Tuesday, February 25, 2014
On his game
I'm sitting here listening to my son in the next room talking to someone on the phone about his student loan. He wants to change his monthly payments to be income-based, and to find out if it is in fact true that EMTs and firefighters and others in the serving professions are able to qualify for loan forgiveness (they are, after making 120 payments that are income-based). My son makes very little right now, and actually qualifies for very low monthly payments, with no interest accruing, according to what the man on the other end of the line is telling him. I am very impressed with my boy, the way he handles himself, the clarity of his questions and the logic of his follow-ups, his seriousness of purpose yet conversational ease, and always his sense of responsibility to his commitments. It would be easy for me to say we'll just pay this for you for the time being, son, but he's taken it on with such integrity—the consolidating of the loans, the choosing of the payment plan, the endless paperwork and mailing documents in—and none of it is simple, this is the government after all, so it requires call upon call upon call to the various agencies, and call backs when the websites don't work as described, but slowly and surely he is making his way through. "What if my income increases before the year is up?" I just heard him ask. I love that he's planning for that, because it will increase, he will do well. It's how he sees his life unfolding and that is more than half of it. What a fine example he is for me.