Tonight, while looking into seeing how much better of a rate SoFi could give me on my student loans than what I’m currently getting, I found out that my student loans will be paid off – at my current interest rate and rate of payment – on March 7, 2034. That seems like a ridiculously long time, but I suppose I have been paying on them for around 15 years now and they are a lot like a 30-year mortgage, but still.
For some reason, that makes me feel like a failure. Granted, that’s kind of been my general state of emotion the last few weeks, but that hit me harder than I expected. What could I have done differently? There is the matter of the years 2004 and 2005 when, for 18 months, I deferred my student loans because I was paying two house payments due to my inability to unload my old house in small-town Iowa after moving to where we live now. We’re far enough removed from that situation now that I don’t feel like we can blame things on that situation any longer, but as you can see, we still feel the ripples.
I don’t regret borrowing the money to fund my education, nor do I regret the money Heidi had to borrow for hers. We never would have survived me getting my PharmD without it. But I am a little embarrassed that I’m still paying on my loans. I don’t owe even half as much as some of my fellow pharmacists, but it still seems like something I should have had made history a long time ago.
I also don’t expect someone to wave a pen and magically make them disappear. I signed on the line, I’m responsible for them. It would make life a lot simpler, to be sure, but it wouldn’t be fair to the millions who HAVE paid their loans in full.
Money is such a trigger for me -it’s why I’m not going to concerts this year (well, that and I am over crowds of people bumping into me.) I did get a new phone which I don’t regret at all – I just will back off on buying records. I get to have a few nice things, regardless of what people say. But finding that out tonight makes me want to put every spare dime onto my student loans so that I’m not 62 when I get them paid off.
Incidentally SoFi was able to beat the interest rate by 1.6% for a 10 year payback. Granted, it raises our payment. A 15 year payback would lower our payment and if we kept paying the same payment we are making now, we’d pay it off quicker than we would through the government. I’ll probably refinance them, but certainly not at 9:20pm on a Tuesday night when my brain is shot.
But it’s reinforced one thing in my mind – my daughter is going to graduate from college debt free.