So I called the government office that holds my loan, prepared for a battle over my meager income and my not so meager loan debt. What I got instead was a warm, wonderful, considerate woman who not only wished me well in my home move (after 16 years, we're off to a new domicile just around the block), gave me amazing advice on how to make my meager loan repayment count, and wished me a wonderful new year.
I started crying - unexpected kindness, coming at a time when I'm stressed out (guess who hasn't packed yet and the moving van comes tomorrow!), and thanked the woman at least 20 times. I do feel ashamed of myself for having girded for a fight when common sense should have ruled the day. But then again, two years in and this is the first person (government representative no less) to explain that all the money I've paid so far went to interest, not principle.
Oh well - the bad news was coupled with the antidote to remedy the situation. G-d bless this young woman, who really cared about a number -my social security number that is, and made my day so much more bright.