Tag Archives: debt

I’ve made over $5,000 in extra payments towards my student loans

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While I regularly keep track of how much I put towards my student loans, I sat down recently to calculate how much I was actually required to pay. My student loans entered repayment in March 2012, but I’ve been throwing money at them since September 2011. The result? I’ve paid nearly $5,000 more than I had to: um.. wow! I spend so much time looking at how much further I have to go ($15,000+! GAH!) that it’s easy to forget how far I’ve come. Five thousand dollars is a lot of money, and to think it’s money I could have spent instead of put towards debt makes me feel just a little bit proud of the self-discipline it took NOT to go on a spending spree. I mean, let’s be real here: there’s a lot things I would love to buy for $5,000. Another 3+ week European vacation. A new […]

Student loans: killin’ it

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Ok, I’m getting the hang of this debt pay-off thing. My first student loan payment of $208.48 was due March 31, 2012 and I managed to slip in $4,200 (some of it got eaten up by interest, but I swear to you, $4,200 went in!). Given that such a substantial number of graduates miss a payment or default on student loans, the government is probably like, “what the hell??” when they look up my account. That’s right, government! And I’m not done yet!! I’m feeling really great because paying down my loans means I’ve significantly reduced the amount of interest I’m being charged. I know this because I’m a spreadsheet-oholic, and I track it: Sometimes I find it easier to measure my progress in non-monetary terms. To get some perspective: My student loans cost me less per day than a Starbucks coffee! This is a big change from 6 months ago […]

All debt is bad, but can you have too much credit?

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I used to be a huge airmiles accumulator. I shopped regularly at sponsors (namely, Safeway, where I bought most of my groceries) and used an airmiles credit card to get even more points. I actually got enough airmiles to buy a KitchenAid mixer. However, when my accumulation rate dwindled and I learned the cash value of airmiles — less than 1%! — I decided to switch to a cash-back credit card. I redeemed my remaining airmiles for Banana Republic gift cards and closed my airmiles Mastercard account. I thought about keeping the credit card, but what did I need 3 credit cards for? It had the shortest credit history and the lowest limit, so I couldn’t think of any reason to keep the account open. After I closed it, my eyes then turned to my line of credit. Should I close that too? What about all the other kinds of credit […]

1/2 Debt Freedom in 12 Months

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It might be a trick of the calculations, or it might be a tad overly optimistic, but I think that by March 2013, I will have eliminated my Federal Student Loan. 1/2 DEBT FREEDOM! This means I need to pay ~$8,950 (+ interest) over the next 12 months towards my Federal Student Loan. This works out to about $750 per month. If that number makes you nervous, we’re in the same boat. But I’m still planning to throw $1,000 from my income tax return at the balance this year, which should relieve some of the pressure. My payments are currently a consistent $500/mo towards my Federal Student Loan debt, and I’m hoping to increase that after I get back from vacation in the summer, wherever I might be going. I will then increase it once more when I get a raise in September. I do want to be one of those people […]

Confession: I took the loan

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Remember last year when ING offered me an RSP loan of up to $10,000 and I wrote an entry musing about borrowing to invest? Well, I never followed up, but I did actually end up borrowing $2,000 of that offer — and most of my posts thereafter about “contributing to my RSP” actually should have read “paying down the RSP loan”. It didn’t make much of a difference, since previous to taking the loan I had been putting $150/mo towards my RRSP and the payments on the loan were something like $165/mo. Now ING is offering me the same $10,000 loan offer, but I’m not going to bother. Truthfully, I don’t know how much it really matters. Now that I have a pension with employer matching from work (something I didn’t have last year), my RRSP is taking a back seat until my student loans are paid off, my TFSA […]