March 2016 Debt Update

Checking in with an update on my debt for March 2016.  In the future, I will be including an update on our overall financial picture for the month, but because I haven’t given you that baseline post yet (coming soon!) and I haven’t told you what goals we are working on (also coming soon!), I’m going to save that for next month.

Click through to see how March went!

The Big Picture for March

March was our worst financial month that we have had as a couple since moving to DC.  Our cat, Rhaegar, got sick and needed an extensive amount of treatment and testing.  While it’s good that we know now that he has a malformed kidney and the lungs of a much older cat, finding that out cost us around $1100.  My husband’s paycheck went entirely to that bill, rather than to savings where it would typically go as we work to build up our emergency fund.  We also had a couple of house guests, which obviously necessitates extra money spent on taking them out for a dinner or two, extra food around the house, etc.  So, the big picture is that I was only able to pay minimum payments on my debt this month.  But, all isn’t lost, because this is going to give you a sense of what my minimum payments actually do to my balances.

Debt Update

Here are my loan balances as of this moment:

Loan Type Interest Rate Balance on 3/31/16 Change Since Last Update
SoFi Refinanced Loans 4.375% $25,876.74 +$50.57*
Federal Unsub Stafford 5.96% $21,291.98 -$145.05
Federal Plus Loan 6.96% $54,184.07 -$353.54
Federal Unsub Stafford 5.16% $22,177.91 -$156.40
Federal Plus Loan 6.16% $53,514.89 -$361.43
Federal Unsub Stafford 6.55% $24,166.44 -$160.50
Federal Sub Stafford 3.15% $5,343.74 -$41.10
Federal Sub Stafford 4.25% $5,353.90 -$39.27
Federal Stafford 5.35% $4,383.03 -$30.66
Undergrad university loan 5.00% $5,624.61 -$177.03
TOTAL $221,917.31 -$1414.41

* Because my SoFi refinance was done in March, I have not yet had a minimum payment due on that balance yet (the first payment isn’t due until April 21).  So, with interest, that balance is actually larger than in the last update! So, no, it isn’t a typo that it went up in balance.

I will be switching over to doing my updates at the end of the month, so this change isn’t necessarily going to be representative of my usual progress.  And, as I already noted, March was a bad financial month for us.

This figure also shows you how much interest hurts and why I will be refinancing all my over 6% loans as soon as I can afford to do so.  My current minimum payment on my federal loans as a bunch is $2,220.76 per month.  But, a significant amount of that minimum payment goes toward interest, and since I made my payment (my payment date is the 20th of the month), obviously I have accrued more interest.  So, bear in mind each month that the payments I make are higher than my total drop in debt.  Also, because I’m still getting this blog going, this figure isn’t particularly useful yet, since it shows a drop over a 14 day stretch, instead of a full month.  From now on, though, you’ll be able to start to see patterns in how I’m doing because I’ll be doing check ins at the end of each month, keeping the time span between updates reasonably regular.




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