restructure-debt-live-richer-challenge

New to the Live Richer Challenge? Learn more about it HERE and sign-up.

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Week 2: Implementation & Automation

Today’s Easy Financial Task: Lower the amount you pay in interest on your debt by restructuring it.

How to Rock this Task:

  • Make a list of your debt. Include your creditor’s name, amount owed, interest rate and minimum monthly payment.  
  • Lower how much you pay each month for debt using three different strategies.

 

FYI: Today’s task will make you put in that WORK, but….. I also secured a special Dream-Catcher only deal to help you get debt free even faster. Make sure to read the whole post.

 

Welcome back! Yesterday’s task was great practice for what you’re going to do today: negotiate. Did you know that you can pay less each month toward your debt and still pay it down faster? Yup! I’m going to show you three ways you can begin to do so today.

 

But first…

Use the My Debt List template to help you create a visual picture of the debt you owe.

 

Click here for the PDF version of The Debt List: Click:  my debt List (updated).pdf

Click here for the Excel version of both templates: Click:  My Money and Debt List (in Excel with formulas).

download (4)


After you fill out the My Debt List sheet, it’s time to tackle how to restructure your debt so you can pay less each month. Here are three things you can do today to help you do just that:

 

#1. Call your credit card company(ies) and negotiate for lower rates. The higher your credit score, the more likely they are to work with you. Use the same script I gave you yesterday in “Day 10: Find Money” to help you negotiate.

#2. Transfer the balance of your higher interest rate credit card(s) onto a lower interest rate card(s).

 

Wondering how to do a balance transfer? Here’s how:

Go to www.magnifymoney.com and search for a balance transfer card. Look for a card that offers a 0% interest rate for at least six months and the lowest transfer fee available. Take note that when doing a balance transfer, credit card companies will often charge you a fee of about 3% of the total balance you’re transferring.

 

FYI: Sometimes credit card companies run a special where you can transfer your balance without a fee. That’s the type of deal you’re looking for on www.magnifymoney.com.

Once you locate a card you’re interested in, call the company and ask:

  • How long will the 0% introductory rate last?
  • What will my rate be after the introductory rate expires?
  • What happens if I have not paid off my balance after my introductory rate expires? Will I be charged the new rate on the full balance or on the balance I have yet to pay off? This is SUPER important to know.
  • How much is the transfer fee?
  • What happens if I’m late with a payment?
  • How much am I likely to be approved for? You don’t want to have $8,000 in credit card debt and only be approved for $2,500. It’s happened to me because I forgot to ask this question.
  • Is there any fine print that I should know about?

 

Note: If your credit isn’t decent, you may not qualify for a balance transfer card. No worriesyou have another option which I explain in #3:

 

#3. Look into taking out a low-interest rate loan and paying off those high-interest rate cards and student loans. This is another way to restructure your debt and save on interest.

Let’s start with getting a loan for your high-interest credit cards, then I’ll explain how to do the same for your student loans.

 

How to use a loan to restructure your credit card debt and save:

  • Use your My Debt List to:
    • Add up how much credit card debt you have.
    • Calculate your average interest rate by adding up your all of your credit cards’ rates and dividing that number by the amount of cards you have. You’ll need to know your average interest rate so you can compare and identify a good deal when you try and refinance your debt.
  • Determine your credit score. Use www.CreditKarma.com to get an estimate of your credit score for free.  
  • Head to www.magnifymoney.com and search under “Personal Loans”. You’re looking for:
    • A company that Magnify Money has given an B+ or better.
    • A company that will give you a rate without a credit inquiry. Whenever you apply for credit, you generate a hard inquiry on your credit report. Hard inquires bring down your score and stay on your credit report for two years. You don’t want that, so choose a company that does not generate an inquiry.
    • A company that offers a fixed term, fixed interest rate and no prepayment penalties.
    • A company that does not charge upfront fees.

 

Still not sure what company to choose? Don’t worry. I have a company that I personally recommend and love. They’ve even given me a special Dream Catchers deal to share specifically with my readers.

 

My Personal Loan Company Suggestion + A Bonus…. 


Sofi is
 my personal loan company suggestion. They have a super HIGH grade on Magnify Money and I’ve personally recommended them for years. 


I like Sofi so much that I reached out to them to see if I could get a special Dream Catcher deal just for you and they said……YES! Woot Woot!

