I’ve come a long. Freaking. Way. To get to this fourth post. Things make more sense. Things are way different from what I was originally dealing with because MyFedLoans admitted their mistakes (plural). Things are still hell. I’m angry that I’m even having to make a fourth post as I know I’ll be making a fifth one. Needing to chip away at the long list of complaints so that I can keep track myself. Here’s the status of my hell.
Below is the formal compliant I made to FSA. I had to login and everything to make it. Gave them my contact information. Said I wanted someone fired.
Was sent a link via email:
My loans were transferred in June 2016 to MyFedLoans from MyGreatLakes and I have three major complaints against them.
1) Transferring my loans made me pay twice for the month of June–once to my old servicer and once to MyFedLoans. I paid ahead of time on May 23rd for my June bill, as it was already posted on MyGreatLakes’s website. MyFedLoans said I was delinquent, because they apparently didn’t know I had paid ahead of time and also didn’t send me a bill because I missed their billing cycle–so I had no clue there was a miscommunication going on. I still have not gotten acknowledgment from them of this, though MyGreatLakes said that I am correct. When I found out my loans would be transferred on June 6 2016, I made sure to pay my June bill online at the end of May (23rd), so to be sure it would transfer over because I didn’t know if my payment due date would change and wanted to be safe than sorry. I usually paid my bill way ahead of time to begin with. Review my payment history and you will see.
Let me be clear, I did not pay an “additional amount” to MyGreatLakes thinking I was paying my bill; this was a real “bill” that was posted online but was never mailed to me. Probably because my loans were being transferred during 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. MyGreatLakes even looked at my payment history/loan disclosure statement and proved this. I sent it over to MyFedLoans and they still said that it takes 40 days to process/that they hadn’t even gotten it yet. Today I got a phone call where I asked a woman named Leslie about it and she said she would submit a “counting” (?) request. I had never been offered that before (8/12/16). Leslie also said that, to correct the mistake (if it proves to be one) that I would have to fill out another employment certification form if I want a payment to be lowered for another month’s (the best version of a refund I could get). Basically, My Fed Loans has cost me around $100 that I shouldn’t have had to pay, as you will see in point number 3.
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 servicer of my loan on June 28, my loans were already declared delinquent for my first payment to them. 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 made it seem 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 or been delinquent before, just to be clear. This was very shocking 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, but I think overall it is a BAD plan for the transfer to NOT avoid this time frame for borrowers. I recertified with my old loan servicer MONTHS ahead of time (in March 2016) to avoid a situation like this; it (my 2016 one) had already been approved by MyGreatLakes and was set to take effect in July. But then MyFedLoans gets ahold of them and says I need to recertify again and 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 recertification doesn’t transfer with loans is ridiculous. I was responsible and prepared.
I would have held off trying to get my Employment Certification Form approved 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) Today (8/12/16) MyFedLoans called me and a woman named Leslie admitted that MyFedLoans made a mistake (which lead me to filling out new IDR forms to switch to a lower payment plan and juggling forbearance and wasting hours of my life on the phone and ranting about this online) when my loans were transferring. When they got my loans they put me on the IBR repayment plan instead of the Pay-As-You-Earn that I should have been on the whole time – a plan I was apparently already on with my old loan servicer (MyGreatLakes) but didn’t remember. I even wondered about this myself but thought there was no way they could be wrong about it. I can prove that in this blog post: https://blackandwhitepandaduh.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/public-service-loan-forgiveness-part-ii/ (I have been angrily documenting my experience).
So, I was forced to attempt to change my plan for no reason. I went back to my standard payment plan for nothing. I went on forbearance for nothing. And all that time my payments wouldn’t be counting toward my forgiveness.
I was put on a $5 “forbearance” amount (because I couldn’t afford the 400-something dollar standard payment on my loans that it defaults you to for one month in order to kick you over to another plan) that I could have paid today because it was just posted on my account (I’ve been checking). But Leslie told me to ignore this. Now I’m waiting on a phone call from the Treasury and I’m going to “get to” pay the 100-something PAYE amount because they’re “correcting” the mistake. But sure, it’s better the IBR’s 150.
Now I have to fill out ANOTHER form and bug my CFO again where I work to prove my full-time employment. I would rather pay the $5, because this has cost me so much money to begin with. Why am I jumping through hoops just to fix THEIR mistake? Hell, I would rather pay the PAYE amount and miss out on one of 120 qualifying payments for PSLF if I didn’t have to fill out another damn form.
And. This means they stole another 50-something dollars from me when I was paying on the IBR plan. Which means if I want that taken off another month’s bill as some sort of “refund,” I fill out yet ANOTHER employment certification form.
At this point, I don’t care about the forgiveness. I care about the money it is taking out of my pocket and the stress it is causing me and how this is disrupting my work.
I would gladly take legal action against SOMEONE on the Dept. of Education end for free if it meant that another human being didn’t have to suffer through the incompetence that I have been put through. I want the person who did this to me to not be able to work with personal information like this. Other documentation on this topic:
After submitting, the response was:
‘Thank you for submitting your complaint. If you opted to hear back from the U.S. Department of Education, we will do our best to respond within the next 15 days and provide a resolution within 60 days.
Your case number is [XXXXXXX]. Please save the case number for your records. You can update or check the status of your complaint at any time via My Cases.‘
UPDATE: See part five.