A Love Letter to My Student Loan Bills (A Poem)

I was Navient’s child bride/He was much older than me

Alice C. Minium
5 min readAug 24, 2022
(Courtesy of Business Insider)

Forty-four-thousand-one-hundred-sixty-eight is
Such a pretty number
52 classrooms, 6 years, 104 exams
So many sleepless nights, for them (I make $19 an hour, not that Sallie ever cared)

I hear that Sallie Mae
Has changed her name
Her reign has come to an end

I’m so sorry, Sallie
I always liked the way
You spelled it

Sallie is now a cold, harsh man
Whose name sounds like
A prescription drug
For diabetes
And I don’t love you, “Navient”
Quite the same way

We had a relationship going, Sallie Mae and I
She liked to send me letters
She was pretty much obsessed with me

They were longform prayers in her hungry voice
Her ache for ALICE MINIUM, all-caps
Her cries for my attention
I left her correspondence
Sealed, stuffed in my drawers
So sweetly
I left them there for years

It was flattering
How they kept coming
How she never let me forget.

All her letters forever falling on my doorstep
With their sealed-shut tight lips,
Eager to tell me something,

Sometimes mysteries
Are best unread
And it is best not to…



Alice C. Minium

Richmond-based writer, investigative researcher, and police abolitionist. Contact me at alice@openoversightva.org.