was mine this morning when I went to the Dept. of Ed to review my student loan account and find out what my final payment would be, whether they had my current address and phone, and when I could expect to be finished with this ten year obligation. I was pretty sure I was going to be finished in December and that my final payment was slightly higher than the former 359 months' payment had been.
Imagine my surprise to discover that on Nov. 21, I will make my final payment and it will be one third of my regular payment, not more. Wow! What a shock! What a sweet surprise! What a gift!
Student loans are a huge benefit to seekers of advanced degrees and when I took out the loan to go to seminary ten years ago, I knew the monthly payments would be steep for someone on a minister's salary and that I'd pay far more than the principal of $36,000 because of the interest rate, even though it was low. I was lucky to have a medium-sized pension from my 25 years as a Colorado teacher, so it wouldn't break the bank, but for ten years it has been one of the largest monthly bills I've paid.
And in two weeks, I will have fulfilled my obligation to this government subsidized program (oh, no, socialism?) and can stick that cash into a savings CD instead. Hallelujah! And in an unrelated note, the sermon for tomorrow is finished! Yay!