Today, one of our loans was forgiven.
We had humbly taken the first payment in person and expressed our gratefulness for the leniency in the timeline for repayment.
They wouldn’t take it. We insisted. They said no. We firmly insisted. They got a little angry and said to never bring it up again.
Typically, we would dance a huge gratitude dance and use the extra cash to pay down our debt even quicker. But instead, this act of mercy made us think that we should be using this money for other acts of kindness and mercy, so we are putting it into a fund to help out our family members. We have a few that are in end of life stages and one nephew who has been sent away for two years at a boys ranch. We thought we should save this money for unexpected things that might come up along the way, like needing to go stay with them or purchase needed items that they can’t get themselves (along with replacing lost wages if we need to take FMLA w/o pay to help out).
I ran the numbers, and it would be the difference between us getting out of debt two months earlier…and that would be awesome, but we feel like we should be doing something generous with the money that we weren’t planning on having anyway. At the end of our journey, I’m sure we’ll look back and be glad that we “did our time” and made this choice to wait a little on our debt-free date in exchange for being able to give back to our families.
UPDATE: After more discussion, my husband and I agreed that ~20% of the payment will go to debt reduction, while the remaining amount will go into the family leave account. We think this will help us add a little bump to our debt reduction, while still sticking to our family leave goal.