If you decide to restructure your personal loan debt with Sofi, make sure to use our special DC link. If you’re approved Sofi will give you a $50 cash bonus. Yes! But this is ONLY for Dream Catchers. You won’t get this deal from their website.

Here’s our special Sofi personal loan link: www.SoFi.com/TheBudgetnistaPL

 

Note: If your credit is bad, you may not be approved for a personal loan at Sofi. The good thing is, trying at Sofi doesn’t give you a hard inquiry or bring down your credit score. That means, it doesn’t hurt to try. If you’re not approved, review all the steps I’ve given you in #3 above and try another company.

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How to restructure your student loan debt and save:

  • Log onto your student loan company’s website.  
    • Determine if your student loan debt is a private student loan or a federal loan.
    • Note: This is SUPER important. If your loans are federal loans, do notI repeat, DO NOTrefinance them with a private company. Here’s why: the federal government offers a certain level of protection to federal student loan borrowers.
    • Examples:
      • It takes 9 months of missed payments to default on a federal loan. It takes one missed payment to default on a private loan. A student loan default will dramatically bring down your credit score. Think, bankruptcy and foreclosure. Yup! It’s that serious.
      • If you’re become disabled, unemployed or are experiencing financial hardship, you can apply for forbearance or deferment of your federal loans. Most private loans do not have this option.
      • If you work in a specific sector (i.e. teacher, nonprofit etc), you can apply for loan forgiveness if you have federal loans. Private loans do not have this option. 
  • If you’re unsure if you have federal or private student loans, call your loan provider and ask. If you have federal loans and are having trouble paying, ask to apply for an income based repayment (IBR) program and any other program that you might be eligible for. Just make sure to keep your federal loans, federal.
  • If you have private loans, follow these steps:
    • Add up how much student loan debt you have.
    • Calculate your average interest rate by adding up your all of your private student loan rates and dividing that number by the amount of loans you have. You’ll need to know your average interest rate so you can compare and identify a good deal when you try and refinance your loan.
  • Determine your credit score. Use www.CreditKarma.com to get an estimate of your credit score for free.  

Head to www.magnifymoney.com and search under “Student Loan Refinance”. You’re looking for:

    • A company that Magnify Money has given an B+ or better.
    • A company that has no origination fee. An origination fee is an up-front fee charged by a lender for processing a new loan application, used as compensation for putting the loan in place. It’s usually a percentage of the loan.
    • A company that has no max. It offers graduates the ability to refinance qualified education loans.

 

Again, still not sure what company to choose? Then this name will be familiar…

.

My Student Loan Refinance Company Suggestion + An Extra Bonus…. 

 

Yup! You guessed it. Sofi is my student loan refinance company suggestion too. You already know that they have a super HIGH grade on Magnify Money.

When I reached out to them for your personal loan deal, I was able to give you an EVEN BETTER deal for your student loans. 

If you decide to restructure your private student loan debt with Sofi, make sure to use our special DC link. If you’re approved Sofi will give you a $100 cash bonus. Yes! But this is ONLY for Dream Catchers. You won’t get this deal from their website.

Here’s our special Sofi student loan refinance link: www.sofi.com/TheBudgetnista

Note: If your credit is bad, you may not be approved to refinance your student loan at Sofi. Just remember at Sofi trying doesn’t give you a hard inquiry or bring down your credit score, so it doesn’t hurt to try. If you’re not approved, review all the steps I’ve given you above and try another company.
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Whew!

I know, I know. Today is going to be a busy day. Don’t let all of the steps discourage you from taking action today. It’s really just four things:

  1. Call and negotiate a lower interest rate on your existing credit cards.
  2. Consider transferring your current credit card balance to a lower interest rate balance transfer card. You’ll need good credit.
  3. Consider refinancing your debt, credit card debt and private student loans with a refinancing company that offers lower interest rates.
  4. Use my recommended company and special Dream Catcher offer to help you.


My Personal Loan Company Suggestion: Click: www.SoFi.com/TheBudgetnistaPL  (has a special $50 cash bonus offer just for Dream Catchers via this link only.)
.

My Student Loan Refinance Company Suggestion: Click: www.sofi.com/TheBudgetnista  (has a special $100 cash bonus offer just for Dream Catchers via this link only.)

 

That’s it!

I know these work. I myself have done #1 and #2 with great success. I’ve also coached a number of clients, friends and family on #3. As a result, many of them have saved thousands of dollars a year. Yes, that much!

