It Has Begun

It is time.

This morning I opened my inbox and saw this (WARNING: The images you are about to see are disturbing)

Hate Mail

AES BILL REMINDER
WHY WE ARE CONTACTING YOU

To remind you that your account is due for a payment on 08/15/2009

For years they warned me this day would come. It was inevitable. The five years of student loan debt has accumulated and it’s time to pay what I owe.

Honestly, never have I been faced with what seems to be such a daunting task. Paying for an education for thirty years sounds like the most suffocating  and shackling task since putting on my first pair of skinny jeans (not pretty). Looking at the bill + the total interest and repayment schedule, has me questioning my career path (Maybe teaching really is for me ).  It also leaves me with feelings of remorse. Maybe I should have looked even harder into scholarshps pr other creative ways to pay for college.

Student loans were in my case a necessary evil. Taking on such good debt afforded my the chance to study and grow without the looming pressures of payment solutions that left many of my friends choice-less and having to withdraw from school.

But wouldn’t that be the ultimate tragedy? Going from studying a passion of yours to taking a mediocre job just to qualify for loan forgiveness. I would never do that. Plus, I don’t think I have the chutzpah of Michelle Pfeifer’s character in Dangerous Minds.

Student Debt? Not me!

Student Debt? Not me!

Loan consolidation, combining all outstanding loans at an average interest rate, is probably going to be the way to go for me. The Income Contingent plan adjusts has my income does. Under this plan I am saving anywhere from $50K to $70K in total payments and instead of having to make 360 payments, I only make 300. Boy, does the math add up.

I am still researching my options. Obviously, it’s getting down to the wire. Tough choices need to be made before mid-August. In hindsight, choosing between:

a) Brand New Lexus (any model)

b) A three bedroom home (or duplex) in Philly to be rented or lived in

or,

c) An MBA

is a hard pill to swallow. A Lexus would have been a silly choice. At least there is the potential to make New Money with option ‘b’ and ‘c’. If I had purchased real estate, I’d be looking at some appreciation and equity buildup as well as five years of mailbox money.

I’m still happy with choice ‘c’, but ask me the same question on payment 200; you might get a different answer.

To help ease the pain, check out these helpful articles:

Lifelines in the Student Loan Sea

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Do I Qualify for Income Based Repayment?

The College Cost Reduction & Access Act

Federal Direct Consolidation Loans


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