Navient, Again

As you may recall, I’ve had some struggles with paying more than our minimum payments on our student loans with Navient. In the interest of full disclosure, these are actually my husband’s loans (which are at a significantly higher interest rate than mine are).

I logged in to Navient earlier this month to pay a significant extra payment of $1,214.91. I waited until our minimum payment went through so more of our payment would go towards the principal (as opposed to paying more rapidly-accumulating interest). The last time I tried to pay an extra payment, our due date was advanced and I wasn’t given the option to make any choices about it.

I had better luck this time, which I suspect is because I made a payment more than twice the amount of our minimum payment.

Here’s what I saw when I logged in – note the payment due date of May 13th.

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(Obviously, our payment on April 13th had already gone through.)

When I elected to make a new payment, I got this alert (which is the same one I received the last time, which is why I was confused at that point when our due date was advanced):

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Here’s the new bit – they asked me how I wanted to apply the payment. This payment was more than twice our monthly minimums. The last time I tried to pay extra, I wasn’t given this option (remember this post?). This time I was, and I wonder if it’s because my extra payment is really that much higher?

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I obviously selected the first option. According to what I’ve been told previously by a Navient agent, even though I now see this on our account:

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… Navient will still do the automatic withdrawal on May 13th. Now, we wait.

Just in case you thought I’m the only one struggling with Navient, check this out: Navient Issues (Blogging Away Debt). You can also check out my previous Navient posts here, here, and here. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

#*@% NAVIENT!

Warning…This post contains italics, bold font, and a little bit of shouting.

So, I sent Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) an extra payment a week or so ago.

It was $700 (which came from part of the money we made from selling our car).

I wrote a check for the amount, typed up a polite but very specific letter about how the funds were to be allocated, and sent it off.

Here’s what I wrote: 

To Whom It May Concern:

Please apply this check of $700 directly to the principal of Loan number #——–.

 Please DO NOT ADVANCE THE DUE DATE. Please apply this amount to ONLY the principal of ONLY Loan #——– (as of 12/4/14, the balance is $23,612.49).

 My account number is #———. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 Sincerely,

Ms. Mintly

Honestly, I don’t know how I could be any clearer.

So what did they do? What they did last time, too. They applied the money to BOTH loans we have with them, and they applied part of the payment to interest.

I emailed them, copied and pasted the letter I sent with the check, and even ASKED FOR ADVICE on how to make sure I word my letters in the future to be sure this doesn’t happen again, and what did they do?

Sent me back a form email: 

Please do not respond to this email as it’s an automatic response. Thank you for contacting us about your recent payment. It will be credited in accordance with our payment processing policies and procedures. You can review your payment history online by logging in to your account at Navient.com. Online confirmation that your payment was credited will be available in 3-5 business days. Please note that a payment submitted online can take up to two business days to post to your account, excluding weekends and bank holidays. You will not receive an additional email response if no other issues were presented in your inquiry. If other issues were presented, you can expect to receive an email response from our dedicated Customer Service team shortly.

WTF, Navient?! WTF?!?!

They changed it and applied the payment to the one loan I wanted them to apply it to, but they split it between principal and interest.

Do they not even allow you to directly pay down only the principal?

So I have sent them ANOTHER email, asking (politely) whether it’s even possible for someone to pay down his/her principal ONLY with a SUPPLEMENTARY PAYMENT (without advancing one’s due date).

Seriously, am I crazy here? Shouldn’t it be against the law to not allow someone to submit an extra payment (in addition to their REGULAR PAYMENTS, so not trying to substitute here – I know that some money has to go to interest, I know that!) that is fully and directly applied to the principal of the loan?!

Has anyone else figured this out?! PLEASE HELP ME!

To see my follow-up post to this (and how Navient screwed us over for the third time), click here.

August 2014 Recap

 

August 2014 Accountability

 

August 2014 Overview: 

So much going on, which is why this is so late going up!

