…and not in a good way.
Here’s our student loan breakdown:
H’s Sallie Mae Loans:
$49,497.74 at 6.88%
Sallie Mae “Smart Option” Private Loan: $6,300.48 at 8.62%. (I’ll pause while you pick your jaw up off the floor – that interest rate should be illegal.)
H’s Total Loans: $55,798.22
Monthly Payment: $416.83
These loans are from H’s graduate degrees: Master’s and Doctorate. The private loan is what we needed to cover the cost of the last semester before he graduated (Fall 2013).
My Sallie Mae Loans: $15,518.52 at 3.12%
Monthly Payment: $169.52
My loans are left over from my undergraduate and first master’s degrees. (My second master’s degree was free, through a grant awarded to my school.)
Our Total Loan Payment per month: $586.35
Plan of Attack to Eradicate the Debt: Our goal is to keep making minimum payments until our consumer debt is paid off by January 2015. Then we will apply that money instead to H’s student loans (because his are at such a high interest rate) and keep paying the minimum payments on mine. It’s also possible I may qualify for the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program and have $5,000 forgiven after five years of teaching at a high-poverty school.
In related news: This morning I nearly had a heart attack. It started off like any other morning – I check Facebook, Feedly, and my email. In my email I had a reminder from Google Calendars (I’ll pause again while we cheer for the amazingness that is Google and all of its applications) to check to see if my husband’s automatic debit request went through on his Sallie Mae student loan accounts.
We have two different accounts with Sallie Mae: H’s loans and my loans. In order to save money, we took up Sallie Mae on their offer to reduce our rates by .25% (any bit helps, right?) to change to automatic debit payments.
Well, I checked it out this morning and was psyched to see that it had gone through. Then I downloaded the tax form and thought, “I’d better get my tax form from my account,” so I logged off and then logged in again on my account. And that’s when I saw the dreaded words: “PAST DUE” on one of my loans!
I had signed up for automatic debit for all our loans at the same time, but for some reason my husband’s have already been approved but mine haven’t. I went ahead and hurriedly paid them online as an automatic withdrawal from our checking account, but MAN. That’s not cool. It remains to be seen whether I get hit with some kind of fee for being late with the payment – I have no idea how that works, because I’ve never been late with a student loan payment before!
Anyone else owe everything to Sallie Mae? And does anyone out there know what happens when you’re late on a student loan payment to that cruel mistress?