 

So what are you waiting for? Your dreams aren’t going to fund themselves. They need your help. Let’s knock today’s task out of the park.

 

I’m really excited to hear how much you were able to save as a result of today’s task. Share your thoughts, questions and successes in the comments below vs. emailing me. Make sure to check in with your accountability partner. Have they begun to create a debt restructuring plan? Work on your plans together.

 

Remember, you’re not in this alone. Share your process with your fellow Dream Catchers in our forum too. Money Management is a team sport. 

 

Lastly, share what you’re doing today with your tweeps:

Today I'm restructuring my debt to save on interest Day 11: #LiveRicherChallenge Click To Tweet

 

Remember, you can find me here:

Twitter: @thebudgetnista

Instagram: @thebudgetnista

Facebook: The Budgetnista

Forum: Dream Catchers  (if you’re not already a member.)


Live richer,

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche

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FYI:

My Lisa Rule: I have 4 sisters and Lisa is the baby (we’ll she’s not a baby anymore). Of all of my sisters I’m the most protective over her. Before I share any product or service with you, it must pass my Lisa Rule.

What’s the Lisa Rule? If I would not advise Lisa to use a product or service, I won’t advise you to. YOU are my Lisas. I feel protective over you and your financial journey.

Sofi passes my Lisa Rule. Yes, I am an affiliate of Sofi, and I earn a commission off of referrals, but I would not recommend a product or service that I didn’t believe was helpful and useful. If fact, I’ve suggested Sofi to Lisa and all of my mentees that have recently graduated from college.
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A Freebie:
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Copy of 2016 LRC Starter Kit

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Click the link below and get your copy.
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  • Dollars4Dee

    Awesome tips! I also have done No. 1 and No. 2. They saved big-time money. You’d be surprised how much companies are willing to keep good, longtime customers by lowering interest rates. You just gotta ask. Close mouths don’t get fed. As far as balance transfers, I set my personal deadline a month to a few months before the 0% introductory rate expired and ratcheted up my monthly payments to pay that bad boy off early. It gave me so much peace of mind.

  • Creni

    Hi Tiffany, I did all of these steps last year, thanks to you, and it helped out so much. I sure hope you will one day start having an annual convention with speakers, etc.!!! Thanks!

    • Tonya

      Yes an annual convention would be awesome. Please read my post. WARNING: its kind of long but I had a question in it about wanting to connect with SoFi for 2 of my CC. Let me know what you think.

    • That’s great! I’m so glad it was helpful for you @disqus_LdSOHMfGpe:disqus! Thanks for sharing!

      • Ohara

        Hey Tiff.. Some help. When restructuring my debt I checked my credit report to see if there was anything I need to consider and add in when restructuring. To my surprise everything is good. Credit Karma only showed my equifax and transunion. Why wouldn’t experian be listed? I thought they were apart of this. Does this mean I may have things to worry about on that report? Also when verifying who I was it mentioned me possibly having a mortgage loan from 2013 and wanted me to verify the lender which was “none of the above”.. I know I did not inquire about a mortgage loan but it does not show up in credit karma reports at all. Should I be worried? Thanks!

  • I was just telling my accountability partner that this was great tips!

    I did the personal loan last year moving my credit cards with the highest rates … then i moved the rest of my credit cards over to 2 with a great transfer balance that will end July of 2016. The two credit cards I have right now are the ones that have the transfer balance with the 0 percent but once july rolls around I will call to see if I can get a lower rate. I hope to pay off one of those credit cards this year by December 2016 and the other I hope to pay off by October of 2018. YAY

  • ValerieLenay

    Question!! I did not get approved with Sofi, but Sofi gave me a link about a different laon service called Avant. APR is 33.96% for 48 months and payments of $276/month at the end of it all I will have paid about $13,000 to them. Is this a good deal??

    • Lola

      No!! The highest rate is usually 19.99%-22% APR. You’ll never be able to pay off a loan with that high of an interest rate.

