There are times when you have to celebrate the small things.
For example, I know I’ll be paying student loans off probably beyond being retired… or at least close to that time. That’s how it is when you take out a ton of loans.
Heed this advice, those of you who may just be in or going to college — avoid loans as much as possible. Work hard to get grants and scholarships. Work. Do whatever you have to do, but avoid the loans as much as possible.
Besides the normal federal loans (ie: Sallie Mae, or Navient as it is now), I took out some private loans when I went to college. And these aren’t as fun.
When I first got out of college and was working in the newspaper industry (which, for the record, pays quite awful), I paid what I could and used the forbearance card and such as much as I could.
In February 2011, I became unemployed. I got help with the forbearance and such with the federal loans, but when it came to private, I was out of time. So the private loan people told me I had to keep paying. To the credit of them — they did work with me to get me a lower interest rate and such.
Over the past four years, I’ve paid every month. Once I gained employment again, I paid more when I could. I just kept chipping away.
Then, late last week, I got my federal tax return back. With a little portion of that, I did something I had been looking forward to doing — paying that loan off. With one click of the mouse, it was all done. Paid off and done.
I can’t lie — it’s pretty refreshing to go to the account page and see “You have loans paid in full” and a balance of “$0.00.”
It’s going to be a long time before the next ones get to that point, so for now… this is a small victory and one I am excited about having.
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