Student Loan Payoff Progress Report: Month 13 -$112,733

Debt Repayment

Month 13: -$112,733.39

Every month that I update this, it motivates me to conquer debt and improve my future! I hope it helps you as well. If you want more detailed information, check out November’s payoff report. Remember, calling this “Month 13” is a misnomer. This is year 6 & Month 1 of payoff. Four months ago, I refinanced and I’m still incredibly excited every time I see progress FINALLY made on these loans!

Slow and steady wins the race.

Student Loan Payoff Progress Report, Month 13: -$112,733 | law school loans, debt repayment, snowball method

Extra Income This Month

Affiliate links are used in this post, and most posts here on WMSB. If you click on a link and make a purchase, WMSB receives a small commission. You don’t get charged a penny more for this, but it keeps WMSB running, and makes my debt repayment happy.

Amazon Affiliate: $36.14

SiteGround Affiliate: $0.00

Day Designer Affiliate: $8.85

Ebates Cash Back: $0.00 sent quarterly

Sponsored Posts: $0.00 – but a LOT of free laundry detergent for this instagram post, which was worth it. I don’t do blog posts for free merchandise, but if it’s something I’m going to buy anyway, I will occasionally offer one free social media share.

A post shared by Brittany (@brittany_wmsb) on

Side Hustles: $10 for completing a survey; ~$50.00 – selling items on Offer Up that went toward the wedding fund

Expected/Unexpected Reimbursements: $0.00

This summer I got engaged and became basically useless at anything else in life. We also went to Watershed for nearly a week, where I didn’t have any access to meaningful internet and didn’t bring my laptop so that maybe I’d relax. I’m trying to get back into the habit of pitching, and sent one pitch over last week. My new goal is to pitch one sponsored post campaign or one company per week so that I can get back on track. I don’t work with certain retailers either due to values conflicts, or personal conflicts of a different nature. This occasionally limits my opportunities, but a goal of one pitch per week should be attainable.

What to wear to a summer music festival | watershed bumbershoot CMF coachella - Meet and Greet passes LANCO

Me and the guys of LANCO

Where My Payments Went

Law School Refinanced Loan: $935.00

Extra Blogging Expenses: $0.00 – I would have spent $10 on Facebook ads, but they gave me a coupon for some reason. I believe Facebook ad coupons are gateway drugs to posting ads on Facebook, but I’m not going to turn down free advertising when it makes sense (not all of their “boost post coupons” make sense)

Discover Card: $700.00 – read more about how I screwed up my 0% interest repayment plan here.

Total Payments: $1,635.00 toward debt

Retirement Savings

You can read more about how I royally screwed up my budget when I started contributing to my 401k. Math is tough. It was a three paycheck month which helped a lot despite decreasing my 401k contributions this month!

Student Loan Payoff Progress Report, Month 13: -$112,733 | law school loans, debt repayment, snowball method

My 401k contributions have been reduced in order to cash-flow our wedding. Don’t worry, I still have two pensions (one I contribute to, one my employer contributes to, not shown here) and an IRA I contribute to. I’ve already exceeded the Employer’s match on the 401k so I’m not giving away free money. Once we’ve met our goals for the wedding account, I’ll up it again.

We agreed to not put anything for this wedding on a credit card. I’ve already realized in wedding planning that after crying at night over how we’ll never be able to afford [this must have vendor/item], that once I’m calmer the next day, I can ALWAYS find a more budget friendly option.

Current Law School Student Loans Balances

Paying off six figures of student loan debt feels like a bottomless pit. To create this chart, you can see in red that I combined the total of my bar exam, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, so that the progress can still be tracked over time and it doesn’t look like I’m starting over. In my opinion, keeping momentum in debt repayment (and being kind to yourself if you get off track) is key to long term success.

Student Loan Payoff Progress Report, Month 13: -$112,733 | law school loans, debt repayment, snowball method

I’m looking forward to having that discover card paid off again (should be next month) so that I can see what a difference the snowball method makes on these loans! Wahoo!

I’m keeping track of how the per-day interest is impacted because I’m really curious to see what a difference making principal payments makes, and also determine what kind of daily impact refinancing my student loans is having on my life.

Before Refi Per-Day Interest: $20.34

Last Month’s Per-Day Interest: $15.56 (partly because I had to pause my auto-pay for a few days, taking my interest rate from 5.1% to 5.25%. The month prior, it was $15.08)

Current Per-Day Interest: $15.77 – why is it more than last month? I have no idea.

I refinanced with Darien Rowayton Bank. I wrote all about it in the Complete Guide to What it was Like to Refinance My Student Loans. The interest reflects the overpayment made on my federal loans.  DRB is rebranding their student loan branch into “Laurel Road.”

Student Loan Payoff Progress Report, Month 13: -$112,733 | law school loans, debt repayment, snowball method

Like I told you last month, I’ve been talking to the people at CommonBond about their service. I didn’t apply at CommonBond because based on the three rate quotes I received, DRB/Laurel Road was already pretty low and I was ready to start the process. I learned that CommonBond has a process of beating the rate of a competitor if theirs isn’t already lower!

CommonBond and WMSB have teamed up to give you an exclusive $200 cash bonus if you refinance your student loans with CommonBond using this link!