    • Kristen S. Pitts

      Noooo That’s horrible! You want the lowest APR possible and a lower monthly payment as well

  • Tonya

    I have already worked on this task but I will share because I still need a few more tips or concerns answered. Ok here we go! It may take a minute but here we go! My credit cards are already interest free at this time but I would like to pay one payment instead of 2 or 3 different ones. I have already contacted 3 CC companies in which 1 will be paid off next month Feb. 12 and another in 9 months with the payment plan we worked out (but I would like to pay off sooner, but if not 9 months is ok as well) the other I will run over my 6 month interest free intro period, this card I used when my position at my job went part-time and made the mistake of not contacting them like I would in the past for a hardship and I fell behind on my payments but I finally called and they worked with me (because of me being a loyal customer who fell into hard times) to have it caught up w/ 3 payments of $112.67 by Feb. 5 (which was doable) and then I can start my reg.payments but with interest but I plan to continue the $112.67 payments since it is already worked in my budget and will not harm my finances I just have to stick to my budget and savings plans and ask for a lower interest rate in a few months (after making a few payments). Or can I ask now? I would like to SOFI for the 2 cards remaining to have one payment and clear those balances, is this a good idea or just continue with the plan I have since I am working on my credit score at the same time? My student loan is already in deferment until March which helps me work on other debt for now. I have already been approved for the income based repayment (IBR) program and forgiveness program since I work for a nonprofit organization. I just can’t miss any payment which is 120 payments.

    • Creni

      Hi Tonya. I hope I understood you correctly… If I were in your situation, I would definitely leave the credit card debt that is at 0% where it is. You can’t beat zero percent. Right before the zero percent period is up, then apply for a SoFi personal loan. If you do not pay off or transfer the balance before the period is up, the back interest that you would have been paying will be added on (for most credit cards). When I got my personal loan it actually shot my credit score up.

      • Tonya

        Great thanks, I was just offered a settlement for one of my credit cards. Is this ok or a no go?

  • Aqueelah Reed

    Hi Tiffany! I have a question…I have student loans that I haven’t started paying on because I’m still in school and I wanted to know if this applies to me?

  • Dannielle Givens

    I personally have federal loans. I do like their flexibility. For my car loan though, I’m curious, should I use the first personal loan option? I also have credit card debt (under $700, the minimum payment due on Friday). Would it make sense to transfer the balance or just negotiate the lower interest rate?

  • Rachel

    I’ve got my debt organized on a spreadsheet and I’m working on paying off credit cards and student loans. I would like to do the student loan refinance but SoFi does not offer that option on associates degrees. Any suggestions on another good company to refinance private loans?

  • Lucy C.

    This is so interesting because i was on a free webinar with SoFI just this PAST MONDAY and meant to ask my fellow Dreamcatchers if they have worked with the company! this just reaffirms that I will be using them to consolidate and refinance my 4 individual loans that i have (2 private and 2 PLUS loans). I will be leaving my federal loan alone bc i do work in a field where i can get the balance forgiven after 120 payments.

    The webinar was set up through the sorority that i belong to, and they did offer a cash bonus for signing up through them. I can’t wait to set aside some time later to get my calculations done and make my calls. As for my credit card debt $667, i will pay that down to $150, and then may apply for a different card to transfer the balance to. I love being a DC!

  • Sg

    So is there really no option when you have federal loans or did I miss it?

    • Michelle

      Federal loans are your best option with the flexibility that comes with it.

      • Lola

        Not if the interest rate is so high that she’ll be paying double the original loan amount due to daily accruing interest…

        • Sg

          Ive been paying on my loans since graduating college (7 years) and it looks like there has been no ‘dent’ made in them

          • Lola

            Hi Sg,
            What is your total loan balance and what are the interest rates?

            In addition, do you have stable income that you can show for the past 2 years?

            Lastly, are you very confident that you will be able to make monthly payments for the next 5-10 years without missing a payment?

          • Sg

            Hi Lola – I dont have exact figures but 33k w/ 4% interest rate. Yes, I have stable income and confident in making pyments for the next 5-10 years. I took a look at DRB’s website. I will look more into it tonight.

  • Lola

    I disagree with your idea regarding refinancing federal loans. Yes they offer protection, but at what cost? I was paying $1900/month in federal loans and $600 additional to pay down the principal. But with the federal loan interest rates being so high (6-8%), I was barely making a dent in my 6 figure loan debt although paying $2500/month.

    I refinanced my loans with DRB and got a 3.75% APR and my monthly payments dropped to $1200. I have already saved tens of thousands of dollars by refinancing.

    If you have a stable job, then there is no reason you shouldn’t refinance.

    No amount of “protection” is worth spending thousands over.

