February 25, 2011

Paid in Full {Finally}

One of the items on my life list was to pay off my student loans early. Early being the operative word. Quite frankly I was tired of siphoning that chunk of money month after month after month to give to the bank, with interest of course. I preferred to see it go into savings, RRSPs or other personal investment. Not to say incurring the loan wasn't a worthwhile investment - it was. It allowed me to get a degree and a job in the profession of my choice. It was an investment in me, in my future. And yes it is paying off. I just think that post-secondary education should be more affordable for all, particularly given it generally leads to active, contributing members of our economy and communities. But I digress - a diatribe for another time.

Back to my life list. Once I had drafted my list, I picked a few priority items to accomplish first. Paying of my student loans early was one of those items. So I made a plan to make it happen. I increased my monthly payments right away - essentially raising them from the equivalent of compact car payment to a mid-size sedan payment. Seriously, four years of school plus interest costs that much. After that, any big chunks of change I had went right onto the largest of the two loans, diligently, until it was paid in full last spring. I then took the monthly payment amount from that loan and added to the monthly payment for the remaining loan - I was already used to seeing it going out of the bank account. I continued to pay down that loan, happily watching it decrease payment by payment.

Earlier this month, when there was just a little more than one payment left, I called the bank's student loan centre and told them to just take the last of it from my bank account. Take it now, I said. Ok, maybe that's not verbatim, but you get my point. Then yesterday I received this letter, the best piece of mail I received all month:

Proof that, after more than 10 years of payments, my student loan is {finally} paid in full. About two years ahead of schedule. I did it - I paid off my student loans early. Yay me!

I've read many articles and posts that say if you write down your life goals they will happen. I think we have to do a little more than just write it down - like prioritize, plan and act - but do agree that writing it down makes it real and spurs us more likely to take those next steps.

Today, I happily strike through that list item and prepare to move onto accomplishing the next one - becoming a mother. I'm sure you'll hear more about that life to-do very soon :)


Brooke said...

Congrats! That's a helluva an accomplishment. Well done!

colleen said...

Thanks - even though it's been paid for a few weeks, and I've known that, it's nice to get the letter to prove it :)