winter_overture (serendipitii) wrote in bad_service,

Student Loan Weirdness

I'm not sure if this qualifies as bad service or not, but its definitely been an inconvenience. So I've been out of college for a few years and am in repayment on my student loans. My largest loan is a federal direct loan that I pay $200 on ever month. I'm also enrolled in their Kwikpay program, which is where the money is automatically deducted from my bank account every month. I get a slightly lower interest rate for being enrolled in this program. Usually the money is deducted 1-3 days before the monthly due date, and this has been the case for over a year that I've been enrolled in this program.

Well, cue last month and its the night before the monthly due date. I notice that the money has not been deducted from my bank account yet. I log into my direct loan account to make sure that everything is still scheduled and on track and it says that it is, so I try not to worry about it. However, the due date comes and goes and I see that the money has STILL not been deducted from my account. I log on again and it shows that the payment is still scheduled to be deducted, but my account also shows a large PAST DUE notice in all caps. Umm...okay.

Now granted, I probably should have contacted someone at this point, but I figured that the payment was still scheduled and that the system was probably just being slower than normal and needed a little while to process. Another entire WEEK goes by and the money has still not been deducted from my account. Then I receive a very scary sounding email saying that my account is SO VERY PAST DUE and that I need to make a payment IMMEDIATELY or I will be subject to HELLA LATE FEES.

So I finally log back into my account and just make the payment manually (pressing the "make payment" button and authorizing the payment basically.) The money deducts from my bank account that day and I think that all is well. Well the next day rolls around and, as you can probably guess, the auto payment finally kicks in and the money is deducted from my account TWICE. Now, I'm kind of living paycheck to paycheck and I REALLY can't afford to be putting $400 towards my loan this month, so I start freaking out.

I call the customer service line and relay my story, and the woman I talk to tells me that there's really nothing they can do to reverse either payment, but that they can apply one of them towards my payment for next month. Heeeeey, that's real swell for next month, but I KIND OF NEED THAT MONEY TO PAY MY RENT THIS MONTH. Luckily I live with my boyfriend and he agreed to cover my portion of rent until I could pay him back, but I don't know what I would have done if that had not been the case.

I understand that technology fails and clearly there was some miscommunication going on in this case, but it seems weird to me that they wouldn't be able to rectify the double payment. And I don't understand why I would be receiving emails like that in the first place if I'm enrolled in the auto payment program. But maybe its just my fault for not contacting them sooner before I made the manual payment? I don't know. I'm still a little miffed about the whole situation.
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