    • Dannielle Givens

      I think a benefit of having the federal loans though is the protection of your family. If… God forbid, you leave this earth today, the federal loans will be canceled. Vs. a private loan, the remaining balance will be transferred to your spouse, children, etc.

      • Lola

        Hi Danielle,
        That is an extreme circumstance and although possible, very unlikely.

        Also the family member can only be responsible IF they are a co-signer on the loan.

        In the cases where a young person has died and the lender has tried to come for the family, the family has always successfully petitioned to have the loan cancelled once it was brought to the general public’s attention.

        Big lending companies don’t want to come across as being callous. Although it would be an accurate portrayal.

  • Franni

    What about Auto Loans? My auto lender does not refinance.

  • Tati

    Hello Tiffany and Beautiful ladies. I’m part of the Live Richer Challenge, I have a question with regards to the personal loans…maybe a silly question to some; however, when should or what makes it appropriate (not great choice of word…LOL) to go for a personal loan. I do not have student loans; however, I have a car loan, 2 credit cards (Fingerhut and Midnight Velvet) and 3 medical bills for my 7 yr old who unfortunately suffers from febrile seizures and his last episode his insurance cancelled by one day because they did not receive my payment by 5pm (my fault) none the less as single mom I do have those 3 big medical bills. Should I request a personal loan. Please help, thank you and have fab day ladies.

    • The Frugal CrediTnista

      I would contact the hospital and ask for charity care/financial assistance first. With non-profit hospitals they are required to offer assistance to those that need it per the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately; we must approach them. If the amounts with Fingerhut and Mdnight aren’t that high; continue paying them off in a timely fashion from lowest to highest as was recommended in the challenge

  • LYN

    I have a car loan with about 13k and 39 months remaining and a high interest rate of almost 12%. I was approved for a refinance with a credit union with 4.99%. I declined, because I was planning on (and still planning) on making double payments to my existing loan to lower interest and pay down sooner. I figured it would essentially be saving me the same amount of interest if I pay early. I’m extremely confused about it! That’s where I need the most guidance. If anyone has insight please share!

    • Search out Netiva Heard in the private FB Group @disqus_0DmwRjWaiq:disqus.

  • Sandy Eyl

    I dont have any debt but a car loan that’s 0.9% APR… But my problem is spending so in really benefited from the budgeting part. Instead of this, I tackled a task that has been looming: I called to request a rollover check from my previous employer’s 401k so I can rollover to my current 401k. 7-10 business days later I will have all the forms I need to complete the rollover thanks to today’s action!

  • Cee Michelle

    What if they debt is in Collections?

    • Have you spoken to a financial advisor and/or search out Netiva Heard through the private FB Group @ceemichelle:disqus!

      • Cee Michelle

        Yes, I had a financial help but they actually made things worse.

        I posted in the forum to Dominique asking a question.

        This question:

        Question if I want to pay for deletion do I send a letter saying that? Or do I call and say hey I am going to file bankcruptcy would you guys settle for pay for delete? I was originally paying a “debt fixer” to handle things but they actually made things worse for me. So I have to take things into my own hands. They had sent letter to them asking for the debt to be validated but in that time my debts kept being brought by other collections agencies or just got put into collections so it seemed that alot of things they werent handling.

  • tommithetiger

    This topic of refinancing is a bit tough for me but I get the overall meaning. I don’t have much credit card debt so that’s not an issue for me but I do have a ton of student loan debt. Most of mine is federal with just one relatively small private loan. I’m not sure if I should try SoFi or just leave my private loan as is. I will do more research.

    • Yes, research and decide what’s best for you @tommithetiger:disqus! I hope you find something that will help you.

  • Monie Iknowmyworth Love

    Tiffany you are a GOD send!!! I’m so glad I became a member of the DC’s and found the Live Richer Challenge. The wealth of knowledge has change the way I think about money. I can’t thank you enough! Thank You, Thank You!!!

    • You’re most welcome @monieiknowmyworthlove:disqus! I’m so glad that the challenge has been helpful in changing your money/savings mindset! Live richer!

  • Stephanie Smith

    Is it worth it to refinance a student loan with Sofi, if it is only going to save me in upwards of $7 a month? If i extend the time for my repayment, it will save me money, but I don’t know if that is wise either?

