September 2020 – Student Loan Balance(s) Update

The U.S. is still a mess, blah, blah, blah. I’ve made some changes in my life recently in terms of eating, exercising, and creating space, and it has paid immediate dividends in terms of my physical and mental wellness (mood). I am perhaps as well as I could be under the general circumstances. For that, I am grateful.

This is my first student loan balance update in my new digs and I’m kinda geeked. So, to the numbers!

AccountDebtMin. PaymentInterest Rate
Private Student Loan 1$0.00$110.460.000%
Private Student Loan 4-$10,854.06$245.403.875%
Private Student Loan 3-$11,628.07$153.826.670%
Private Student Loan 2-$7,481.42$93.305.410%
Federal Student Loan 1-$21,440.37$0.006.800%
Federal Student Loan 2-$13,946.84$0.005.310%
Federal Student Loan 3-$11,184.47$0.006.800%
Federal Student Loan 4-$7,748.09$0.004.450%
Federal Student Loan 5-$5,561.12$0.004.450%
Federal Student Loan 6-$3,147.30$0.005.600%
Federal Student Loan 7-$2,863.10$0.004.660%
Federal Student Loan 8-$2,457.12$0.006.800%
Federal Student Loan 9-$2,307.18$0.006.800%
Federal Student Loan 10-$2,003.02$0.005.600%
Federal Student Loan 11-$1,639.01$0.006.800%
Federal Student Loan 12-$1,144.25$0.005.600%
University Student Loan 1-$4,204.61$60.418.000%
University Student Loan 2-$3,278.96$42.435.000%
University Student Loan 3-$723.02$30.008.000%
University Student Loan 4-$532.73$30.008.000%
Total-$114,144.74$765.82


August 2020 – Student Loan Balance(s): -$117,823.78 (Adjusted: -$116,605.43)

September 2020 – Student Loan Balance(s): -$114,144.74

Difference: $2460.69 – 2nd highest debt payoff month to date!

NOTE: I know. I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Hold up, AfroPenny, the difference between -$117,823.78 and -$114,144.74 is $3679.04 not $2460.69.” I know. But some of you other eagle-eyed readers probably noticed that my table no longer has the line “Car Lease.” That’s because my car lease will come to an end in December and I haven’t figured out what happens then. There is a world where I just return the car (only pay wear-and-tear and a mileage overage), buyout the lease (~$9000.00 – my car is a 2018 with less than 35,000 miles so I couldn’t buy a car in similar condition for that much), or, take a hand-me-down from my parents. All are worthy options and I haven’t decided exactly what I will do yet…

Because this blog focuses on my student loan debt, I don’t really feel guilty about removing this line; the adjusted amount above reflects the removal of the car lease from the August 2020 balance. I will provide an update about the car situation at some point in the future but whatever option I choose, it has to support the long term goal of having zero debt as I end my 30s in 5.25 years.

That aside…not bad! As I shared above, this makes it my second biggest debt payoff month to date. This came down to a couple of predictable things: the continued interest rate abatement of federal student loans, lower interest rates on private student loans, and the fact that I had to hus-tle to pay off Private Student Loan 1 before the balance transfer ended on August 16th.

From now until January 2021, I am focused on building my emergency fund up to $5000.00. I hemmed and hawed as to whether or not I would use my side job money to help me reach this goal. I realized later that I am not as interested in “saving” as I am in debt repayment and that I needed a mindset shift. For now, the goal is to get $5000.00 in my emergency fund by December 31st, 2020, or earlier, by any means necessary. (That sounds far more dramatic than it actually is because I will reach this goal as long as I stay employed).

3 Things for which I am grateful:

1) Being under $115,000.00 in student loan debt.
2) Second highest month in terms of debt repayment.
3) First student loan I have paid off since I started blogging.

And finally, I am grateful for folks who have continued to check in with me and lend support (C and DoubleDebtSingleWoman) and for new folks who have recently stopped by to say hello (Hello Ellen!). Paying off a debt this big is very isolating in real life (way before COVID-19) and I am so very grateful for your support along the way.

10 thoughts on “September 2020 – Student Loan Balance(s) Update

  1. Hey look at the new digs! No new apartment, but a new blog is almost as good right? 🙂 Anyway, awesome job on the debt reduction. I’m glad the balance transfer turned out to be worth it, though I agree that in this time of uncertainty it’s better to maintain flexibility for a while. But it’s really great that you get to have a $0 next to one of those loans now.

