It's official: Sallie Mae and I are through. Well, except for the $.22 that I overpaid. Consider that a tip, Sallie. Go buy yourself something real nice.
As great as it is to see the account statement above (I started accumulating that debt way back in 1989), things might be a bit uncomfortable for a while. I like to keep $2000-$2500 in my credit union savings account (1.5% APR) purely as cushion, and maybe only $200 or $300 in its linked checking account. (It's my bill-paying account.) The final $1277 of my student loan payoff came from the C.U. savings account. So where I'm most comfortable seeing a $2k cushion, I'll now be looking at roughly $600~$1k.
I could transfer some or all of that $1277 in from my ING savings (3% APR) to keep my "preferred cushion," I guess. But I think I'll just wait and see how it goes. Quicken and I keep pretty good tabs on my household spending. If the C.U. account balance gets treacherous relative to what's needed, I should know about it in advance, and have time to act.
We'll see. I've survived, and slept okay, on way less cushion before. And back then, I didn't have secondary savings at someplace like ING to fall back on.
Side Note: I think I read on someone else's blog today that, with the ultra-low rates in student-loan land, it is pointless to rush in paying them off. I'd agree with that, mostly, until you get to the part about debt being as much an emotional issue as it is a financial issue. That last student loan balance bugged me to no end. I hated looking at it in Quicken; I hated looking at it online; I hated getting all the stupid snail-mail ads from Sallie Mae about consolidating or doing this or that with my account. That debt was more than just debt. It was also very much a symbol of all the stupid crap I did in my earlier days.
Yeah, that money paid for tuition, books, and dorms and rent. But it also paid for CDs, JBL floor speakers, Sega video games, and an endless buffet of delivered pizzas and nights-out-with-the-guys and, for all I remember, my lone trip to Fort Lauderdale. My wife and friends could probably throw a few more items in there, but I think the point is made. Put borrowed money in the hands of financial toddlers, and within ten minutes it has vanished, and not even Dora the Explorer can get it back.
Sometimes, with symbols like that, you're just not interested in all the relevant points and counterpoints. No, you just want them gone. As of May 9, 2005, all my symbols are gone.