    • Ultimately, you know your financial standing better than I do. If you need more hands-on direction, reach out to Netiva Heard who does credit solutions in our private FB group, @disqus_GgPYQWWbpP:disqus!

  • SLRoebuck

    Good evening Tiffany, thanks for all the wonderful and helpful tips so far. Enjoying the challenge even though it’s challenging! I have a question regarding credit reports, is there any particular reason you recommend CreditKarma and not the free annual report? Just curious.

    • I recommend both @slroebuck:disqus! CreditKarma gives an estimate of your credit score while Free Annual Report gives you copies of your credit reports from the three credit bureaus. If you want your accurate FICO score, you would need to go to a lender, say, your bank to ask what’s required to get it. I hope this helps.

  • Charmaine Glover

    Good evening all, Tiffany I did the credit card 0% for the next 20 months but the catch 21 was that I did not get approved for the amt that my card balance was but it ok because I will be paying the interest and the min to keep the balance going down. And I just finish school back in August and now my 6 months are up so I soon have to start attacking my student loan. You know it’s funny that you go to college only to generate such a large debit in your life. I really did not do things the way that they should have been done. But we live and we learn.

    • We keep living and keep learning @charmaineglover:disqus!

  • Ldrose

    Thanks to last years challenge I am CC debt free. Now I am trying to tackle my student loan debt. Thankfully all of my loans are federal. But there are three, those with the highest balances totaling $47,000 with an interest rate of 6 and 7%. Would refinancing for a lower interest rate really be a bad idea? I know I lose the protection – but I will save money….. Tiffany your thoughts.

    • Thanks for sharing @disqus_MsCECTzc1h:disqus, you really need to decide based on your financial standing. Ultimately, do what you think is best.

  • PMOTR

    So yesterday and today’s challenges are taking me longer than I anticipated. So far I’m enjoying the daily challenges, but today is making my head spin to be honest. I have questions, but I’m not sure how to ask them in reference to my credit card and school loans with assist from a personal loan via sofi or other companies. I’m going to have to regroup and look this over again tomorrow.

    • That’s ok @PMOTR, take each task at your own pace. You can live richer without rushing as you’re overwhelmed. You’ve got this!

  • Nique Owens

    This week has been kicking my butt! I realize my finances are a mess because I have ignored the problem. I have been calling around, asking questions and re-evaluating my choices. The best thing I did was join this challenge. I see where my errors are and I’m willing to make a change for the better! I’m still 😢 That’s I am out of the sneaker game!!! I’m focused. A better day is on the horizon!

    • You can do this @niqueowens:disqus!!! One task at a time. One change at a time! Live richer!

  • Janet Montgomery

    Hi Tiffany. ..I’d like to know what you consider as high interest? Would a card with 7.9 or 10.9 be considered as high interest?

    • @disqus_om37RsJsnh:disqus, I think those are decent. High would be above the rates you mentioned.

  • Kami

    Sofi declined me but Lending Club offered me a personal loan to restructure my debt. I was able to consolidate 5 credit cards into one loan and the interest rate is cheaper than the average interest rate of the 5 cards.

  • Virginia Johnson

    I am not in a position, credit score wise, to be approved for a restructured loan, but I am definitely going to be able to do it one year from now if it is still necessary. Thanks for teaching me about the possibilites.

  • Danielle Thomas

    i am in forbearance with federal my student loans. I’m waiting to see if I am approved to pay the lowest monthly payment. Should I wait to see before I go on Sofi??

    • @disqus_eru13DUWmy:disqus, wait to hear back and weigh the pros/cons of each option. Move forward from there.

  • Lauren Wilson

    Hi Tiffany…I’m catching up on the challenge. I have a few questions regarding day 11? 1. I am trying not to have any hits on my credit report via inquiries and new loans because I’m hoping to purchase a new home this year. Due to this..do you think I should do the suggestions you have listed. If so, here are my questions…I have one credit card and 3 store cards. My credit card is at 14% interest reate and I’ve had it for 11 years. I’m sure I can get a better interest rate because my credit score is close to 750 but I’ve never been too concern with the interest rate because I’ve been able to pay off my balances by the due date and have never had to pay interest. In this case…should I look for a lower interest credit card? My store cards, I rarely use but I pay those off by the due date as well. I also have a personal loan with an interest rate of about 6% but my day 1 goal is to pay that off in June, should I consider trying to refinance that loan if I’m going to pay it off?

