General Goals 1) to be debt free in 3.5 years 2) save lots of money

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ally, Bank fees and Cat fund, OSAP

Yesterday I got a call from Ally for a status update on my account. It turns out that they have disqualified my cheque because I did not write out "five cents." So they decided the the dollar amount was different form the numerical number on the cheque. For 5 cents I have spent the last 3 months  trying to send them money. The first time I had an issue I called them and asked very specifically how they wanted the check written out and I was told that I had written it correctly. Clearly I have been lied to. So I have decided to cancel my account. Let me explain why:

1) the reason that I opened the account was for the wrong reason.

Explanation: when I decided on my 10% fund it was to replace the fact that I had not signed up for the Defined Contribution retirement option at work. So this money was to be invested into retirement plans of some sort. However I have moved the money around for my car fund last month and then decided to convert it to a down payment fund for a house. This is why I opened up the Ally account. The major reason for this is that I had no idea how to invest for retirement. But I have been reading lots of books on the topic and I decided how I will plan for my retirement. As a result there is no need for this fund and I would have been using the money for the wrong reasons. As much as I really really want my own place until my debt has been reduced there is not a hope in hell of that happening.

On December 31 my bank took money out of my account for bank fees $9.95. I am not all that happy about that but I agreed to it so say-lave. 

I had to get more cat medication $64.43 today. This brings my cat fund down to $39.91. I booked the cats, both of them in for vet aptms in April. This will be around  $150 each plus $30 for stool sample testing. God willing I hope to have enough money to cover this from my cat fund but at the rate I am going through it, who knows. Sigh. 

My first of many letters form OSAP came in today. Over the last 6 months of 'free period' from Sept. 1 -Feb 1 I will have accumulated $308.46 of interest. This can be paid in a lump sum with my first payment  or it can be added to my overall total. Ideally I would rather pay it upfront but given that it is due at the end of February I do not think I will be able to do that.  As such I opted to add it to my overall student debt balance. In September I put in lump sum amount of $3,000 which was summer OSAP I had left over.  This brings my overall OSAP down to $10, 410.46 (including the $308.46). This amount of money is stretched out over a 114 month repayment period. My monthly payments to OSAP starting in February will be $117.45.

It would would be ideal to be able to put pay more them the min. monthly payment. And this is my over all goal. But I have decided that my goal of $15,000 debt reduction will be focused on my line of credit. For 2 reasons: 1) when the first real payment comes through I will be paying interest  + principle and if I don't focus on bring the principle down the payment will be painfully high. 2) I get a tax credit for the interest in my OSAP which for now I will need to bring my into a lower tax bracket to max my income return.  I can make lump payments to OSAP at any time so when I have my TD line at a manageable amount I will increase my payments to OSAP.  


  1. Although your cat fund has been going down lately, I,ll bet you are glad you decided to implement it in the first place.

    Ally sounded like too much hard work, I think you did the right thing.

  2. Ya I am very glad that I have it. And yes it was more work than it was worth. One of those sounds to good to be true

  3. I loathe OSAP and I hope you get out of it asap.

    I think they charged me 5% and 7.5% on my loans.

  4. thanks, mine is at 5.5% but compared to my line of credit at 4.5% its excessive.

  5. I posted on this earlier but I think I did it wrong because it hasn't shown up. I just wanted to point out that as far as I know, the interest you pay on OSAP is a credit, not a deduction. It reduces your tax payable if you owe taxes, but doesn't reduce your taxable income.

  6. What is the interest on your Visa card? I think I would be tempted to pay that sucker off first! Then move onto the student loans.