Monday, October 19, 2009

mr. zero

when i was eight or nine years old, my mother held a sealed envelope in front of my face and said, "this doesn't mean anything to you right now, but this is my last student loan payment."

and she was right. it didn't mean anything to me then.

but it's meant something to me every month for the past several years as i have slowly but surely paid off my own student loan. every time i submitted a payment i would think to myself, "man, i can't wait until the day when i can say, 'this is my last student loan payment.'" and i would also think to myself, "man, i hope i am not still paying this loan by the time i have a nine-year-old child."

dreaming about that last student loan payment month after month, i could taste the relief and freedom my mother must have felt with that envelope in her hand.

it was, i suspect, the same relief and freedom i felt today when i logged into my student loan account summary and saw this:

principal balance: $0.00
fixed payment: $0.00
current due: $0.00
past due: $0.00
late charges: $0.00
total due: $0.00

that's right, friends.

$0.00

six-and-a-half years out of school and my student loan is gone.

done.

paid off.

finito.

$0.00

(and turns out paying it off before i had a nine-year-old was a cinch. which might have less to do with my money management skills than other things, but i will leave that be. and if you want to stay my friend, you will, too.)

so that's one goal down. 27 to go.

6 comments:

steve said...

congrats Frances. That is the best news I've heard all day.

Abby said...

Wow, that is awesome! I love reading your blog. It is inspiring. You have to keep in mind that for two of those years you were in Japan without an income...Don't be so hard on yourself.

Ems said...

I am THRILLED for you!! I actually just last week received the first letter that said I have to start paying mine back (happens when you're 27 by the time you graduate). I have been more than a little stressed out about it, but this news makes me feel very optimistic about the whole thing. a huge congratulations lady.

Holly said...

All I have to say is that I love Obama. He made this new thing so that you can have income based repayment. Meaning, we qualify so that I pay nothing on my loan each month. If that continues for 10 years, I never have to pay back a cent. The downside is that we have to live in poverty to qualify :)

Congratulations, Frances. I feel that way about my car payment.

Mom said...

Sadly, the story didn't end that day. I actually had two student loans. To save a stamp, I put the last two checks and the last two coupons into one envelope, waved it in front of your face, and mailed it off. Sallie Mae applied both checks to one loan, leaving it with a credit balance, and no checks to the other loan, leaving it delinquent and sending me threatening collection letters all the years we lived in Spain. It even held up our mortgage when we moved back to the U.S., but when the bank saw it was Sallie Mae they said, forget it, and gave us the loan.

The Wi Family said...

Congrats!! That is awesome! How nice it must feel so nice to have that debt paid off!! And so worth it you smarty pants!!!