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Monday, January 29, 2007

I paid off my student loan today.

Yes, I still have (or had) a student loan. The friendly Government of Canada was anxious to keep me on the hook for as long as possible. As I paid the loan down, they would re-evaluate my payment, so I would still be able to pay them for the full 10 years of the original contract I signed with as much interest as possible.

Five hundred dollars per month turned into four hundred, and then into two hundred and one hundred. The bill that showed up last week was for $37.

About two years ago, Steve and I decided to stop paying it off so quickly. Compared to the interest rate on our credit card, the student loan looks pretty good. But I think I’d rather deal with the credit-card people than the jerks at the student-loan call centre.

I don’t have the energy to remember a $37 bill every month, so we would mail a package of cheques every year. And God forbid we should forget that November is cheque-writing time. The student loan is due on the first of every month. I would get a stern call on the third of the month, demanding payment. These conversations would go something like this:

Government of Canada: I’m calling about your student loan. Your payment is late.
Me: Oh, really? I guess I forgot to mail the package of cheques. I’ll send you another package.
GofC: You currently owe us $37.
Me: Yes, I know. I’ll send you another package of cheques.
GofC: When will we receive payment?
Me: When the package arrives. I’m in the Northwest Territories, so it will probably take a couple of days.
GofC: You owe us $37. You need to make arrangements to pay us right away.
Me: Yes, I just said I would mail you a package of cheques, just like I do every year.
GofC: When will you do that?
Me: Tomorrow, I guess. The post office is closed right now.
GofC: So you’re going to go write those cheques right now?
Me: YES.
GofC: If we do not receive payment, we will take collection action.

I don’t know if these guys spend their days chasing career criminals, but I can’t help but think it must cost them more than $37 to call and harass me into sending payment right away.

Wait, I meant that it must cost ME more than $37. Thanks, Government of Canada.


The Capitalist said...

Strange how that works, eh! Another interesting side note: Interest on my student loan is 2.35% more than the interest on my mortgage. What wonderful help they've given us to get through University.

But congrats on paying it off.... I long for the day when my net worth will be $0.00

Mom said...

Good job!!