This post was updated for clarification on 11/24/17.
This is part of what I can only assume is an eternal damnation for me.
Picking up where I left off: So, after complaining about my experience with MyFedLoans on Twitter, Federal Student Aid reached out to me on this thread:
I emailed them, with a lot of info I mentioned in my previous post, but also some new info. I have since learned why some things were done the way they are, so I’m only addressing concerns that have not been fixed since my loans transferred in June (it’s Sept. now) from My Great Lakes to My Fedloan (the only loan servicer which handles people in the PSLF program).
Basically, I have three major complaints:
1) They said I was delinquent when I had already paid ahead of time to my previous loan servicer [and made] me pay twice for one month (the month my loans moved over to MyFedLoans). I still have not gotten a refund or acknowledgment of this. When I found out my loans would be transferred on June 6 2016, I made sure to pay my June bill to MyGreatLakes online at the end of May (23rd), so to be sure I could pay it before any due date in June (whenever that might be for the new servicer, MyFedLoans). I did not pay an additional amount-this was a real “bill” that was posted [showing up] online but was never mailed to me. Probably because my loans were being transferred and [MyGreatLakes] skipped the billing cycle. But still I made a bill payment. Not a “feel-good extra money around so here you take it” kind of thing. I even called up my old loan servicer, MyGreatLakes, and they looked at my payment history/loan disclosure statement and agreed I paid a bill. I sent [the disclosure statement from MyGreatLakes] over to MyFedLoans and they still say that it takes 40 days to process/that they hadn’t even gotten it yet [apparently they are supposed to get a copy without the person having to do their job and deliver it to them].
This is all to say that I didn’t even know I had an extra bill they (MyFedLoans) thought I needed to pay. When I finally got the official letter that said they were the new servicer of my loan on June 28, my loans were already declared delinquent [because they didn’t see I had paid already to MyGreatLakes].
I contacted MyFedLoans about this before My Great Lakes and they said that “if” that is the case then the payment would just apply to next month, never telling me how to prove it or what action to take. The lady on the phone seemed like it would magically correct itself. What’s more, I didn’t even get a bill/paper statement from them. They said this was because my loans were transferred after the billing cycle.
I have never missed a payment since paying on my loans [to MyGreatLakes] or been delinquent before, just to be clear. This was very traumatic for me.
2) They transferred my loan during the time I would annually recertify my income driven repayment application. This may not be their fault [because I got the ball rolling when I sent in my first employment certification form], but I think overall it is a bad plan for the transfer to not avoid this timeframe for borrowers. I recertified my IDR with my old loan servicer MONTHS ahead of time (in March) to avoid this specific situation. And then I only had less than a month to get it approved from MyFedLoans. That is not a safe cushion, in my opinion. I was able to do it online, but what about people who aren’t able? The fact that IDR recertification doesn’t transfer with loans when people apply for the PSLF program is ridiculous. I was responsible and prepared.
I would have held off trying to get my Employment Certification Form approved/applying to enter the PSLF program if I had known it would have screwed up how my IDR is handled. Do they wait on purpose? To purposefully screw people over? Or is it just the time frame when I applied that made this so bad? I still don’t know.
3) Once my IDR was approved, my payment went up on the IBR plan. The Pay-As-You-Earn turned out to be cheaper for me (why wasn’t I on that plan to begin with? I don’t know) [FYI: at the end of this series, you will see that MyFedLoans put me on the IBR plan by mistake when my loans transferred to them. I was always supposed to be on the PAYE]. But when MyFedLoans was advising me to do this, they said nothing about how they would have to take me off the IBR plan and make me pay a standard payment before it would switch. Which, fine, I traced my steps and the statement is right there in the IDR application. But that’s terrible to do to someone. Now I’m on some reduced payment forbearance because I can’t afford the standard payment. And it takes at least 2 months (maybe more, depending on the horror stories you read about) for them to approve your new plan. And all that time my payments are not counting toward student loan forgiveness. The fact that my payment on my IDR plan doubled from what My Great Lakes was quoting me on my newly recertified plan would be makes me hate MyFedLoans even more. My Great Lakes even told me the plan would carry over. It clearly did not (see number 2). I got a letter saying that they’ve processed my forbearance on my loans, but I can’t tell if it’s a bill or not. When I check online, I don’t see where to make a payment without it looking like I’m just giving them extra money.
I have not heard back from Federal Student Aid under the email address they gave me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seriously, this whole thing as me feeling like that Mike Birbiglia joke where he’s trying to prove the idiocy of the police officer that said he hit himself in a car accident he didn’t cause.