    • @disqus_Cn99pKHR0o:disqus, after you know what your goals are, do what you think is best as far as moving things around. Reach out to Netiva Heard via our private FB group for more hands-on direction if need be.

  • Nadege Waithe

    So, I have federal loans and applied for a repayment plan based on income. So far I’ve been paying more than what I initially said I could pay down just to pay off interest quicker. The only other debt is a credit card from a few years back that has been in collections for some time. I will begin to pay off, ASAP.

  • Ohara

    Hey ladies.. Some help. When restructuring my debt I checked my credit report to see if there was anything I need to consider and add in when restructuring. To my surprise everything is good. Credit Karma only showed my equifax and transunion. Why wouldn’t experian be listed? I thought they were apart of this. Does this mean I may have things to worry about on that report? Also when verifying who I was it mentioned me possibly having a mortgage loan from 2013 and wanted me to verify the lender which was “none of the above”.. I know I did not inquire about a mortgage loan but it does not show up in credit karma reports at all. Should I be worried? Thanks!

  • fruitbowlk

    I’m blessed not to be in debt. But wish you all the best with your debt journey.

  • Channa Comer

    This is the toughest task yet because of all the different places that I need to look for information and having to make telephone calls. Very hard with my work schedule, so this one will take a few days to complete. I’m determined to slog through it!

    • That’s ok, take each task at your own pace @channacomer:disqus!

  • LaTonya Wesley Ward

    I actually started restructuring my debt before the challenge. At the end of 2015, I started calling my utilities so see where I could bring down my monthly bills (ask for insurance rate reduction, get on a utility budget plan, etc), and reduce my debt thru transferring the balances to a lower/no interest cc. I refinanced my car with my CU for a lower interest rate (2.5%) The savings from those actions will go toward paying down the credit card balances. I received an increase at work, that extra goes toward my 401k, life happens fund (money bucket), and emergency fund. Love this challenge, it keeps me on track!

  • Lakesha Lee

    I have debt but no credit cards…not really sure about applying for a loan to pay off my other debts…primarily shopping and a neglected gym membership. Seems like a great idea though.

  • KARLA

    Today is a hard for me Im trying to pay off this 2,000 debt and it’s hard and I’m ashamed of where I am at. Mother told me along time ago about credit card and I didn’t listen. But since I joined I feel better about my finance and what I need to do. I WILL NOT LET THIS BET ME.

  • Sehaguay Gouede

    Hi Tiffany, I tried to apply for the SoFi loan but was rejected. However, I did transfer the balance from one credit card to the other with the lower interest rate last month.

    • Theressa

      Hi, If you don’t mind me asking why were you rejected?

      • Sehaguay Gouede

        Hi Theressa,

        I don’t know why I was rejected. I assumed that I don’t have a long enough credit history.

  • Channa Comer

    I was steadily working my way through the tasks and getting caught up (I started a week after the New Year began) and was doing great until day 11. Clearly debt is a deep issue for me to explore. I got stuck here on Day 11 for almost a month. The task seemed enormous — “when would I have time to make all the phone calls?” “where do I start?” “I’ll never be able to get a loan”. After weeks of this, I finally put my big girl pants on and decided to at least get started. I’ve moved on to the other tasks, while I work my way through this one. So far, I’ve created my spreadsheet and have negotiated lower interest rates on my credit cards. I’m working on getting access to the online accounts that I created for my money bucket and still need to work on my cell phone and cable carriers. I would suggest for the next round, chunking this task further (i.e., get a copy of credit report on one day, negotiating lower interest rates on one day, negotiating lower fees with service providers on one day, investigating consolidation loans on one day, etc.). For me, even without getting stuck, I would need to take a day off from work to get everything done in one day…………… Happy to be back on track!

  • Jessica Désiré

    Today’s challenge gave me some insight but I already consolidated my credit debt of about $3000 (from college smh) through a company. They negotiated with my creditors for a low interest rate and lower payment. Now, every month I send the company a lump sum and they distribute it amongst my creditors. I researched this may hurt your score but I was desperate at the time. Is that true? Im just happy my debt is being paid off.

    U have medical debt. Am I able to combine everything and use Sofi as well? I feel like medical debt can affect your credit but the billed amount wont really change.

    As for my loans, thank God they are federal. I am on an IBR plan since last year. I started a new job and took a pay cut, so IBR helps a lot while pay off my debt.

