[If you’re not interested in the loan repayment process, please skip on down to the bottom!] So, I initially scrapped this paragraph, but after more thought, decided some people would really appreciate it. I want to tell you a little about my experience with my loans so far. Let me break it down for you: I have a federal loan and two state loans. Dealing with the federal loan (a Stafford Loan) has actually been pretty painless so far. Nelnet, the company to which I owe my federal loan, offers something called Income-Based Repayment. Though Netnet has the most horrible hold music you can imagine (see: Nickelback) and I’ve held for over twenty minutes every time I’ve called, but the people who answer the phone are friendly, knowledgeable, and empathetic. They know I don’t know what I’m trying to ask, so they help fill in the words and push back deadlines. I couldn’t say nicer things about someone I owe a buttload of money to.
My state loans have not been as easy. First, I missed the initial payment on each loan because the bills were addressed to my parents’ house. Oh, and they don’t have e-statements. And they’re phone answerers suck. So I popped into the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board office with my pops to figure out what I could do. Once we were face-to-face with a loan advisor, things went pretty quickly. I was able to defer my more expensive loan [a College Access Loan] until June because I absolutely cannot afford these payments. To defer, since I was with a loan advisor in person, I just said I wanted to. If I wanted to defer again or having not been in the office, I would fill out a little form to apply for six months of loan deferment. The other loan [a Be-On-Time Loan] payments are small enough that I was able to make my very first loan payment!!! I did so online while I was at work and it was totally anti-climatic, but I know it was a big deal.