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Archive for January, 2020: Greenleaf's Personal Finance Blog
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Archive for January, 2020

Refinancing

January 20th, 2020 at 04:09 pm

I finally pulled the trigger on refinancing my government student loans. My application was approved and the scheduled date for everything to go through is in late January. My current servicer, Great Lakes, takes forever to process payments, so I don’t expect the process to be finished until early Feb. I have one final payment to Great Lakes in process right now for $1,944 (usual monthly amount), then in February I will start paying the new company. This will lower my interest rate from 6.55% to 3.2% fixed, which will obviously be a big help. The new loan is on a 5 year repayment term. There are no penalties for making extra payments to the new servicer, so I plan to continue to pay it down aggressively. I should really have done this sooner, but I was hesitant to lose the option of going to IBR if something happened like a job loss, etc when my total balance was more like $250,000.

I got soft quotes from several of the major companies before ultimately choosing CommonBond. The fixed interest rate quotes I received were all the same, but CommonBond’s customer support really impressed me, they had the best “what if you run into unexpected life emergencies” policies, and they had the best referral bonus, which is sent out 3 weeks after your loan is disbursed and you make your first payment to them. That said, friends have used Laurel Road and Sofi and also been happy with them. Amazing how customer service improves when you are the actual customer, rather than the Dept of Education being the customer and you being the annoyance they have to deal with to keep that sweet government contract money...

Loan snapshot

January 11th, 2020 at 07:19 am

Loan snapshot:
Private loan: $19,612.46 principal and $454.07 interest – PAID OFF
Grad plus loan: $9,546 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #1: $8,500 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #2: $8,500 principal- PAID OFF
Stafford loan #3: $8,500 principal and $1,399.20 interest: Balance: PAID OFF
Stafford loan #4: $43, 595.23 principal and $10,794.81 interest: -PAID OFF
Stafford loan #5: $23,547.17 principal and $37.91 interest: Balance $23,585.08
Stafford loan #6: $46,004.29 principal and $5,620.83 interest: Balance $51,625.12
Stafford loan #7: $50,244.56 principal and $6,139.08 interest: Balance $57,309.54
Total remaining balance: $131,593.78 Remaining principal $119,796.02 Interest: $11,797.76

Lunches, rambling

January 4th, 2020 at 03:54 pm

Happy New Year!

Still here, same goal for 2020- pay down the student loans! Will post updated totals when the current pending payment finishes processing.

Recently realized that my 401K match vests 100% at 3 years, which is a bummer. I’ve been there 1.5 years so far and don’t currently have any plans to leave, but life is unpredictable.

Today I made a batch of lunches for the freezer using things I already had on hand. I used this recipe (https://www.budgetbytes.com/cheesy-vegetarian-chili-mac/) but swapped out some types of beans and fusilli for the elbow macaroni. Didn’t have tomato sauce but had a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, so I added that and tossed in a teaspoon of taco seasoning and two packets of leftover taco bell sauce that were lurking in a drawer. It used up the last bit of a bag of shredded cheddar that has been lingering in the freezer.