I made a decision when setting up our consolidation loans and taking advantage of a credit card's 0% APR. While I can pay back the loan amount that's "overage" due to the credit card offer, it will not reduce my monthly payments, simply the term. This isn't a huge deal as we intend to put every penny into paying down debt that we reasonably can.
However, extra breathing room would be advantageous if we are forced to get the new car soon, when student loan payments recommence, or if something happens economically.
I will be putting $3000 towards the $5000 on the Capital One card. This will reduce our payments from $150 to $60; that's $90. This $90 will continue to be paid towards the consolidation loan, however, if needed, that's half a car lease payment or a week's worth of groceries if we need it.
Total cost of this mind-change: $60. It cost me 2% in transfer fees to put that $3000 onto the card.
Analysis of this new decision:
Short term: Short term this is probably a pretty good move. It frees up extra cash which is still being put towards debt. $3000 would be put towards one or the other anyway.
Long term: There's two ways to look at this. $3000 at 15.9% probably isn't the best thing to carry around compared with the same amount at 0%. However, we'll be cutting it pretty close later on when student loan payments start again if we need a new car which could force us to use our cards in some situations. (Note: the $2500 emergency fund will be fully funded as soon as the rebate payment hits our account.) Long term it's both a smart and a stupid move.