Which is a silly question because I think most of us would say YES!
But I’m talking about something slightly different and yet, still a little alarming.
I have a student loan I’m still paying off. I probably should have had it paid off by now but the “professionals” I’ve been dealing with over the years are part of the problem.
I’m not going to go into detail about how the original lender didn’t even tell me I had more than one loan so while I was making payments on one loan, the other loan was going into collections. Eventually, some kind soul somewhere realized what had happened and consolidated the loans.
Oops! Our fault, but we aren’t going to do anything about the damage it does to your financial reputation. That is against our policy.
No, I’m going to vent a little about a different practice they have that I feel is downright dangerous and leaving some of us vulnerable to fraud.
I’ve spent a good part of the morning on the phone trying to track down someone who can tell me how to resolve a problem. It seems the Department of Education’s loan servicer suddenly went out of business but no one was required to let us, the payers know. Instead, I get a random letter from someone I don’t know telling me that I should be sending them money.
For some reason, I didn’t take this letter seriously and tossed it. As the loan status slowly imploded, I made a gazillion calls trying to track down what happened and who could give me information. Someone finally admitted that they didn’t tell any of us anything and I was scolded that I didn’t just start making payments to this random company who sent me a form letter.
What a great scam opportunity. Did you know you can just xerox some flyers off and start demanding payments from people? Because, apparently, I’m the only person who finds it a sketchy practice. I’m being overly suspicious of letters like this. Even though I get letters like that all time and at first, I called the senders thinking I had business with them and found out the hard way it was just a way to trick us into calling them to sell me something and this somehow meant they could sell off my contact information for more junk mail and solicitation calls.
I sat on that phone stunned. I made the call they told me I had to make to the agency that is supposed to be able to fix this and was so pleased to have this conversation:
Me: “So if I do A, will this resolve the issue?”
Him: “I have no idea.”
Me: “OK, what hoops do I need to jump through to resolve this?”
Him: “I have no visibility to that.”
Me: “Who can help me with this?”
Him: “Ma’am, you need to do A.”
Me: “I need to know if that is going to resolve this. I need to know what action will fix things.”
Him: “Ma’am, I have no visibility to that. I see no notes on your account at all.”
This is almost word-for-word. The best part is, they (the Department of Education) aren’t even entirely sure who I should be sending my payments to. Isn’t that awesome? I’m just supposed to send money to someone and hope it “counts.”
Sorry this isn’t funny or even relevant to this blog. I only have a few readers so it isn’t even like I’m revealing a scandal to the public but it was either write about it or continue to beat my head against the wall.
I’d rather be painting them.