Debt and Loans

August Debt Reduction Progress

July was a pretty good month. We paid off the medical loan and made an extra payment towards a student loan. This month was even better. Our second windfall arrived and one more student loan is now gone. September is looking very good, too. Debt Reduction Progress in August The second windfall arrived about mid-month and then we had to wait ten days for it to clear. (Why do…
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February Debt Reduction Process

One of my financial resolutions is to pay off $40,000 in debt. January was a good month for debt reduction, but February was a great month. Not only did I make good debt progress, but I also made progress in other goals. Debt Reduction Successes in February Due to a windfall, we were able to pay $11,500 in addition to normal debt payments this month. We will have to pay taxes…
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March Debt Reduction Progress

One of my 2008 financial resolutions is to pay off $40,000 in debt. February was a great month for debt reduction. We didn’t have a windfall this month, so our progress wasn’t quite as spectacular, but we’re still on track to pay off the full $40,000 by the end of December. I’ve also made more progress on other goals. Debt Reduction Successes in March This month we paid another $3400 towards our…
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April Debt Reduction Progress

We’re now a third of the way through my debt reduction plan. If you’re just joining the blog, one of my 2008 financial resolutions is to pay off $40,000 in debt. March was a good month for debt reduction. We managed to pay off one credit card entirely. April wasn’t quite as good, but we still made solid progress. Thanks to snowballing, we may be able to pay off the full $40,000…
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October Debt Reduction Progress Update

As I said last month, was an awesome month for debt reduction. We met our goal two months early, and now we’re pushing on to drive down more debts. Debt Reduction Progress in October We reached our primary goal of paying off $38,567 in debt on September 22, then we couldn’t decide what else to do. At this point, our cash cushion has ballooned, although we have to use…
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What Happens if You Default on Student Loans

In addition to some people opting to walk away from their mortgages, the temptation to default on student loans is growing. Unfortunately, defaulting on student loans can have even worse consequences than defaulting on a mortgage. So, let’s go over what will happen if you default, and options for avoiding default. What Qualifies as Default? The government gives you many chances to keep up on your student loans. You only…
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How do Higher Mortgage Rates Affect You?

Over the course of the last two weeks, mortgage rates “skyrocketed” from 4.85% to 5.45%. Some people are acting like this is the end of the world, but really it’s not. Although it will affect people’s bottom lines, in the long run it’s probably good for the economy. Higher Interest Rates and Your Current Mortgage If you already have a fixed-rate mortgage, then higher interest rates have no…
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How to Fight Zombie Debt

Just like the living debt, sometimes old debts can come back to haunt you. This is called zombie debt. The good news is that you can fight this illegal debt collection without having to pay them a penny. I tell you how in the last of my five-part series on credit. What is Zombie Debt? Zombie debt is charged-off or expired debt that collection agencies have purchased for as little…
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Save Money on Student Loans without Consolidating

If you haven’t already consolidated your federal student loans, then you’re currently out of luck. Due to Congressional budget cuts, most student loan issuers have decided it’s not economical to consolidate federal loans. You can consolidate private loans, but it’s more difficult. Nevertheless, you can find ways to save money on student debt. Here are my tips for saving money on your student loans, and my thoughts on…
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The LIBOR and Fed Rate Fall: What that Means for You

Yesterday, as you probably heard, the Federal Reserve Bank cut the key overnight interest rate by 75 basis points. The LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) has also been dropping due to credit concerns. So, you may be wondering what this means for you. The answer is that it depends on how your finances are arranged. Credit cards: You may see your credit card interest rate fall slightly, but probably not…
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