The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program has been great in aiding my student loan repayment efforts. I have been enrolled in this repayment program for 4 years now. So I was ecstatic to receive mailed notice on Friday, March 27, 2015 of my approved Income-Based Repayment application.
Then on April 20th another notification arrived stating the servicer had not received an updated IBR application. To add insult to injury, my new monthly payment would be $301.99, an increase from $152.02. OUCH! So for three straight days I called customer service rep after another to get this straighten out. At the time I felt my servicer was performing their own rendition of Blues Traveler’s hit song “Run-Around”.
At the moment I am laughing to prevent myself from frustration. This is the same company (whom I will not name) magically added $600 to my account balance last year and thought I wouldn’t notice.
Another issue I have with this loan servicer is their slow process in updating account information. My total monthly interest is $72.13, I pay $135 bi-weekly for a total of $270 a month. So why am I being charged $110 in interest? Each time I’ve requested to speak with a supervisor or an account manager I am asked to be placed on a “brief hold”. These holds typically last for 30 minutes.
As of today 8/4/15, my servicer has yet to correct my account information. Through this I remain focused on my goal of paying what I owe in full. But in the meantime, I need to contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman. An ombudsman is an individual or group appointed by the government who helps resolves disputes. The ombudsman can oversee disputes within private companies, universities and non-profit organizations.
If you are having problems with your loan servicer like me, contact the U.S. Department of Education Ombudsman Group via the info provided below:
U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, DC 20202-5144
Lesson learned, keep record of all paper and electronic correspondence with your servicer. If I hadn’t, this blog post would read differently. The next post will be titled, “To Move or Not to Move? That is the Question”.