A pause in payments
As dedicated as I have been to paying off this debt over the years, recently I was forced to contact the companies who manage the loans and request a deferment of payments due to unemployment and injury.
Long story short, last month I had carpel tunnel surgery and not only has it not fixed me, I am having a very difficult time typing at the PC which means for the time being I am unable to work in my profession or most for that matter which in turn means that my student loan debt is going to be climbing for a time until I can get my hands fixed and return to work.
For more info on the surgery and some of the issues related to it you can find some details on my personal blog.
Posted at 3/29/2007 9:27:42 AM by Brendan
Great Student Loan Payoff
Like many with mounds of student loans, every month I get numerous solicitations for student loan consolidation programs... few if any do I qualify for (in large part due to my federal loans already being consolidated).
Last night I found an interesting attempt to drive interest to a consolidation company... with a contest called the 'Great Student Loan Payoff' where 4 grand prizes of $100,000 will be given out to pay off a persons student loans.
Needless to say... I signed up.
And now... the finger crossing.
Posted at 10/6/2006 6:33:54 AM by Brendan
A quick an odd update on Loan #1... today I received a letter from the bank that handles it informing me that the monthly installment on this loan will be going up... to $179/month... 3 whole dollars above the last increase.
What is really odd about this is that the interest rate on this loan hasnÆt gone up since last they wrote me about increases after leaving deferment and receiving my Masters.
Posted at 8/1/2006 7:45:04 PM by Brendan
I am sad to say that over the last few months I have neglected this site a bit, both in driving traffic to it, creating planned updates and in some cases responding to some emails and hope to be able to at least get started this week on a few other planned things for this site including my writing of a book (non student loan related).
I am happy to report however that in preceding time of silence I finished my Masters degree and with any luck it will help to lead to me earning more money every month so that in turn more money can be applied to these loans.
One nice thing about being back and school was that my loans went into deferment and loan #2 quit accruing any interest on half of it. With them being on their way out of deferment however I recently heard from the two companies who own these loans about repayment after they exit in August and have learned that the original sum of minimum payments of $341 will be going up due to loan #1's minimum payment increasing from $134 to $176 (due to interest rates) and bringing my new monthly minimum payment to $383. Thankfully this will not be too much of a shock as I had budgeted for an increase this summer based on what I was expecting to happen with loan #2.
I will say though that I am not too broken up about this increase (despite my desire to pay off #3 first) as I have not made any principal progress on #1 in a few months because of the monthly accrued interest being greater than the minimum payment by a couple of dollars.
Originally when I setup my payment schedule I went for a 2-tired structure on #2 to give me the opportunity to ease into such high repayments and the end of the first tier was originally scheduled to end in June 2006, which as it turns out was wrong because I had forgotten that the window for tier-one paused when I was back in school and because of that I'll be moving to into tier-two and $94 a month for #2 in January 2008 at which time barring no further increases on the side of the loan owners, my minimum payments will total $430 a month... $35 more than I pay for rent today.
While the deferment did end up helping me as it enabled me to pay some principal on loan #2 as well as the warm fuzzy feeling that if one month I couldn't pay the minimums on my loans that I wouldn't have to (of course I did still pay them every month), one minor drawback seems to be that I also delayed the possibility of slightly reduced interest rates as both companies offer a perk where if you make regular on time payments for a certain length of time (3-4 years), they'll knock ~1% off my rate so long as I keep being on-time... the problem is that the last year and a half of payments were not really æon time' because no payments were due... so in about 18 and 24 months I will be eligible for these discounts.
Posted at 6/28/2006 10:17:32 AM by Brendan
An overdue update
As shown on the Donors page, over $100 has been taken in in a little over a month since this site was launched from donations, Amazon referral credit and my selling of a couple of old textbooks on Amazon. So far, nearly $90 of what has been taken in has gone to student loans with the remainder earmarked for next month's payment.
To everyone who has helped me reach that point, I thank you!
In sad news, I received word this morning that Google has rejected my appeal to have my Adsense account reinstated and saying that invalid clicks were still detected... without any information on what sort of activity they allege. This means that the nearly $200 in ad revenue generated in the first week of this site is lost.
Some time in the future I will look into other potential advertising avenues, as well as offering donors the opportunity to have their entry on the Donors page link to their site of choice.
Posted at 2/22/2006 8:34:59 AM by Brendan
No more Google
Today Google took the unfortunate step of disabling my Adsense account due to 'invalid clicks', something I am hoping to receive further clarification on later. Until then, it seems that I am out the ~$180 earned here through ad clicks and FireFox installs and have as a result removed the Google ads and FireFox install links from this site.
Posted at 1/30/2006 5:45:11 PM by Brendan
Two days in
Here we are, just over two days after launch and I find that already this site has already taken in over $80 in ad revenue and donations! Wow! And that was just with me telling everyone on my IM list and family about it as well as making a couple of posts to Slashdot. While I doubt I'll be able to maintain these kinds of numbers... I do have to hope and remember that every little bit helps. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far!
Posted at 1/23/2006 7:49:35 AM by Brendan
At last, just minutes after midnight CDT on Saturday morning I have brought this site online to itÆs final destination after a couple of weeks of off and on work on it and tweaks.
And now... to bed, later, encouraging people I know to visit and spread the word of what IÆm trying to do.
Posted at 1/20/2006 11:17:49 PM by Brendan