Wednesday, August 31, 2022

An Open Letter to the Student Loan Department

Dear whomever is in charge of the student loan forgiveness program,

Son Number One is a high school senior this year, so he’ll be off to college around this time next year. We’re all very excited about your new plan to wipe out student loan debt, and we plan to take full advantage of that next year.

Originally, we were thinking he’d need to stay in our home state of California for college to avoid those high out-of-state tuitions, but your new program has really opened up the possibilities. Since money is no longer an object, I think we’ll have him try to get into some of those famous schools that always seem to produce good results, like Harvard, Cambridge, or MIT. However, I’m not sure if he really has what it takes, grade-wise, so we’d really appreciate it if you could put in a good word for him. Thanks in advance!

I’m really writing today to inquire how to get started on the forgiveness of all of our past and existing student loans. I noticed that the program was entitled “Student Loan Forgiveness” without the “College” qualifier, and that’s great for us, because we’ve had student debt for years now with the three boys.

Let’s start with the obvious one – our mortgage. We’ve been housing up to three students here for the last fourteen or fifteen years, ever since Son Number One headed off to his first day of preschool. That obviously qualifies under the “room” section of room and board.

We’ll obviously split the mortgage amount by three-fifths, since my wife and I aren’t students anymore. Just let me know where to send that sizeable bill for forgiveness. Will you work directly with the bank that holds the mortgage, or will you send us a check? Either way is great. Whatever works best for you.

Now, let’s talk food. We’ve also been feeding these young students the whole time we’ve been housing them, which falls under the “board” portion of room and board. (Interesting side note, in case you were unaware – the term “board” means food because it refers to what folks used to eat off of before plates were invented.)

Based on our current weekly grocery bill, I can get you a fairly decent estimate of the total for the last fifteen years. Again, I’d be happy to split it by three-fifths, which in this case is extremely generous on my part, because these boys eat waaaay more than we do. You’ll obviously need to send me a check directly for the past amounts, but going forward, I’m happy to have you send me a credit card that I’ll use only for the boys’ food. Just make sure it has a high credit limit. I think they plan to start dining at some pretty fancy restaurants.

Besides tuition and room and board, transportation costs to and from school are the only other thing I can think of that needs forgiving. Son Number One and Two drive separately to school because of differing schedules, and Son Number Three has to ride with whomever lost the Ro-Sham-Bo that morning. We have never had any car loans, mainly because no bank will loan us money to buy cars as crappy as ours, but also because I have an aversion to financing anything that can roll off a cliff.

That’s all going to change now that student loan forgiveness is in full swing. We’ll start shopping right away for new cars for the boys. I’m thinking we should just get three new cars now, since Son Number Three will be learning to drive in about a year. Might as well handle all the paperwork at once to make things easier on you guys. You’re welcome.

We’ll want to go mid-upper level with the new rides. I’m thinking in the BMW/Audi/Maserati arena. We both obviously want to get something reliable, but I don’t want to spoil these kids, you know? Gotta keep them grounded and teach them how the real world works out there, right?

Do we call you from the dealership to handle the loan side of things, or do you want to just send a check in advance? Again, whatever works best for you.

We just can’t thank you enough for this new program. Super helpful! Looking forward to hearing from you soon about moving forward on all this, and we’ll be back in touch again next year for the college costs.

Yours in forgiveness,



Copyright © 2022 Marc Schmatjen


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