Thursday, April 5, 2012

Taking stock of set-backs pt 4: Payment Squeeze

That Horrible Woman behaves like a python in our family. She comes in quietly and innocuously, and when we least expect it decides to strangle the life out of us and devour us whole. Our payments went up. Quietly. Very quietly. We had no idea we were behind until we got an e-mail (not a phone call or letter as we requested) telling us that we were delinquent on our loan payments. (Keep in mind that That Horrible Woman was told to send us coupon books for payments, and has only sent them to Emily.) When we checked the website, sure enough the minimum monthly payment had increased slowly over the previous couple of months so that it was nearly a quarter of our monthly take-home just by itself. Caleb called That Horrible Woman and was given a figure for what the amount could be decreased to. When we called again (after becoming current) and referenced the call we had made previously the "person" sitting on the other end told us that that price could not be reached. Much eye rolling and negotiating later our payment has decreased to a manageable level.

"Manageable level" here means that we can afford the payment schedule currently set out for us by That Horrible Woman. It does not mean that we are on the fast-track towards paying down Caleb's student loan (which is still gradually increasing rather than decreasing). This is one of the hardest things from which to find encouragement. It seems like such a losing battle! When little Z sings "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" she likes to make a big deal out of the "Whoosh" of the rain washing the spider out of the water spout; and like the spider in that song I feel like we keep getting forced out of the drain only to continue our climb as soon as the weather clears up. Truly, the one thing that will keep us from completing our goal by the 2014 deadline will be Caleb's student loans and the oppressive feeling of helplessness associated with them.

I'd like to finish this post with some kind of positive upswing, and so I will focus on those things regarding our student debt which could be seen in a positive light:

  1. We will be paying off the student loan from nowhere in less than a year (just a week from now)
  2. We will have enough money from our tax credit to pay down a significant portion of Emily's loans
  3. We are finally in a position to make snowball (not just minimum) payments on Emily's loans
  4. Caleb's graduate degree has gotten him a job with only upward movement (even if that movement is slow)
  5. We have not taken out any more debts and so are not going any further into debt
  6. Every payment on Emily's student loan since last year has been on principal and not on interest

No comments:

Post a Comment