t go down by much-I only paid an extra $2.15 (roughly) as I just can’t afford to pay anymore yet.  But it was roughly 1% of my loan that I paid.  Ouch, that hurts to see small number right there in black and white but I’m still happy that I’m on my road to debt recovery. It’s slow going and sometimes I feel like I’m taking breaks (i.e. not paying more than I am and not paying on the loan that is in default) but I’m still moving forward.

Eventually we won’t have a wedding we’re paying for that takes up a lot of any “extra” money.  And, I’m proud of how we are doing it, so don’t get me wrong there.  But when we are able to concentrate on getting out of debt, I’m going to be even happier.   Eventually I can see us making double payments but that day isn’t close to being here yet.

So yes, it might be too soon for the fireworks but I’m extremely happy about this turn in events.  We’re on the right path and every little battle is worth it right now.


Seriously I hate my student loans

Granted I messed up in the first place by not paying them off or at least not getting them put into forbearance.  But seriously: the amount of issues I just had crop up regarding the consolidated ones are so very frustrating.

First off, let me just say that I’m glad I haven’t been ignoring my mail again.  I’ve wanted to sometimes but remembered that was part of what got me into trouble in the first place.  Instead, I’ve been opening it up and reading it right away.  Some gets put into a pile to deal with later (bills that aren’t due yet), some get put into the trash as they don’t have any relevance and some get dealt with as soon as possible.    Last Saturday, I got a letter that went into the last pile.  I had to wait until Monday morning at 8am eastern time to figure everything out.

What was this letter? Why it was from the company I’ve been dealing with for a few months, explaining that my wages were going to be garnished as I’d been ignoring them.  I had a mini heart attack, I swear.   First I went over to my pile of “file this away (not in the trash but my real file) as I’m done dealing with them.” (Pack rat tendencies mean I won’t throw things away until I feel comfortable that the situation is dealt with…this will probably be next summer) I noticed that the address was different, the main account number was different but everything else was the same: which loans it was, how much they were for (though they were decreased in number on the new letter slightly as I’d been paying on them) and the phone number.  And yes you read that right: even though I’d been paying on them with that same company and it showed by looking at the total balance from month to month, I was still going to be garnished for failure to pay the company.

So then I had to stew on it for a day and a half as I’d missed the cut off to call them on a Saturday.  And by only an hour! (Stupid central time being behind…) Monday morning I call bright and early—they look at both accounts and say they have no idea how it was given a second account but that I wasn’t in any jeopardy of getting my wages garnished as it was fully funded.  Both accounts were actually fully funded. (I did go check out my consolidation site to make sure they weren’t in there double at this point.  They weren’t.) They did not know why I was receiving the nasty letter as I’d been paying them on time ever since we came to our agreement.  I wrote down the customer services agent’s name, the time and the date of the call just in case anything does happen though. Especially since the rep said that the accounts were funded and closed.

I went home happy that it was all a misunderstanding and received yet another letter from the company (with the normal account number this time) telling me they were withdrawing money from my account in a few days time.  Which if you remember that dilemma I was having I would have been okay with—except for the fact that I was just told that my account(s) were funded and closed with them.  The money would not have been applied to anything or if it was, would have taken a few days to get it to the correct people. So I called up again to enquire about the letter.  This time I was told that the letter was auto generated before the account was funded.  I hope so…

I can’t wait for this entire issue to be fixed! And yes, it is partially my fault for getting them messed up in the first place (read: defaulted) but I am trying to get them fixed.  But it doesn’t work when they just send out random info!


Dilemma

Maybe my lovely readers could help me out with this small issue I’m having.  Every payday I place money in an account that is used for my student loans.  And it’s (mostly) strictly for my student loans—a few side purchases such as flea medication for my cat or medicine for me has been pulled from it but that’s been in rare cases.

Remember that student loan I forgot about?  Well, turns out that there was an issue in that too.  I apparently read the student loan summary wrong—or they supplied information on another loan thinking I was going to consolidate them.  Well, that was the plan originally but with the forgetting them issue, this was dropped and I just assumed that all the loans they had sent me were with that company.  This wasn’t true, so again I dropped the ball on my loans.   But I picked it up again a few weeks later when the company who actually owned it, gave me a call.  After numerous emails (I really do need to check my personal email more often….) we were able to set up a time to call each other. The lady I spoke to was very nice and gave me an offer to consolidate that loan plus the ones I had just started paying on.  Sadly, my other loan isn’t able to be included in this consolidation.

After months of waiting…okay, after a month and a half of waiting, it was approved and I’m all set to start paying back on that loan come September.   After 3 months of paying on it, it should wipe all loans out of default status.   I think—I have this written down and if it’s not true, I’ll be calling the company who told me it would.   Now my small issue comes about with August.

Provided that the previous loan holder doesn’t take my money on the 25th as was previously scheduled (this actually happened with my other loan.  It was sold but the previous company took the payment as scheduled.  It worked out in the end because it went through as a overpayment.), I’ll have a time when I can make a partial payment to both student loans that is considered extra.  This would help out with both and would help pay on the accruing interest in the loan that is now in forbearance.

Or I can not put as much money into this account and instead use it for us.  We’ve been cutting back on a lot of things in order to make sure that we pay on our debts, save for several things and one of these areas we’ve cut back a lot is at the grocery store.  We still pay a lot of money every month for groceries/household items but not as much as before.  We’d been eating a lot of stuff that was in the pantry but now we’ve kind of come to the point where this isn’t really a great option.  We’re running low on some stuff and not just in the pantry.  Our household stuff needs to be looked at too.  It wouldn’t affect the payment schedule at all as I know that in September I will have the money to start paying on the one and the other doesn’t have a payment scheduled until February.

Part of me really wants to make an extra payment (even if it will only be partial payments) and another part of me wants to take some of that money and go spend it at the grocery store to give us a little breathing room.   Granted I have about 10 days to find out if either of these will be an option (though I guess I’d be paying on the consolidated student loan at least) but I like to plan ahead.  I get paid on the 24th but can always use this money after it’s been deposited into this account.  Should I even be worrying about this right now?


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