As you’ll recall, with my recent job change, we restructured our Debt Eradication goals and are now focusing on saving. This means that we only lowered our debt by around $500 in August, plus the fact that I was only paid for half a month’s full-time work (since I started on August 13th). So even though my side hustle check came in at better than expected (woohoo!), we really didn’t have that extra $1200-$1500 from the side hustle that I’d been making monthly since March. I’m sad to see it go, but the benefits of my new job FAR outweigh the downsides! (I’m feeling a post about my new job coming on…!)

The debt we’re focusing on for the moment is the student loan that was transferred to our Citibank card (which currently stands at $4364, down from $6083 back in May). We keep on paying $450 a month, which will get the balance down to $0 two months before the interest comes due. I guess you can’t call that “focusing” on it, since we’re not snowflaking any funds to it – we’re just letting the magic of automatic debit work for us, so we really don’t think about it at all. However, that’s the most concentrated effort we’re making to paying down our debt at the moment.

As you may recall, we are under contract on our house, and we’re set to close on it by the middle of the month. This is super exciting, but we’re still hesitant to count our chickens before they hatch. 

At this point, we’ve gone ahead and signed a lease, since the due diligence period was up on August 31st. This allows us to move forward on getting a PO Box (welcome to small-town living), which then allowed us to have a legit mailing address, which then allows us to go ahead with setting up utilities at the new place. 

Even if the buyers were to back out at this point, we could live off of their due diligence check ($2000) for two months of renting, so that’s positive at least. After that, we would be hard-pressed to make it work to have enough money to cover our mortgage AND rent.

So, fingers crossed that this closing goes smoothly, mmkay?

 

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The Numbers

Honestly, guys, the numbers are kind of weird this month, and I didn’t keep track as well as I normally do. For instance, when we buy things for L for school or spend money on her activities (like ballet or after-school care), I usually take it out of the sinking fund. Same for any business-related expenses that H has. However, I was seriously concerned about how much moving and a deposit/1st month’s rent is going to cost us, and I was loathe to remove anything from our savings. So, instead, I just grinned and bore it when we bought those things, and I didn’t replenish our checking account to make up for those costs. So, no snowflaking this month, though we did make a little bit of extra cash to pad the checking account. 

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Additional Money this Month:

$345 – H was finally reimbursed from the trip he took back in the winter. FINALLY. 

$40 – I listed two textbooks I had from my previous job on Facebook, and a former professor bought them!

$21 – I sold a textbook to TextbookRush.com. (<– Not an affiliate link) Now that I’ve found that place, I’m pretty psyched! Don’t have many textbooks left myself, but maybe I’ll find more as we move! (Since then, I’ve also sent another textbook to them, and I’m waiting for the $10.10 to show up in my checking account from Paypal!)

$194.74 – When we got to August 31st and had our paychecks come in, I zeroed out whatever had been left in the checking account before the paychecks arrived. That’s almost $200 that I put right into our Moving Fund, which brought us up to where I wanted to be for that line item in our savings account!

Savings / Sinking Fund: $4935

  • $737.04 – Travel Fund (to France in July 2015)
  • $417.14 – Emergency Fund 
  • $3229.78 – Moving Fund
  • $551.04 – All other categories (business expenses, gift fund, medical expenses, auto insurance, etc.)

The Moving Fund has been getting all our lovin’ – we are predicting that our moving costs alone will be around $3200. 

That breaks down this way:

  • $800 first month’s rent (OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE OUR RENT IS ONLY GOING TO BE $800/MONTH?!)
  • $800 deposit 
  • $1600 for movers
    • At $160/hour, that number assumes that it’s going to take the movers 9 hours to move our stuff out of our house and into the new place and it includes the one-hour-long commute – they claim that they don’t charge us after they are done unloading the last of our items, so that sounds to me like they won’t charge us for the time it takes for them to drive back?
    • I sincerely hope it doesn’t take them 9 hours. 
    • Additional info: our new landlord has some furniture upstairs that he doesn’t want to move down to the basement to store himself, so he is going to pay the movers for the time they spend taking those items down to the basement before they move our things in. Cool.
  • Any extra costs associated with starting new utilities in the new place.

