Two years ago, I finally landed a full-time job at a public service institution. For several years, I thought that would be the answer to my $100,000+ balance in student loan debt. I would just pay the minimum payments each month and after ten long years, I would be free.

However, it turns out that I don’t want to wait for ten years to be debt-free. So I’ve decided to pay it down aggressively and on my own terms. Woo hoo! Just making that decision has lifted a weight from my shoulders and given me back a sense of control over my life and career.

If I paid the minimum payment (on an income-based repayment plan), my balance would continue to grow each month until I applied for student loan forgiveness. I’m just not comfortable with that. Okay, so why not pay off the interest that accrues each month in addition to the minimum payment? Yeah, I’m just not into that either. I don’t want to have a huge balance of nearly $100,000 for eight more years while holding onto the hope that it will be forgiven. I feel the pressure in my heart when I picture that.

For my health and sanity, I’m taking control of my debt. I’m grateful for the PSLF program, but that will be my Plan B, not A. I will keep my full-time job (fingers crossed and all that, of course) at the public service institution until my debt is paid down.