Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Posts Tagged ‘SallieMae

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

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Total Black: -$199.61
Total Red: $269,947.74

This is the end.  My only friends.  The end.  Of my elaborate plans.  The end.  Can’t you picture what could’ve been?  So limitless and free.  Desperately in need . . . of some . . . stranger’s hand.  In my desperate land.  It hurts to set you free.  But you’ll never follow me.  This is, after all, the end.    Keep reading . . .

Paying Ahead, Falling Behind

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Total Black: $472.38
Total Red: $269,947.64

As promised in And Again . . . , I called American Education Services, the student loan lender that I had set-up with automatic bill pay.  And now I remember why I stalled for so long.  Businesses don’t make it easy for you to untangle yourself from the electronic webs they weave.  Keep reading . . .

Last Update On Efforts?

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Total Black: $1,404.21
Total Red: $235,585.30

The monthly earnings report from Amazon.com arrived via email the other day.  I haven’t earned that much.  But it prompted me to think about all the various efforts to date in supplementing my income.  It may not be easy finding different gigs in my new location. Keep reading . . .

A Nice Gesture

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Total Black: $1,247.35
Total Red: $235,215.12

I’ve become a bit jaded with lawyers these past few years.  My troubles with the Colleague and his refusal to pay me.  Then there’s the landlord’s lawyers and all of their shenanigans involving my apartment and the numerous rent demands and then proceeding initiated back in October or November; although I may have been late, I always paid.  No matter to them though.  And we can’t forget the ol’ pals at my former law firm and how they kicked twenty of us (and many more since) to the curb because of the Great Recession.  And last and least are many of the contract attorneys I’ve had to work around or even with in some cases.  Not many bright and shining stars of the profession there.  So today when I met with my future co-clerk here in Manhattan I was touchingly surprised. Keep reading . . .

Try With A Little Help

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Total Black: $3,852.08
Total Red: $226,493.03

Total black is way up because I asked my mother for help once again.  She loaned me $4,000, money which I will use to cover February’s rent and part of March as well.  I paid January’s rent last week, along with late fees for January and February, but I’ve just not been able to pull the rest of February’s rent together.  I’ll get paid tomorrow, and that will amount to about $1,500, but it wouldn’t be enough.  And now it’s March already.  And the landlord’s management company doesn’t want to accept part payments.  So, it will be much easier to pay my mother back in small installments rather than pay the landlord.

Today’s post is short because I stayed home from work today due to a bad cold that hit me unexpectedly last night.  So it’s even more of a blessing that I could borrow money from my mother because next week’s check will be down by at least $300 or so, the amount I would have earned today.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

March 3, 2010 at 22:43

Wise or Unwise

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Total Black: $1,551.96
Total Red: $229,283.54

Whether wise or unwise, I’ve done it: as set out in Resolutions For the New Year, one credit card will be paid off by the end of January.  That leaves me with another to pay off by the end of February and then a student loan by March.  And I can’t wait!  As odd as it may sound, I actually can’t wait to pay bills now. Keep reading . . .

The Sound of Silence

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Total Black: $2,051.97
Total Red: $230,820.71

I noticed the other day that I was feeling a bit lonely.  I supposed it was just a touch of the post-holiday blues.  That wasted feeling after a burst of built-up of excitement and anticipation is released.  Turkey gobbled-up in under an hour even though it took nearly six to cook.  Stuffing stuffed down your throat.  This Thanksgiving I enjoyed anything but relaxation and comfort, so I figured that perhaps my inability to relax over the long holiday had something to do with my feeling a bit down. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

December 4, 2009 at 23:57

More Shenanigans

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Total Black: $295.48
Total Red: $231,123.38

Pay came through last night.  In fact, I was still awake around 2 a.m. when it showed up in my account.  I had been slowly siphoning the money in my secondary checking account, money that I had parked there for the COBRA payment to the firm.  By yesterday afternoon the check still hadn’t been cashed, so I transferred the remaining money into my primary checking account to use it buy a few things, like lunch and some groceries.  So last night when I saw that my paycheck had been deposited and the check still hadn’t been cashed, I quickly transferred the $399.22 (covering two months) back into the other checking account to cover it, gave a sigh of relief, and then quietly drifted off to bed.  But of course, this afternoon the check showed up in my account as if it had posted on September 18th, even though I viewed my account at 2 a.m. the next day, September 19th, and the check wasn’t there.  This is the kind of shit I wrote about in What Is This, Sarcasm? that makes my blood boil.  I guess the new day I wrote about in A New Day Has Dawned has limits.  I borrowed the money I had allocated for that check knowing full well I might incur an insufficient funds fee.  And if it had presented a few days earlier, when the entire amount wasn’t in the account, I would have happily paid the $35 fee and been done with it because it would have been my fault.  I’m not proud to have to play these games, but skating this close to the financial edge requires running a few risks.  But it infuriates me when Bank of America rewrites history, when it moulds time to suit its purposes, and allows the check through just when enough money is in the account.  What’s the chance that the check presented conveniently a day before I transferred the exact amount into my account.  No, the check had not presented on September 18th.  And if the bank functions on Pacific time, then the money I transferred would have hit my account in time to cover it anyway.  Tomorrow I’m calling Bank of America and demanding back the $35 fee I paid today. Keep reading . . .

