It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? Well, this was a busy week on several levels. Here’s the biggest bit, though: Yesterday, I told the loan servicing company to finish off the Parent Plus Loan balance remaining. All of it. The final lump sum.

The first disbursement was in 2010, and my loan payments hit their “normal” level a couple years later. At the $900+/month rate I was going, the math said I’d be making my final payment just after my 51st birthday.

Then… COVID-19 hit. And student loans (which the Parent Plus system falls under) were put into forbearance for a time. The government extended this time a couple of, um, times, and repayments were set to resume after May of this year. But I’d been paying all along as if things were “normal.” I could afford to, so why not get out ahead of the principal balance while not accumulating interest?

Something else happened along the way, though: The kids dropped off of my insurance (saving me money monthly) and work gave out actual year-end bonuses the last two Decembers instead of throwing us superspreader events holiday parties. I was able to sink a fair bit of this windfall into savings.

When I realized that I was getting close to being able to pay off the loan this year and I had the means to avoid giving the loan servicing company one more red cent of interest, I knew what I had to do. I sank a rather large percentage of my savings into the project but getting the loan gone is, I hope, worth it.

The end of an era, in its own way. A big load off my mind, not to mention my finances.

It’s my 50th birthday present to myself. And it feels good.