goals growing up real talk

grown up goals: january

Maybe it’s all of the New Year’s resolutions posts going around or my eternal love for goal-making, but I am really in love with the idea I got from Julie over at Orchid Grey to set monthly goals. While Julie’s goals (at least for January) are centered around self-improvement, I want to focus mine on growing up. To be totally honest with you, getting my shit together is not an easy thing to do and I pretty consistently fail at it, so hopefully blogging my grown up goals will help me be a little more accountable. Maybe in a year, I might actually be a grown up. I had several of you mention in my reader survey that you’d like to read more about this fun post-college/pre-functional adult life period, so this will help me focus on that as well.
My grown up goal for January is to be proactive about my student loans. I know this is a pretty specific goal, but I figure it’s better for me to make it really narrow than too broad and not feel like I’m able to stick to it. So this month, I’m asking questions, making phone calls, and filling out paperwork. Gah-ross. Even more, I made a payment. Though this payment was almost exactly one month late and I have another one due immediately after paying the first, I am officially paying for my education. (Come on, big girl jobs! I’ve got an education! I’m awesome! Hire me so I can pay my loans! Pls?)

[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.

What’s your experience like with student loans? Have you ever set monthly goals? Share your goals for January in the comments!
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