It’s as if we stumbled into an age of “Yes We Can” when “Perhaps We Shouldn’t” might be more appropriate. On a daily basis I mentally tally the numbers in my bank account against the number of purchases for goods or services that I need to make. I divide needs and wants. I factor in supply and demand. I speculate about future earnings. I add in priorities such as healthcare, transportation and shelter. Then I make a decision. And the Tween-let and I have just ordered an ice cream cone. Can you imagine what I go through when I have to decide whether or not to pay my health insurance?
What does any of this have to do with forgiveness? I’ve struggled to forgive the folks at my last job for putting me in this predicament in the first place. Now that I’m aware of the need to forgive, shifting my perspective and speech about the incident has helped me move forward. And I’m the first to admit, it hasn’t been easy.
Forgiveness feels good whether you are the doer or the recipient. Forgiveness is that light chalky smell of the slate being wiped clean. It is the spiritual equivilent of a do-over.
With all things that feel good, the Feds want in as well. I read about two loan forgiveness programs here. In summary:
Under certain circumstances, the federal government will reduce payments, and ultimately forgive all or part of an educational loan for those who choose a career in the military, volunteering, teaching or practicing law or medicine in low-income communities. And some may even be able to reduce their payments, based solely on their income and family size.
There are two loan programs that sound particularly promising; the first starting in July is the Income-Based Repayment program. With this program monthly payments are capped at 15% of your discretionary income and after 25 years of reduced payments the remaining loan balance is forgiven, for more information go to www.ibrinfo.org.
Another program that is now available is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which began in July of 2008. To qualify, borrowers must be employed by the federal, state, or local government, any non-profit or work full-time for AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. If the borrower has ten years of service and has made 120 payments, the remainder of the loan can be forgiven. More information can be found at www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice/phtml or you can call the US Department of Education at 1-800-557-7932.
Forgive? Yes we can!
Something spectacular is just around the bend…