i've enjoyed reading through the forums and all of the stories and suggestions, and as i get ready to tackle my last/biggest student loan, thought i'd hop on the FFJ banwagon! that and i'm sure life will get more complicated financially as time goes on, so suggestions/advice on other things might prove to be useful when that time comes.
my interest-bearing loan left is for $7470 @ 5%.
i currently have 6K in a hy savings account - you can call that my emergency fund. if anything happened, that would give me a 6-mo buffer, and my lease is up in the summer anyways.
pay off entire loan by 12/1/09 payment date
make lump payment of 2470 right before the first due date
then pay about ~625/mo until loan is done
if i continue to be tight but reasonable with my bugdet, i will be basically debt-free by the end of this year (not counting other loans that are @ 0% for their life) and reward myself with a cruise next winter. i know it's not a huge amount of debt but i can't wait to get this loan off of my shoulders. what i'll do with that money after the loan is killed is "snowball" it into my "new used car" and "future" savings accounts.
the only thing i'm wondering about is if i could take out an extra 2-3k from my savings, add that to the initial lump payment, and then in the following months, split that $625 into rebuilding my savings and paying off the rest of the loan. i know these days, people are talking about having even a 9-12 mo emergency fund, so don't internet yell at me for such an idea, just wondering what other opinions are out there. even if i stuck to my original plan, the interest over the year would cost me $100 (as opposed to the 2.5 grand if i rode out the life of the loan), so i wouldn't be too upset about that, even though i hate paying interest.
but basically, we'll see how things work out these next few months and how much i can scrape up before that first due date to make the monthly payments smaller and basically pay it off asap.
savings for 1st loan payment as of today: $1064.9