It Just Bugs Me

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Total Black: $2,255.14
Total Red: $230,648.00

As typical of the past few months, I was awoken again this morning by the telephone ringing.  The first caller was SallieMae at 8:57am.  Surprisingly, however, the second caller was not.  SallieMae often calls from two different telephone numbers so they effectively call you twice as often.  Not sure how legal that is.  But today, the second call came from the landlord’s management company.  The letter I mentioned in Bring It On seems to have brought something on because within a half-hour of the landlord’s management company calling, their attorney telephoned as well.  His message indicated that he’d do his best to try to get the lawsuit for non-payment of rent discontinued.  Later in the day I received an email from the attorney slightly retracting that earlier message, claiming that I had said I’d be paid in full by this time and I’m not yet.  He also noted that they’re “looking into” my other complaint.  I replied and referenced only the financial issues and clarified that September’s rent had already been sent in, and should have been received already, and that half of October’s rent was coming.  Later in the day I received another telephone call, this time from someone else with the management company, telling me that he heard I had a “problem” with the apartment and he wanted to talk to me about it.  Isn’t it interesting that my “problem” all of a sudden is a concern of theirs? Keep reading . . .

Pussyfootin’ Around

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Total Black: $625.15
Total Red: $230,649.18

In Never Been Further Apart I referenced the anxiety I feel when the telephone rings.  Since no one calls me on my home telephone number, it’s bound to be one of the debtors trying to get hold of me.  This morning both my cellphone and home phone rang at the exact same moment: 8:20 a.m.  The home phone was a credit card company; the cellphone was my mother calling to tell me that SallieMae was now calling her.  She’s a co-signor on one of my student loans.  And wonderful mother that she is, she made a payment on my student loans last month and asked SallieMae to send her the bills until I get back on my feet.  Only downside is that SallieMae will only apply her payments towards that loan she’s tied to.  Without the contract attorney position I’d continue to fall behind on those payments despite my mother’s help. Keep reading . . .

Second Day of Accounting

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It’s the 10th.  My day of accounting.  Here’s this month’s breakdown:

Total Black: $462.36

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $347.14
Secondary Checking $0.00
Savings $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $4.62
PayPal Account (Blog): $48.25
Amazon Payments Account $0.74
Mutual Funds Account: $61.61

FICO Score 565

Total Red: $228,312.70

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard     $5,700.00
Visa     $8,005.65
Visa     $5,413.38
American Express $2,448.00
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line $5,698.98

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $94,504.20
Private Student Loans: $33,986.57

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $2,230.60
IRS (2008): $27,478.73
NY State (2008): $2,846.59

Other Loans

My mother: $40,000 (+ $8,000 she’s carrying on one of her credit cards–not added into total red).

Some progress, albeit slow.  Last month my FICO score was 562.  It went up by three points.  My total debt seems to have done down a lot since August 10th.  I think that was a mistake in my math.  There hasn’t really been any significant movement on either black or red since I started this blog.  Curious.  Two additions to total red: I’ve added in a PayPal account for blog donations.  As I noted in Getting Out of the Quicksand, I’m not touching those funds until there’s enough to pay off a bill (or until time on the project runs out).  The other addition is a mutual fund account I started reinvesting with.  Savings have to start somewhere.  Daily posts of total red include some amount, here roughly $60, that isn’t accessible but gets tailed on the plus side of the equation. Keep reading . . .

Change to Spare?

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Total Black: $406.64
Total Red: $228,519.06

In a prior entry, The Lowly Penny, I wrote about my own struggles to unclench my hand.  Unfortunately, despite quite a few opportunities, I still haven’t given anything to people I pass on the street.  In fact, at one point last week, the only money I had was $2.50 in my pocket from one of the participants of the bookclubs I organize when she paid her RSVP fee in cash moments earlier.  As I walked home with that money in my pocket, I wrestled with giving it away versus getting something to eat to hold me over until the morning when unemployment money came through.  I don’t know which is more embarrassing, that I kept the $2.50 or that I used most of it to purchase an instant noodle dish for dinner.  I must have stood in Duane Reade for about fifteen minutes thinking through all the variables of the items I could afford.  A box of pasta for $1.99 would supply at least three meals, but I’d have to eat it plain because I didn’t have any sauces, oil, or even butter to dress it up.  A can of tuna fish for $2.09 would’ve worked, but it was tuna in oil and I don’t really care for that type.  Tuna in water cost more than I could afford.  I debated the chicken-flavored Ramen noodle six-pack for $2.49 because that would have provided at least three meals (I usually double-up on the Ramen noodle packs because they’re small portions).  But I decided not to chance it because I was unsure if New York charges tax on food and I didn’t want the embarrassment of having to give it back because I didn’t have enough on me.  None of the credit cards had room to cover the few cents extra it might have cost.  I had to laugh though as I stood there comparing prices.  I had this image of myself on The Price Is Right deciding whether the actual retail price was higher or lower than the price being displayed on the can of stew or box of mac & cheese in front of me.  I knew the answer, I explained to Bob Barker, because of that low point in my life in Duane Reade figuring out what I could afford to buy. Keep reading . . .

Slow Going

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Total Black: $175.62
Total Red: $228,464.16

Had a brief but short-lived drop in total red this morning.  For the past few days, my bank’s software hasn’t been updating account information from SallieMae.  This morning I decided to get it working.  When I did, my total red dropped by roughly $4,000.  “Woo-hoo,” I thought!  “Progress!”  See, back in 2008, I used a portion of the firm’s severance package to pay off one of my smaller private loans—approximately $1,200.  I needed some feeling of accomplishment, so rather than splurge on needless goods, in a moment of clarity, I opted to pay off a debt.  (Starting this blog was a similar moment.  Sadly most of my life they’ve been rare.)  So earlier this morning I thought perhaps this whole time some software error hadn’t updated the bank’s number to reflect that loan as paid in full.  Alas, no such luck.  Turned out that only two of the three remaining private loans were showing.  So I deleted the account and re-added it.  That time it took.  Back at roughly $228K total debt. Keep reading . . .