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  1. I have paid, consistently, $40 per week to rid myself of student loans. Now, my MONTHLY payment amount is $39.90. What I have ACTUALLY been paying per month is $160. And YET, on my last student loan statement, of that $160, only $16.55 went to pay off the principal balance. WTF?! I'm going back in time, and based on these payments, I should have paid off at least $1100 (rounding) in principal, and a few hundred in interest. This has not been the case. Last year's $1465 in total payments against a $5500 student loan as resulted in only a reduction of $551 in principal. (Keep in mind, my actual annual obligation is like $478.80 if I paid the minimum as agreed) What the hell is going on? This is a federal direct loan. Anyone with insight, please help. **** ALSO, I include a statement with EVERY money order I send to direct each payment to PRINCIPAL where interest payments have been satisfied)