  • Channa Comer

    I’m still working on Day 11. I’ve gotten lower interest rates on my credit cards and was offered a second card by one of my cc companies. I accepted and will use this card only for purchases for my start up business and use it to lower my debt ratio. It has a low enough credit limit that I won’t be able to over spend and it is manageable to pay it off in full each month. I’m still working on a balance transfer card or consolidation loan and lower fees for cable and cell phone.

  • Sharon Lewis

    This one took some time and I’m still working on this one; but I did get my phone bill reduced by $60 and my internet bill by $30…my cable bill has all the discounts I’m allowed…the bill is inexpensive so I’m okay with it… So far I have found $90 additional that I can put into savings….#winning…my new motto. Thank you Tiffany.

  • Samantha Simmons Gaither

    What if all the debt you have is loans? I have 2 personal loans and a car loan.

  • Christina Arrington

    I dont have any credit card debt but i did redo my student loans. They are all on a 5 payment plan a month because of my income. I am hopeing to get a better job soon so i can start knocking them out one by one.

  • Angela Fisher

    This wasn’t easy since I don’t really have much debt besides student loans but they are all and deferral and I’ve been paying $100 a month to my loan source since freshman year or I’d send my refund checks back. I’m also partnered with the loan forgiveness program so I’m not get better rates and pay off my loans. My only other major loan is on my car but I’m paid up for six months at this point.

  • Dallas Freeman

    so can you refinance with federal loans or only private loans? I haven’t made any payments on mine yet even though I should be

  • Kaprice

    Hello, any suggestions on companies that provide refinancing options for timeshare loans? Any help is appreciated!

  • Orphia

    I cleared all my credit card debt by borrowing $5000 from my 401k. Not sure if it was a good idea but it made my life less stressful because the repayment of the loan came right out of my paycheck. Now I have tons of student loans and a car payment. I will try to get a lower interest rate on my Sallie Mae loan n LEAVE my federal loans where they are. Thanks for the heads up on the federal loans because I was considering refinancing all my student loans with 1 company.

  • Jean O’Neal

    I only have two credit card debts and one is in collection since I was 19 years old. I do on the other hand have student loans that makes up a lot of my debt. I am still in school, but how can I lower my student loans debt?

  • Monique

    Hi. Should I apply for an equity home loan and transfer my credit card debt there? It would be a lower interest rate.

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  • Lola Massenberg

    All of the debt that I owe is in collections. I even owe money to a university that went to a collection agency and have been working with them but they are charging me a high interest rate and it seems impossible to tackle this debt. I’m not sure if I should attempt a personal or student loan since this was never a student loan to begin with. Some personal loans don’t allow borrowing for school debt so I feel like I have few options. The school debt is about $20K.

  • Sabrina

    Doing this challenge was great. I am financially in a pretty good place. I did not have a lot of debt but I did call and found out I would finish paying one of my debts sooner than I expected. By the end of 2017, I will only have student loan debt!!!! I will find a way to overcome that also.

  • Dizexhaled

    Welp, while my credit is much better than it was a year ago, i still have a ways to go. I’m unable to get a personal loan with an interest rate lower than my credit cards at this time. But i tried. Also just refinanced my car 2 months ago. Got got my car in February & refinanced in July. Went from 11.35% to 5.49%. So I feel as though I can say I completed this task. 🙂

  • Vanessa

    I learned that my credit score is holding me back. I’ve done balance transfer before, but nothing to pay it down. That’s the next step for me.

  • Laurie Pierre

    Ok I tried option 3 with Sofi and was rejected and i’m not comfortable with number 2 so I’m going to do option one taking the time to call each credit card I owe and negotiate a lower interest rate. I need to keep reminding myself that paying off this debt will be worth the worry. It’s very heavy to boot. I feel i’ll be more enthused as I see my debt decrease and my small transfers from previous tasks build up month to month. This challenge is really helping me see my check differently.

  • Shawndolyn Hampton

    I tried #1, but either there are no promotions going on for my account currently or I do not qualify to have my rate lowered. Likely b/c my credit cards have always been maxed out, unfortunately. Even when I paid them off, I eventually used them back up again, but I will NOT do that this time around! This is why I can’t do #2 and probably why I did not get approved for #3. I vow, by the end of the year I will have a perfect credit score and a credit card limit that I can purchase a car with…but I won’t LOL!