Do You Pay Off Debt By The Dollar or Cent?

I received a funny phone call the other day from one of our loan issuers. He explained that he had received a payment for our loan in the amount of $44.70 and wanted to make sure it was correct.

It was.

I logged into our accounts to see where everything was standing and one loan stood out and I couldn’t ignore it. It didn’t end in a nice round number and my OCD Type A personality took over. I had to put an additional payment on the loan so it would incrementally do down by an ever number, on the dollar, not the cent.

I like round numbers, constantly moving cents around our accounts to even them up to a nice round dollar. When I  pay our bills I always round up to the next nearest dollar. When I make additional debt payments I usually wait until I have an even number (unless our account is uneven!) before sending the money in.

There’s something about paying a whole additional dollar to me than change. I know I will never miss the few cents that will be needed to round up to the next dollar so I do it every time. Over many years of doing this I have quite the credit adding up one one of our utility bills. From just rounding to the next nearest dollar I currently have a $60 credit on our water bill. Also, from what I imagine was my dollar rounding strategy, one of our loans is about $100 less than I was expecting when I called to get a balance update.

You’ll never see a debt update saying I put an extra $345.xx onto our debt, I will in most definitely find the change to round it to $346.00. Not that it matters, since the main goal is to see the debt decrease in any way possible but I do wonder if I’m a total weirdo or are there others like me?

Do you pay your debt off by the dollar or cent?

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  1. I pay all my bills to the cent and my student loan payments come directly out of my account at the end of the month also to the cent. All my extra debt payments are usually to the dollar though. Dollar or cent, anything extra towards debt is good!

  2. I love even, rounded numbers too. I have automatic debit for my student loans so those payments are set, but I generally make extra payments in even amounts like $50 or $100. Recently, I saw that one of my loans was hovering right around $10,000, so I made a small extra payment to get it down to the $9,000s. Even though it was a minimal change, it felt so good to see that number flip down! I also do the same thing for my savings accounts. I put away $50-$100 each month but also transfer over small amounts to get the balance up to an even number. Last month, I was $6 away from having $2,500 in a savings account and instead of keeping that money in my checking, I immediately transferred it over. This method is great because whether I’m paying off debt or saving money, every little bit helps!

  3. I used to do this. Then I ended up paying off a credit card with a balance of them owing me $0.68. I would receive constantly receive statements since there was total on the card. I finally had to call them, in which they said they don’t send checks for less than a dollar, I said that was fine they can keep the $0.68. But they ended up sending me a check anyway. Then I had to go out of my way to deposit it into my bank account. The whole thing was so petty and annoying, i’ve decided not to let myself get into that situation again.
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  4. Personally I’m a fan of over-paying on bills where possible. Like you say – it can lead to a nice surprise next time you get a bill. Additionally, if and when one of those “lean” months comes along (June has 4 birthdays and two wedding anniversaries for example) it’s nice to know I’m already “ahead of the game”.

    So yes – I tend to round my *payments* up to a nice round number, but I don’t round my *balances* to a round number – if that makes sense?!
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