Forgiveness

If yesterday’s Daily Post prompt were real…

This morning I walked out of my apartment and realized that Magazine Street was covered in confetti. For a second I wracked my brain to figure out what had happened. Mardi Gras isn’t until March, so we still have some months to go. My stretch of Magazine isn’t a normal spot chosen for second line parades, and even if it were a second line, it probably wouldn’t have happened overnight on a Tuesday. So why the celebration?

It took a bit, but then I remembered – student loan forgiveness was signed into law last night. It was the headline of every newspaper, the focus of every special news program on TV, the bulletin on every website. Student loans taken out before 2005 were being forgiven, and from here on out, all remaining and upcoming student loan payments would be reduced to .75% interest rate, the same as big banks.

It’s a huge weight taken off of my shoulders. I owe over $100k in student loans, and until yesterday, I was resigned to never paying them back in full. I thought that for the rest of my life, I’d be paying a quarter of each month’s salary into that loan, if I was lucky and rates didn’t change retroactively. I thought that I’d never be able to afford to buy a car, or put a down payment down on a house, or help my kids out with their own college educations (provided I married someone with enough money to afford the kids in the first place.) But now today here I am with no debt! I can hardly believe it’s true!

So what are my next steps, you ask? First, I’m starting a retirement plan. Before today, I was in the red at the end of every single month. Now I might have a little extra to start planning for my golden years. After that, I’m going to rethink my career choices. Now that I can afford to make a little less, I’d really much rather spend my time helping people or animals (or maybe both) at a non-profit organization for a living. Now I won’t have to work nights anymore, so I can finally use my post-work hours to start writing horror novels. I was already dedicated to the idea of going on pilgrimage next summer, so the only thing that will change in that regard is that maybe I’ll have a little extra money on hand to take some time to hang out in Spain afterwards, or maybe go back to Assisi for a week or so to spend time with the Franciscans.

Either way, this is exciting stuff! I can’t wait to tell my parents. Which reminds me, now I don’t have to live in fear of having to take care of one of them one of these days. Now that I’m not buried in student loans, I can start investing in a fund to provide for them. Such a relief…

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3 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. MIke Mitchell says:

    Wow congratulations! I don’t have student loans but I’m not sure I’ve heard of the program you’re talking about. I recently heard discussion at the federal level that rates on student loans might go UP but I didn’t notice discussion of a loan forgiveness program. do you know if that’s Louisiana or Federal based? Must be an amazing relief and New Day Dawning!

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