The Post Where I Have No Idea What My Student Loan Balance Is

Did you participate in Black Friday / Cyber Monday or did you participate in Buy Nothing Day?

I bought one thing on Black Friday. I had no business buying anything else given my finances right now.       

Balance Up and Rate Down

My student loan balance hasn’t dropped as I didn’t make a payment this pay period. Why?

Reason ONE.  I have refinanced my student loan with a new lender.

Yes, yet another refinance. In case you haven’t figured it out from how much I’ve been writing about it, my servicer had been Earnest. I’ve been very unhappy with the Navient takeover, so I’ve moved my account elsewhere. With the move to my new lender, my fixed rate will drop from 3.25% to 3.09%. Not a big difference, but I’m very glad not to have a higher rate given that rates have been going up everywhere. I won’t know my exact balance or have any payments due until the dust settles with the switch between lenders.

I don’t trust Navient and their reputation for malicious incompetence. I don’t know what my new servicer will be like, but they have many fewer complaints than Navient. I’ll have to take my chances. If you have Earnest as your servicer and can’t / don’t want to leave, just keep on top of your account and payments. Document everything. I’ll be doing the same with my new servicer. Good luck to us all.

Reason TWO. My credit card balance is out of control.

Yes. This infernal, blood-sucking debt has been slowly growing. As soon as it crept over $1,000 little alarm bells should have started to go off. It’s been chronic overspend over the past several months. A charge here, a little purchase there. It adds up. This also includes some expenses from my last two trips home to visit family. Very recently it jumped up to over $1900! I just put $1009.55 toward the credit card now, which takes the balance down to $900, and will finish paying off the rest next month. Time to beat this thing back under the ground where it belongs.

Career Explorations

My job has been somewhat more tolerable lately. Since I was removed as lead of ‘big high-profile project’, my work load has been rather light, so I’m not complaining there. I’m still working on the project, but in an ‘assistant’ capacity now, which I am barely tolerating for additional reasons. I hate that project. Unfortunately, it is a harbinger of things to come in this job (and industry-wide). There is a smaller project just like it that I might get assigned to in January. The writing is still on the wall. I’m still burned out and making plans.

I’m putting out feelers to explore other career options.

The reason my credit card debt jumped up to over $1900 was that, on Black Friday, I signed up for a 13-week online course in the field I’m thinking about transitioning to. It cost $500 (with a discount). The course looks very good as the syllabus is designed well and seems as though it will be a good introduction to the discipline. Classes start in a few weeks and I will complete the course around my work schedule as it is designed for working professionals with day jobs.

If this course goes well, I’ll know I’m on the right track with pursuing this field and will take additional courses. As the field is somewhat related to what I do now, I’d hope to be able to leverage my current experience while moving over so the initial pay drop wouldn’t be as steep.

On the other hand, if I hate the course subject matter, then I’m only out $500 and can move on to exploring something else.

.

What are you trying to get rid of before the end of the year?

I have to slow down student loan repayment to beat this credit card debt back into the ground where it belongs. I don’t want to take credit card debt into the next year. What are you trying to kick to the curb within the next few weeks?

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“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)

 

13 comments

  1. Jane Has Debt · 13 Days Ago

    Ya. I blew a spending gasket a few wks ago myself. Tis a journey they say.

    You should see if your work offers tuition reimbursement. I recently have done the same but with a free introductory course. Found out not what I want to do. So will spread my wings in another similar direction. Enjoy the course.

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 12 Days Ago

      They do offer reimbursement buuuuut, 1) it is only for work done toward a degree, which I’m not going for if I can help it, and 2) it has to be relevant to my day job duties, which it is only tangentially related, at best. Likely it would raise red flags with my manager that I’m looking to do work outside what is available in my job description. Probably not the best move for me either way. But yeah, I did look into it. Thanks for asking!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tainted Tiara · 13 Days Ago

    My spending is way up, too. Not only is it holidays/birthday season, but I also put new tires on my car and we’re remodeling a room because of a black Friday special on laminate, so… yeah. All things that have to be done. I have the money set aside for stuff like this, but then I’ll be more depleted than I like. Debt payoff is on track, though yay! Good luck with the career switch!

