Maybe it was the fact that it was Columbus Day this week or maybe my brain is finally working again, but this week led to a huge discovery. No not a new world...unfortunately. I found a way to save over $2,200 a year for the next 8 years! I am a teacher in a low income (Title I) school and I teach special education at the secondary level. One insanely wonderful thing about doing this job that exhausts me and moves me to my core daily is that I get federal loan forgiveness after my 5th year of teaching. I attended Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. Although I was fortunate to get boatloads of scholarship money, I did have to take out some loans to pay for school. I knew I would be able to get the loan forgiveness in a few years so I definitely didn't rush to pay off the money. I did make a substantial discovery when doing a little research on the website of my loan provider this week. I am able to apply yearly for forbearance on these loans until my years of service are up. It was granted no problem because my loan amounts are fairly low and will all be forgiven in 2 1/2 more years. That means that instead of paying $185 a month for the next 8 years, I will be putting that money toward savings (and possibly a special education fund set aside for my masters/doctorate programs).
So I guess my advice is to do research on things and never be afraid to ask. If the worst answer is no, it certainly won't hurt. After all it can turn into a large money saving possibility for you! As I reworked my monthly budget tonight, I couldn't believe how much more I was putting into my savings each month and what extra flexibility it would lead to in the long run. Over 10 years, that's a whooping $17,600! All you teachers out there....check with your loan providers to see if you qualify as well :) Sounds good to me!