Thursday, September 6, 2012

Here's What Vexes Me

I've talked a fair amount about my 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.

Except.

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.

8 comments:

  1. The switch to Granite State messed me up too. Such a sucky system. I'm trying to pay it back, but they sure aren't making it easy!

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  2. It seems criminal that none of the realities of this crushing debt is really explained to the 18 or 19 year old taking out college loans. I'll bet most parents can't quite fathom the very real consequence of school loans--that their child might not be able to buy their own home because they are paying off loans for 20 years. That seems like an economic issue for the election, huh??

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  3. @Jules an excellent point! Even if I get my loans forgiven in ten years, and that's IF in all caps, I wouldn't be able to buy a house before then, so that puts me squarely in the 'no home-ownership before 43' bracket. Plus, I won't really be able to save up much for a down payment. Doesn't really seem like progress considering I've held a job (usually three) since age 15 and have two masters degrees. Work hard, play by the rules... something something

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  4. We're fighting that battle too. Half of wife's take home pay goes to student loans right now, and that will go up at some point.

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  5. Does anyone know where we can file a complaint about this company. I may be filing a Congressional.

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  6. I have been fighting with them for five months now. It has been absolutely insane. I have a law degree and I can't figure out what to do. Please let me know if anyone has had any luck or figured out who to complain to.

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  7. @MinneapolisAndrea1 I'm in a similar boat. I am APPALLED by their customer service. Please let me know to whom we can complain formally. This is important.

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    1. I will go to ombudsman.ed.gov if my problem with them isn't resolved soon.

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