Saturday, February 2, 2008

Not Dealing Well With Change

Thankfully, my student loan has been fully paid off for a long time now. Today's story takes us back to a time when it hadn't been. As background, the interest rate for a Canada Student Loan is (or at least was) the prime rate plus a fixed amount (2.5% then; I don't know about now).

I went into the branch to make my monthly payment. After waiting in line for a teller and making the payment uneventfully, the fun began. To get an idea how much interest I'd be charged over the next few months, I asked the teller what the prime rate was. A simple question, I thought. She gave me a deer-in-headlights expression, blinked a few times, then said "It changes all the time."

Yes, I know that - what is it now? I told her that my student loan rate was prime plus 2.5, and I wanted to figure out its current interest rate.

"Your student loan wouldn't be at the prime rate. It would be different."

I know. I just told you that. So, what's the current prime rate?

Again, blank stare. Then she hurried off to confer with a woman who sat way behind the counter. They both came back. The new arrival (apparently some sort of supervisor) gave me a nice long blank stare, then said "The prime rate changes all the time."

Thank goodness I hadn't asked them for the time. I'd still be there while they marvelled over the fact that it's different every time they look at the clock.

Enough rambling. Here's a picture of my dog after hip surgery. Fair warning: I have a closeup picture of the incision that might go up here sometime too.

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