February 1, 2017 Alicia Castro 0Comment

Wow, I cannot believe this month is almost over.  Today I submitted $1,110 payment to Great Lakes, my student loan server.  In the past, I used to submit my payment online using an automatic monthly withdraw.  I decided to follow a different path because I noticed the lowest balance never got paid off.  Instead of getting rid of the smallest student loan, my Great Lakes decided to split the payment with the rest of the loans I had yet to pay off.  It seemed impossible to get rid of the smallest loan and it drove me insane.  So whenever I’m ready to submit a payment, rather than do the withdraw I call them the company directly to let them what loans I want to pay down.  This way I can finish paying off a loan.  In the past, I made payments using the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and earned points.  I have accumulated more than 80K points!  I can take a vacation and travel for free anytime.  How cool is that!  I always wanted to travel to Spain and it will happen this year. 😀

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred, I have $1k towards travel

Click here to start earning free points

Unfortunately, my plan to pay my debt using a credit card is no longer an option.  Today, I called the Great Lakes company and found out they no longer accept credit card payments.  I never got the e-mail notification.  On December 21st, 2016, the Great Lakes received news about the U.S. Department of Treasury notifying all federal student loan services can no longer accept credit card payments, effective January 1, 2017.  I wished I got the e-mail notification earlier, I would have submitted more payments for student debt.  This is sad news, especially for individuals who rely on credit cards.  Damn, I could have earned 18k free points!  After doing a little research, now I’m considering paying using prepaid debit cards.  The fee is insane!  I will research more about this part and see if it’s worth the effort.

Progress – January 30, 2017

Total balance remaining is $17,332 😯

School  Loan Type Borrowed: Interest Rate Update Status
Undegraduate  Subsidized Stafford  $2,625 6.55% 0
   Subsidized Stafford  $4,500 6.55%  $803.47
   Subsidized Stafford  $5,500 5.75% $5,137.33
   Subsidized Stafford  $2,000 5.35% 0
   Subsidized Stafford  $8,500 6.65%  $7,255.24
Graduate School Direct Unsubsidized Stafford $5,000 6.65% 0
  Direct Unsubsidized Stafford $10,000 6.65% 0
  Direct Unsubsidized Stafford $4,000 5.16% $4,135.96

I know that I am making a lot of payments to decrease the student debt.  Some of you may describe me a bit crazy or smart.  The reason why I am able to do this is because I don’t have any credit card payments, car payments, mortgage, children, and never been married.  When I found out that NASA hired me, I had to relocate.  I was fortunate to find a 2 bedroom apartment that works for my budget and commute 30 miles per day.  I am earning more money than the previous years which has made it easier for me to add more payments to my student loans.  

Today, I finished filing my federal and state taxes using TurboTax.  I cannot believe it is super easy to file your own taxes.  I highly recommend TurboTax, it is user-friendly.  Next month, I will use all my tax refund and pay Great Lakes to help expedite paying off the student loans.

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