December 2, 2018
It has been an integral part of my life for over twenty years. We’ve had ups and downs. I’ve endeavored to pay a constant amount of attention to it, able to lavish more some months than others. We’ve been through a lot: several apartments, a military deployment, a condominium, a house. But now the time has come to say goodbye. The steadfast constant of so many years is no more.
I have paid off my law school student loan.
I considered starting with a Julius Caesar riff: I come to bury it, not praise it. I don’t know; I like to think there’s more comedy than tragedy to a student loan. I also considered titling this post Requiem for a Student Loan, but that would have given away the gag.
Seriously, this milestone in my life is a millstone removed from around my neck. I feel I can breathe more easily.
Here’s a little student loan anecdote for you: I enlisted in the Army Reserves after college after first examining what the other branches of service could offer. The Army ponied up the promise of $20,000 in student loan repayment. Sounded good for someone about to take on a load of debt for law school. Well, some of that number vanished due to a failure on someone’s part to timely file certain paperwork. I’ll name no names. Then, right as I began my third year in law school, my services were urgently demanded to secure America’s vital interests in Haiti. Thus I was out of school for a year. Now, when you are not actively enrolled in school, your loans become due. I endeavored to explain to a customer service representative of the loan company that I didn’t want to drop out for a year, that this wasn’t voluntary: the United States government demanded that I do so. His response: “It’s not our fault you joined the Army.” Hence interest began to accrue. Coincidentally, it amounted to roughly the same amount the Army provided in student loan repayment. So, financially, it was a wash.
And now, I’m done. Can I get a Huzzah?