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Pam Poovey is my financial idol.

Aug. 10th, 2017 | 12:19 am

She does always seem to have briefcases full of cash?

Having been inspired by other folks on my friends list making financial posts, I'm getting in on this. I've spent much time in the last couple of years budgeting and rebudgeting our debt payments, and we're getting really super close to actual payoff! Long story short: I had two student loans from college at super low interest rates that no one can get anymore, as low as 2.32%! Lenders in this business haven't come anywhere near that in the last few years, and there is no regulator that cares enough to touch them. Then in 2009, I took out one somewhat larger loan for my grad school expenses*. By that point lenders were not being so generous anymore, even for a borrower with a good credit history like me. Finally, once upon a time I also had IRS debt from the terrible 2012 Year of Being a Contractor and two credit cards (now down to one, and after two years of monthly payments plus my refund getting sucked away to take the balance, I now get refunds from the IRS each year due to said student loan interest being deductible).

So I've been chipping away at everything and got the IRS squared away in early 2015**, then the bigger credit card last year. The entire time I've been doing level payments or a tad more when possible to the college loans because they were so reasonable, and got one of them done with last year. Now I will have the other college loan gone by October, and indeed could pay it off tomorrow if I wanted. But I'll gladly take on 75 cents per month in interest until then to instead pay more toward the higher loan.

My original plan was to pay off this last loan by 2021 but at a pace that I set. The loan servicer's schedule of course has the last payment set at December 2021, whereas I was aiming for as early in the year as possible. Besides, the real problem with it is the "graduated" repayment schedule they set, which keeps the monthly payments super low for the first seven years, only ramping up once in all that time, then ballooning to a super high level for two years and again to an almost impossible high for the last year. This scenario is set up to maximize the amount of interest they would receive in the process, and I am not having it. So, given that I was able to get well ahead of this schedule over the last nine months, I spent some time rechecking figures and now have a plan to pay it off by March 2020. There are still some unknowns in our finances between now and then, so it is subject to change in either direction. Still, I'll end up lowering the principal pretty significantly earlier in the process, and that is the best part.

I find much of adulthood either annoying or cringeworthy, but this part is fun! And I am extremely happy to pay this shit off before these lenders have the chance to earn what they think they can off of me in interest income.

*Living expenses that my savings didn't cover for those 20 months plus a new laptop, basically. My tuition was fully covered because Michigan considered me to have sufficient diversity and merit.

**Not that they charged interest at any level approaching the other creditors, but I still wanted to be out of that ASAP.

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