Financial Goals Now:

There are still things to accomplish, and goals to achieve that I’ll discuss below. But we definitely need to take the time to celebrate the wins we achieve throughout the payoff process. If we don’t, we will burn out or get discouraged. I’m speaking from experience here.

My Debt Repayment Goals

1) Pay off my car.

2) Pay off my credit cards.

3) Pay off the Bar Exam Student Loan. I stuck with the snowball method, to pay off the bar exam loan, and it totally worked!

4) Re-evaluate my savings and retirement plan.

5) Tackle the accrued interest from my income based repayment plan. CHANGE OF PLANS! Refinance my Student Loans.

6) Reduce Student Loan Balance by $10,000 to $104,500. I’m coming for you, law school student loans! It’s strange to not have a snowball anymore. So I’m tracking my repayment in increments.

NEW: 6b) Save my half of the cash for our wedding. This is the most fun and emotional savings goal I’ve ever had!

7) Reduce Student Loan Balance to less than $100,000. When I hit that $99,999.99 mark, I think we should celebrate!

Thanks for coming alongside me during this journey. I’ve loved hearing your stories too. You can leave it in the comments, or tell me about it on Facebook or Twitter!

Common Questions:

Here are answers or insight into a few common questions that have come up during this process:

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  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Great job at making dents. My student loans are being paid off with Income Based Repayment (I’m trying to hustle my way into more money to get them paid off faster), but 75% of my loans were Parent PLUS loans, which aren’t eligible for IBR. My mom said they’re paying about $600/month for them (along with my sister’s, but it’s mostly mine), so my current goal is to make that much and more to take that payment from them. It was MY education, after all.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2017 at 7:53 am

      I didn’t realize Parent Plus weren’t eligible for IBR, although I suppose that makes sense. I think it’s a great goal to take over payments when you’re able! How kind of your parents to invest in the education of you and your sister. I’m sure they appreciate that you’re working toward reducing the debt burden! I’ve heard that after a certain number of payments, you’re able to remove parents from a loan, but I don’t know the terms of that and if it applies to all loans. Otherwise, if you get to a point where you want to refinance, you can take their names off that way. But only if refinancing is right for you and your personal situation! Great job staying on top of yours and hustling to show your student loans who’s boss!!

      • Reply
        September 12, 2017 at 10:02 am

        You can refinance to put someone else’s name on them? Going to have to look into that!

  • Reply
    Neely Moldovan
    September 12, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Your payoff is so inspiring! Love you friend!

    • Reply
      September 12, 2017 at 7:51 am

      Thank you!!! It gets a little hard sometimes (Example: I REALLY want a new fitbit). But it’s been so worth it! I can’t wait to be free of these dang loans!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Loved reading this! Student debt is terrifying!! Working hard on mine, too.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Love this! My husband went to law school too, and these loans are a MONSTER! Good for you for making progress!!! That must feel AMAZING! I totally agree that you need to celebrate at $99,999!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    This is so interesting to read. I’m about to graduate and the thought of my massive student debt is freaking me out. It’s awful having it hanging over your head. Congrats on the progress you are making!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    For your wedding savings, are you just trying to save as much as you can or do you have a set wedding budget? I’ve never planned a wedding, but I imagine it takes some time to wrap your mind around a realistic budget number.
    P2P recently posted…What I Wanted in my Third (and Final) Law Firm

    • Reply
      September 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      We set a specific number, which requires us to save as much as we can on everything :). It definitely does. For some reason, the big number was easier to come to terms with before we broke it down into the smaller, designated pieces.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Great job paying off your debts! That is impressive! Also, congrats on your engagement!

    • Reply
      September 16, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Thank you, Amanda!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    hey side note. i actually hated the first month of thinking about my wedding because it was like i was so excited about marrying justen and also so upset that i wouldn’t be able to have my “dream wedding.” i cried a lot about having to get married in the fall (second worst for me only to winter), not being able to get married at camp or outside and so on and so on.

    but crying about it and kind of holding that thing in my hand (hypothetically, you know) and actually letting go of it was so good for me. i looked at my credit card limit and MADE the decision to not borrow money for it. like whatever that ONE DAY won’t be AS PICTURE PERFECT as i’d imagined, but when we pay off our cars or buy our first house it’s going to feel so freaking good, and i’m dreaming of that more than i am the wedding at this point. anyway. it does suck. but it’ll still be wonderful :)
    stephanie recently posted…25 Things I Like About Myself

  • Reply
    Michele Ross
    January 23, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    I’m 38 and still have $25,000 of student debt (and $100,000 of medical debt). This gives me hope that chipping away a bit at a time is worth it. I actually sent in my last payment for my $1000 Perkins loan from 2000 last month. Celebrating the small wins and not focusing on what seems like an overwhelming number ahead of you is key to continuing the habit of paying off those loans.
    Michele Ross recently posted…Martin Luther King Day 2021: What is Worth Fighting For?

    • Reply
      January 23, 2021 at 9:29 pm

      It totally is! Just keep chipping at it, consistently and little by little. It won’t feel like much this month or next, but a year from now you’ll be amazed! And before you know it, it will be gone. Congratulations on paying off the Perkins loan! That’s amazing!

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