Money Accomplishments this Month: 

  • Made money on those things listed above. Woohoo!
  • Got the payout check from my previous job for my unused leave time. Unfortunately, I believed it would be $3,300 – but that was pre-tax! They took out retirement and all of the other things they take out, because it was treated as a salary check. I understand why, but I was pretty disappointed that it wasn’t $3300. Instead, it was $2,525.25
    • I allocated $1000 of it to my Roth IRA even though that’s a larger percentage than I had planned (but the dollar amount is the same).
    • We have sent off a check to Sallie Mae for $1525.25 to be allocated to H’s highest student loan (the one that sits at $27,000+. It won’t make a big difference either way, though it will bring up our overall net worth, so that’s not a bad thing.
  • Due to the weird way that the side hustle gig calculates weeks vs. hours, I got paid about $1900 for that, which was good, because I only got $1500 from my half-month full-time paycheck. That brought me to enough to put quite a bit into our Moving Fund (about $900), so we’re going to have to live pretty frugally in September (we live on last month’s income, technically, since we get paid on the last working day of each month).

Money Setbacks this Month: 

  • Over-budget, like, all the time. I’m looking forward to seeing what my paycheck is at the end of September. This will help us budget better! I’m okay with setting our food budget higher permanently, but it feels like we could be doing a lot better. We ate out last month a few more times than usual (and not even GOOD food – just for convenience on the way home during the long commute).

Life (as in, Non-Monetary) Accomplishments this Month:

  • Started my new job and it is AWESOME. I’m way less stressed than I used to be.
  • Getting packing done, which involves donating and consigning a number of items. It seems like it’s never-ending.
  • Got L started in kindergarten, which hasn’t been as smooth a transition as we’d like (she doesn’t seem to enjoy kindergarten – what kid doesn’t enjoy kindergarten?!), but we’re hoping once we’re settled into the new house and we’re not commuting two hours a day, she will settle into it and enjoy it better.
  • Made it to the end of the Due Diligence period, so now the buyers of our house would be out $2k if they backed out now!
  • Found buyers and got our house under contract! Seriously, if this all goes through, it will be AMAZING and faster than we even could have hoped for.

What I’m Looking Forward to in September:

  • Getting all of the utilities set up in the new place and cut off in the old place. What a pain in the arse.
  • Getting my September paycheck. It looks as though I could count on something even as high as $3,000, but I’m trying to temper my expectations to $2,700. However, 3k doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility, since my half-month paycheck DID have all of the deductions and insurance premiums taken out (I claimed “0” exemptions on my taxes because I know how I operate and I will do better getting a big refund check and making less a month).
  • Planning our budget for October!
  • Being out of our house (though I know I will miss it dearly) and into our new house – the commute time is going to be SO MUCH SHORTER and who knows how our gas spending will average out by October?!
  • If we have any money leftover in the moving fund (fingers crossed!), we want to allocate it to the Travel Fund & the Emergency Fund. Kind of looking forward to doing that.
  • Getting paid for our house! We don’t know exactly how much it will turn out to be after attorney’s fees and paying our Realtor, but it looks like it will be under $10,000. We plan to put it right into the savings account to save for a future downpayment. (That could change later as we re-evaluate our Debt Eradication goals.)

So, have you ever expected a huge payout from a former job and then realized it was much smaller due to all taxes, etc.?! How did you deal with that CRUSHING disappointment? Or am I seriously the only person who can be so disappointed by money?

– M.

P.S. I know these posts are hella-long. I need to post more during the month so I’m not trying to cram everything into a monthly re-cap. It just makes no sense. But honestly, it’s really just me, myself, and I around here at the moment, so I’m not gonna freak out about it. I’ll work on it next month!