Student Loans Suck: March Update

 This particular update is incredibly exciting and emotional. Near the end of this month, I mailed my last payment toward my Personal Loan to my parents. My hands shook a tiny bit when I wrote that last check. It’s not the largest payment I’ve sent them, but it is the most important. When I decided to focus on paying off this loan, I wrote about Paying Off Emotion, which still feels true. Suddenly, a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. Whenever I talk to my parents, I’m happy and calm instead of feeling this ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

Never again will I owe a family member money. Wow.

That payment represents a huge shift in this journey. From now on, it’s all about the Stafford Loans. My current projection is to have everything paid off in September. I’m trying not to get too attached to that idea in case it doesn’t work out, but I’m excited by the thought that it could.

Even with the massive success of this month, it was still filled with complications. My cat has been throwing up regularly since the middle of January, and after an initial thyroid test, the vet suggested switching food and waiting to retest. Not only did the throwing up continue, but retesting resulted in a massive number of “not that” responses as well as medication to try to boost his red blood cell count. More than $330 later, I had no answers and no progress. Fantastic.

A follow up appointment after 15 days of medication (which did stop the puking), saw an increase in red blood cells, but not up to normal, so we’ll be retesting in another two weeks. Thankfully, the follow up visit was a fraction of the previous appointment in terms of cost, but the vet did want to increase his medication dosage for now until he gets into the normal range of red blood cells.

How did I pay for that while still accomplishing so much with my loans? I worked a lot of hours at my second job, cleaned out my pet fund and, I’m ashamed to say, put the whole mess on my credit card until I could fit all the pieces together. The credit card is now paid off, but I still hate that I relied on it instead of figuring out a better plan up front.

In retrospect, I realize this could have counted as an emergency fund allowance, but, honestly, I didn’t want to sacrifice paying off my parents, and I knew enough money was coming in to get it paid before any interest was charged. Still, after so many months of not touching my credit card, I hated swiping it at the vet’s office.

April Goals:

  • Build emergency fund back up to $1000 (currently at $900)
  • Get Stafford loans under $8,000
  • Sell Xbox on Ebay (it’s been a lingering task on my to-do list)

Student Loan Principal As Of March 31: $9,606

Personal Loan Balance As Of March 31: $0

Check out the : Finances category for more posts about my journey to pay off my loans and become debt free.

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