I still have to finish it. I'm hoping to stay under that limit, right now I only owe a couple thousand.
As far as the car note, it's not even that great of a car. It's a 2001 Impala. We still owe like 2.5 yrs. We got it because at the time our car went kaput and we needed something immediately for trade in only, we had no cash to put down. So we had to go to one of those shady dealers. Hoenstly it has been a PITA since day 1.
I looked up my credit report, to see exactly how bad it was. It is pretty bad. There is almost `no `positive credit on there because I have never had any credit. There are 26 negative things on there. Two of them are really old library fines/missing books that I plan to pay off with this return. They are fairly small debts, I think altogether between me and the kids' cards like $125. The others are ALL, every single one, a medical bill. I was thinking about trying to get that stuff cleaned up. Probably half of those bills should have been covered by medicaid so with some effort I could get them resolved. The other half were bills incurred when we were in TX and GA and had no insurance (and were not doing too well) so I would think I could call those hospitals and see if they can work with me through their charity program. If I could eliminate the medical bills and library fees that would be all the negative things on my credit.
What would that do for me? Anything? I still wouldn't have any positive credit, but maybe I would qualify for a credit card with a VERY low limit, that we could use to pay the bills each month and then pay off automatically out of a bank account. I just want to establish enough credit that I can get an apt without having to pay half a year's rent upfront (I'm exaggerating, but still)
Your forgiveness is capped at $5,000 unless you are a "highly qualified" special education teacher, in a qualified school district - definitely check out the link DMCG posted. I'm sorry if I missed it but do you already have your bachelor's degree or do you still need to finish it?
With regards to the tax refund, you have received great advice here - pay what you need to get into your new place, sell the car, and stash the rest for savings. Honestly, and I know you didn't ask this specifically, but a $340 car payment is just nowhere near realistic with your budget. I'm not trying to be negative but that is a huge payment and just not sustainable in the long run. How much is left on the note (time, that is)?