A couple of weeks ago I discussed how I had enrolled in Public Student Loan Forgiveness. I did it because I wanted to see where I stood with the program and to give us a little bit more breathing room to accelerate payments on some other debt.
My enrollment in the PSLF program only lowered my payment by $50, but $50 is better than nothing. Even though I enrolled in the program I still have considerable doubts about the whole ethics behind it, at least for me. I know there are many who wrote that if I qualify for the program I should take it. But for some reason this nagging part of me feels guilty about it. I took those student loans. I knew what I was doing. I could’ve stopped. Blah, blah, blah.
Since I enrolled in the program the federal government has been evaluating my application and determining how many payments I would have until loan forgiveness. And the GOOD WORD WAS?
9 YEARS, 5 MONTHS
That was the answer I got. And it didn’t surprise me. I mean up until this last year I had made too much money to be enrolled in the program. I could’ve enrolled about two years ago, but that whole ethics thing kept me from doing so.
So how does this differ from my normally scheduled program? Well, by doing PSLF I would wipe off 1 YEAR and 3 MONTHS until my loans would be paid off on their own.
You read that right a lousy 1 YEAR. Wooopie da dooooo!
For now I will continue in the program. However, I plan to continue to pay off 10% of my original debt every year until it is done. I accomplished my goal in year 1 and I am a little behind in year 2, but I continue the progress. If that means during this debt payoff period that I pay off my student loans sooner so be it.
As I continue my journey to financial independence I continue to learn lessons about myself. I obsess over small little things often and lose sight of the larger goal. Frankly, it shouldn’t matter where I pay that money off as long as I make my larger goal. For example, if I slice $20000 off my mortgage this year instead of $20000 off my student loans who cares. I mean I am still making progress, hitting my goals and moving forward.
Sometimes it takes time folks. I can be a slow learner, but I always get there.
How Does This Impact My 2016 Financial Goals?
I don’t know if the revelation over my student loans impacts it that much. What might have more impact is where I decide to put dollars to work. I mean I still want to pay off my personal loan by the end of the year (preferably my birthday). But people have rightfully pointed out that the interest rate is so low so why am I making it a priority. It would be better to invest and save.
I am still considering that. But my overall goal of paying off $26,400 is still something I want to honor no matter what.
I guess we will see what happens. In some respects this is like the message I put on the end of my syllabus: I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE CHANGES AS NEEDED. ALL CHANGES WILL BE ANNOUNCED AHEAD OF TIME.
This is personal finance. I have to do what is right for me and my family. The ultimate goal is still the same: FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE. I am just still trying to figure out the best way to get there.