Well, after two days, almost two hours of dorking around at the credit union, and a quiet stress attack, finally I managed to get someone to take my $21,000.
At one point I thought maybe I should take it all out of the bank in dollar bills and sprinkle it around the floor of the credit union’s lobby. Let the janitor find a way to use it.
Lenders do not want you to pay off a loan. No. Bad. D-o-o-o-o-n’t take our interest payments away!
Just before the flu struck, Shibu (doughty manager of the credit union branch on the Tempe campus) obtained the precise amount that would be owing as of last Tuesday and e-mailed clear, understandable, easy(-sounding…) instructions for how to pay off the Renovation Loan, which is actually a second mortgage on my house. He said any teller should be able to perform the transaction.
Then I got sick, in the middle of a vacation. So instead of schlepping to the main campus amid (chaotic!) commencement preparations, I decided to run over to the West campus, which also hosts one of the credit union’s branches. Since I had several other errands to run on the West side, this would work out OK.
So it seemed.
Teller took one look at Shibu’s instructions and said, “This is something our manager will have to do. I don’t know how to do it.”
Manager was in with someone else. She would, the teller thought, surely be free soon.
A half-hour later, I was still cooling my heels. The work I needed to do for a client was still waiting for me. The syllabi I’d promised to send to the chair of the department who proposes to hire me to teach three sections next fall were still waiting, yet to materialize even in draft form. The groceries remained to be purchased. The signature form for the locksmith was still to be delivered. My stomach was achingly empty. So, annoyed, I left.
The main campus’s branch is dead empty, the whole place having lapsed into a state of exhausted vacancy after last night’s 70,000-guest Presidential commencement bash. This, I imagine, should be easy.
I hand over Shibu’s written instructions to the teller. Fortunately, he’s in the offing.
She takes about 20 seconds to reach full flummoxhood. He has to come over and take her through the process, step by step. But even then, they make a couple of errors and have to back out and start over. Then they get mysterious error messages and have to figure a way around those.
This procedure took almost 45 minutes! Then it took another ten or fifteen minutes to make Shibu understand that I wanted the monthly automatic payment that had been going from checking to the loan now to go from checking to money-market savings. Think that finally got settled. I hope.
Now, you know, being an inveterate cheapskate I experience the act of forking over $21,422 as stressful, even when it’s 21 grand that I saved up precisely so I could fork it over. Just hate letting go of pretty little dollars…you have to prize my fingers loose from them. So 45 minutes of repeated efforts to hand over a chunk of dough felt like 45 minutes of waterboarding. At one point as I’m standing there watching them and trying to remind myself that it’s their problem, not mine, my little heart started to pound, the metallic flavor of adrenalin to flood the tongue, the ears to ring, the room to spin. Damn!
From there I had the pleasure of visiting the gynecologist, whose nurse noted that my blood pressure was a shade high.
At any rate, the loan is finally paid off. And good riddance. Shibu said it was accruing interest at about $3.50 a day. If one paid it down at a stately rate over its thirty-year term, one would end up paying out exactly twice the original loan amount. What with the extra $200 a month added to routine savings, plus the net teaching salary, plus what I expect to earn freelancing, by the time I exit GDU’s ivied halls the credit union will be holding about $24,000 in savings, more than replacing the amount I earned last year for the express purpose of the pay-off.