Sunday, July 22, 2007

Student Loans - Paid in Full! WOW!

You don't expect to ever really pay off your student loans. You really don't. I have over (or had over) $120,000 in student loans because I had/have so many different loans taken out to cover each and every semester of all three of my degrees. That PhD. alone has been more than 10 semesters - it's not easy becoming educated you understand. So, when I get the inevitable phone call from the counseling firms, the banks and collectors all wanting to discuss the status my student loans. When I had my EXIT interview at Capella and they asked me how I was going to pay off my loans - I told them I was waiting on the Rapture! (Good plan!)

Now, I'm a pro at this - someone calls and I answer the phone. If they begin their conversation with "This is an attempt to collect a debt", I am usually the first to sigh, take a deep breath, and think really hard about what I'm going to say when I'm asked why I have let whatever bill it is get so far behind in payment - this happens SO often, that I'm really almost prepared for each event - I've almost gotten to the point that I can call the collector by his or her first name, talk about their student loans, and ask them what excuses they gave to their personal collectors. Sometimes I think these crazy antics just might work. Well, what happened to me Friday was incredibly different.

I answered the phone, I recognized the number - one of my favorite guys, a consolidator. He puts my loans in order, lets me off the hook for a while, then he calls me back to either offer me a deferment (again) based on a hardship, or he just out and out tells me where to sign the forbearance papers he's about to send me. This time, he said something that I will never forget! He said "Jude, I have to tell you this, it's the law, I'm forced to inform you about the status of your student loans." I answered "I know, but there's really nothing I can do right now, I'm working, but you know, I have bills....and .." he stopped me. "Jude, your loans, well, about 1/2 of them, were paid in full. Someone paid them off Jude." WHAT?

That is exactly what he told me. He said that during the process of locating all the loans, there are a great number of them, that he was going through each one's status and they kept popping up as being "paid in full", "paid in full". I wondered about it. I thought he was either off by a few digits and had someone else's account, or he was off by a lot, and had someone else's account - he was laughing. He was really happy for me. He said "Jude, they were paid off. This was an anonymous thing". He went on to add that someone, someone really really cool - said "to do so in Faith's honor!" WHAT? WHAT AGAIN? WHAT THREE TIMES? You're kidding me, you have got to be kidding me. But it was true. It was very true.

He said he didn't know who it was, and he didn't know if he could find out. He said he wouldn't be able to give me a name if they didn't want me to know - but he could get a thank you to them. Could he take a hug and a kiss to them too? Oh, I wanted to jump and dance, so I just stood up and danced, and I did a little squealing thing too. My boss stared at me, so I put the phone on speaker and had the guy repeat what he had just thrilled me with - he repeated it. My boss was shaking his head - NO WAY, he couldn't believe it either! No way!! But it was real. My point in telling you?

YOU COULD be the person I'm wanting to thank! So, if you are...thank you thank you! How do you really thank someone for such a wonderful gift? Faith opens so many doors, doesn't she? She's a wonderful dog in so many many ways - and she must have touched the heart of someone in a way like no other. Again, no really - I mean it!! THANK YOU! WOW!

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