    On the car, if your parents’ hand me down is in decent condition and free, I’d go for that and not look back. I currently have a hand me down that is 21 (!!!) years old, and it’s pretty ugly and not the style I’d prefer and I do have to invest $500-700 a year in replacing some part that’s rusted out from age, but it’s otherwise very reliable and it’s so worth it not to have a car payment. If you think your parents’ old car will last at least four or five years until you’re in a more stable position, that’d be so great.

    As you know I also agree that this is a good time to ramp up emergency savings. Yeesh.

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    • Lol almost.

      Yea…the car thing is far more complex than it really should be. It really should just be about making the best financial choice but a lot of things are at play… One of the big ones is my parents’ continued concern/confusion as to “why” I would be interested in a very old car and what that means about my true financial position (what am I hiding from them). They obviously don’t know how significant my debt load is (they can only see the private loans for which they are co-signers (~$28,000.00). For “safety” reasons they want me to keep my current car and are prepared to lend (read: give) me the money to cover the lease buyout. I know beggars can’t be choosy but this isn’t really the road I want to travel at the moment…again, more on this later but as always, thanks for the advice.

      Yea…I’m going to have to do something to make it exciting. The YouTube community is all about printable savings/debt tracking charts so I might need to do one of those.

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      • I love fill-in things. When I was saving to a $5000 goal I had a jar of pennies with each representing $100 — moved them from one jar to another until I was done. Definitely motivated.

        On the car, that makes sense. I guess if you don’t want to tell your parents the whole story, it might actually make sense to borrow the $9000 from them. That’s honestly not a terrible amount of debt for a car and if you plan to drive it for the next 10-15 years, seems fine. I’d probably still prefer the hand me down still (could you tell them you want to save up due to the pandemic and therefore a free car is awesome?) but, eh, whatever you end up doing will probably be fine here and not make too much of a difference in the big financial picture.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re making such good progress. I will be so interested to hear how you choose to address the car situation. I’m rooting for taking the hand-me-down from your parents. 🙂

    I understand being less psyched to save for an emergency fund than you are to pay off debt. It’s hard to shift gears when you’re focused on a goal. But I think you’re smart to do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thanks. These post are helpful in helping me to see the big picture. Any updates to report yourself?

      As for the car, I explained it a bit above in response to C but essentially my parents want me to buyout my lease because it is a newer and safer vehicle and because they don’t know my true debt picture.

      Gonna have to make savings fun…maybe a printable tracker/chart as used by so many YouTubers.

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  3. I understand now the car dilemma, and I think if your parents want to lend/give you the money for that, and it would make them happy, that could be a nice solution for you and them.

    I also want to say, maybe think about telling your parents about your debt. I know you carry a lot of shame about it, but you are not at all alone in having that much debt. You would do it differently next time, yes, but that’s how we learn. I think if you told your parents, then showed them your blog, they would be very proud to see that you have a plan and are working hard to pay it off. They could also follow you on your journey and feel proud of you with each new step. At least, I’d want to know if you were my daughter, and I’d feel honored to be let into your life that much. I know everyone is different though, and you know your parents, so maybe they wouldn’t take it well. I just wanted to float that idea.

    You asked for any updates I have, so I will tell you that something I’m working on is getting a zero percent loan from Mass Save (an organization of Massachusetts energy companies) to replace the oil furnaces for myself and my tenants with gas furnaces. This would add to my debt (which is just my mortgage, but it’s large), but it’s a step in bringing my house up to date, which is one of my goals. I’m trying to get this done before we need to turn the heat on (in mid/late October), so hopefully it will happen soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will think about it. I promise. I think it is only as you get older that you can begin to appreciate how your parents really love you (if you have good parents…I understand not everyone is so fortunate). And I think it perhaps takes having children of your own to really know how much they love you.

      I think the issue is my parents love me a great deal and they would want to “fix it” for me. I shared this before but my parents both grew up very poor and worked very hard so that I might have a better (easier) life. I know they both already feel guilty about the students loans of which they are aware. I can’t imagine how hurt they would be if they knew my true debt picture. I love them a great deal and less would I be worried about my own shame and more would I be worried about them thinking they didn’t “give me” enough.

      As for the furnace, that’s great. That sounds like a long it is in your long term best interest (and perhaps that of the environment?). DO continue to share as you move along towards getting this done. Hopefully the fall is gentle and you have all the time you need to get this done.

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