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 12 Days Ago

      I haven’t bought any holiday gifts yet. I’ll use part of what’s left of my opportunity fund to cover for gift giving and other end of year expenses.
      Being flat broke during the holidays is no fun. Been there. Don’t want to do that again.

      Thank you. It’s scary to think about changing careers, but necessary.

      Like

  3. czanclus · 12 Days Ago

    Hello DDSW,

    Good call on switching lenders. Navient is a real beyatch. I had two of my last remaining loans with them, the unsubsidized and the subsidized loan groups, and my extra payments were always intended for the unsubsidized loan group only. However, in order to make that happen, every time I made an online payment, I had to physically call their customer service center to correctly distribute my overpayment to the right loan group as they kept arbitrating the distribution. Eventually the website gained a feature in which one can ‘direct an overpayment’ or ‘specify for each loan group’, which was not at all doing what it was claiming to do. I still had to make a call and speak with an actual person in order to have my overpayments correctly applied. THEN – they started redistributing the monthly minimum payment (amounts that were established back in 2007 when I started paying off the loans and the loans were through Sallie Mae) per their discretion towards the sub/unsub portions of the loan without any notification to me. Then in order to get a person on the phone, the machine would tell me that all their customer service reps are busy and that I can schedule a call some day next week at a certain hour. I got so fed up with the hurdles I had to go through in order to correctly allocate overpayments that I turned to my college ex and asked him to please front me $4800 (interest free! :-)) so I can finally be rid of the unsubsidized loan portion and that any further overpayments that I decide to make go only to the subsidized loan. After some back and forth that wasn’t as tedious as the previous calls, I finally closed that loan for good. Sure, I still owe $$ in the name of that loan, but to a much nicer ‘lender’. $4560 to that one, and ‘only’ $18440 to the Navient beast.

    I hope your new lender keeps their interest rates low and fixed. You are closer than you think, and I even feel like you’ll be sprinting towards the finish line sometimes mid 2019. You have been such an inspiration, and as result of your writing and writings of a few other bloggers, I’ve been able to make strides that I never thought possible, and I myself will probably be able to wrap this debt saga up by late 2021. I hope you don’t retire the blog after your last debt payment next year, but I’ll manage the trudgery somehow. Maybe even finally start my own blog… when there’s $26.2K of total debt to go.

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 12 Days Ago

      Ugh!! I got tired and frustrated just reading about your experience. Student loans are the worst. Because student loan borrowers are a captive audience that have few options to deal with the debt, borrowers are prime targets to be abused at will – either through crazy-making loops, hoops and ignored requests, or at worst, through outright verbal assault and threats. Good to see that you’ve found your light at the end of the tunnel! Having a goal date on it does help.

      Like

  4. Cathy · 12 Days Ago

    DDSW, Congrats on moving to better treatment and lower interest rates!

    Czanclus, thanks for sharing your story. You’d make a great blogger. Give it a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kay · 12 Days Ago

    You will always be my debt slayer hero!! My own debt numbers are a mess….

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 12 Days Ago

      Awww. Thanks, Kay!

      Well, even if your numbers are a mess, you have to start somewhere. Start from where you are with what you have, even if it isn’t much just yet.
      Check out my first few posts, if you think it can’t be done! Hang in there.

      Like

  6. C@thesingledollar · 8 Days Ago

    That all sounds mostly good — I mean, not the credit card debt, but even that’s not too much and you’re paying it off pronto. The refinancing part is the part that I like. It can’t hurt to get a slightly lower interest rate, you know? And to be with a servicer you feel better about as you dive into hopefully the last year of repayment. Wow, that sounds good, doesn’t it? The last year of repayment! I hope you can stick it out at your job for another couple of years, to save money for transition after the loan is done. But I’m glad you’re taking this class now to find out if you’d like to switch into the related field.

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · 4 Days Ago

      Hey, C. Good to hear from you.

      I doubt I’ll be able to stay at this job for another year, let alone 2, but I will have to stay in the industry to maintain my income while I find a way to transition to something else. Yeah, I’m so close. I have to kill this debt before anything this else.

      The course starts next week and I’m looking forward to it.

      Like

  7. melooley · 1 Day Ago

    Howdy,
    I came across your blog from RockstarFinance and I’m enjoying it! It’s comforting to realize I’m not the only one with a negative net worth from so much student debt.

    Cheers,
    Millie K.

    Like

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