student loans in this blog, and without going into great detail again, I'll just say that it's not a pretty situation. But I'm working on it. I had set up an income-based repayment schedule that I could live with, and I was chipping away--slowly--at the big scary number.
My income-based repayment expired in April. I called Direct Loans who put me back in temporary forebearance, sent in a new form with proof of income and waited. Nothing happened. I called Direct Loans back, and was told that for some reason, my request didn't go through, and I would have to start over. The person I spoke to extended my forbearance, and I faxed in more paperwork.
Then, I got a letter from another company, Granite State Management and Resources telling me that my loans were outsourced to them, and I would no longer be dealing with Direct Loans.
I called the new company, told them I had sent all of the necessary paperwork to Direct Loans already, then asked if I needed to re-resend it to them. The woman I spoke to said to send in my proof of income again, but the paperwork should have been sent to them by Direct Loans.
I've been checking my account daily--sometimes more then once a day, but nothing was changing, so I called again and found out that the paperwork was not sent over, and they wanted another paystub.
As of today, September 6, the process that I started in May is finally finished and I'm on income-based repayment again. The only problem is that because I was in forbearance all summer, all of the progress I had made in reducing my principal balance over the past two years, has been wiped out. Yes, I could have tried to make payments over the summer, but since I was in forbearance, the interest rate was higher, and I didn't even know who to make the payments to half the time!
This is probably the most hopeless I've ever felt in my whole financial life, and it's not even something that happened because of stupidity or poor choices, it's like I was playing by the rules and then the rules changed. I'm not going to get down about it though. I made a payment today, 15 days early and $50 more than I owed.
Chipping away at a mountain with a tiny Swiss Army knife.