Go now you are forgiven: The end of my battle with student loans

Emma Wood


One fortuitous November morning, lagged by the weight and the humdrum of the pandemic, I accessed my FedLoan account to find a balance of zero. You can imagine my surprise at the stout, solitary circle. The number normally staring back at me was six figures long and perpetually growing. It was a preposterous number like the one that McDonald’s used to display via kitschy flip counter in front of their restaurants to indicate how many burgers sold. Well, they sold a lot of burgers, and I owed Fedloan a lot of money. In fact, I pictured the debt as a bottomless chasm into which I would make monthly monetary offerings. The offerings would only stave off default and penalties but would never stop the chasm’s steady expansion.

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Copyright Emma Wood

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