What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

An O’Russell Always Pays Her Debts September 27, 2014

I always hear about all my friends having problems with their student loan companies. Some of the problems are their own fault. If you don’t pay, they comin’ after you. And some are problems with the companies themselves. Not being able to get a hold of customer service, unachievable payment plans, and complicated billing systems that make it nigh on impossible to figure out what you owe.

I could go on a rant about the ridiculous price of a college education and the offensive nature of student loan interest rates versus corporate interest rates. But I was a dance major, not a finance major (if that’s even a thing), and this blog isn’t for that sort of thing anyway.

Besides, I was lucky. One of the few perks of going to school in Oklahoma, no offense to my dear Okies, was my private student loan company. It was like owing your grandmother $40,000. When I left college I had my Dave Ramsey book in hand and was ready to take on the world. I called my student loan company and asked if I could split my monthly payment in two and pay twice a month. The dear, elderly, at least I assume elderly, woman on the phone was so worried about me! Instead of giving me poop about wanting two withdrawals a month, she said, “Now, sweetheart, if you’re havin’ trouble makin’ those payments, we can work out a deferment for you. Or we could work on some prorating for your payment.”

I told her I didn’t need a deferment. I just didn’t want to pay it all on the same paycheck.

She said, “All right, but you just let us know if it gets to be too much. We don’t want you goin’ hungry to pay us back.”

Thanks, Grandma.

There have been a few times, like when I was an intern, when a deferment would have been great. But I wanted to pay back Oklahoma and all the BS it dealt me without any sympathy or help. Not even from well-meaning elderly ladies who knit between phone calls. So my husband and I saved. And worked. A lot. A poop load.

And I am now proud to say that both of our student loans are paid in full! No more strings, no more owing the past. We are free. And it is glorious.

So thanks, student loan Grandma, for the understanding. But this big kid paid you back all on her own.


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