Normally, an unexpected $10,000 check in the mail would be super. Not f it comes from a secret surprise student loan. Help me fix this please!
posted by Salvor Hardin to Work & Money (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Short summary: I found out that I have $20,000 in federal student loans I didn't ask for, want, or know about. I have only received $10,000 of it. My school account says the first $10,000 of it was sent to me in October, but I never received it. What do I do?
I'm in a one-year M.Ed. program, and took out a $5,550 federal student loan in 6/2011. It was credited to my student account at my school, and I received the resulting refund check. Great.
Fast forward to February, when I get a nice little $10,000 check in the mail from my school. I decide it's probably not just good karma, so I log into my student account (which I obviously should do more often), and find out to my considerable surprise, that since September, an extra $20,000 of student loans have been disbursed to my student account!!!?!?!?! There was a long period of taking deep breaths to regain equilibrium.
I checked my Sallie Mae account (they're servicing my Dept. of Ed. loans), and indeed, I have, instead of the expected $5,550 of loans, $26,000 of student loans!
I also checked the Dept. of Ed. "National Student Loan Data System", and it confirms the loans. More than half of the $20,000 is unsubsidized, too, which means $137 of interest has already appeared on the account :( :( :(. I called Sallie Mae, and they informed me that they don't create the loans, just service them, and my beef is with the school bursar's office.
There are two questions I plan to ask the bursar's office (which I will call on Tuesday when they reopen) about this situation:
1. How the HECK did $20,000 of student loans get taken out in my name without me knowing about it or signing anything?!
2. WHERE THE HECK IS THE FIRST $10,000 THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY DISBURSED AND REFUNDED TO ME IN SEPTEMBER?!?!?! DID THE CHECK CLEAR? IF IT DIDN'T CLEAR DURING THE LAST FOUR MONTHS, WHY DIDN'T YOU CONTACT ME ABOUT IT?!
I have no memory of receiving such a check, I certainly didn't deposit it, and to be sure I have combed my bank account, and no such check has been deposited. The $10,000 check which I did just receive is in my lockbox, awaiting a resolution to this situation.
My questions for you kind mefites are these:
1. What do you think happened? Have I been defrauded? A simple error? I did sign a master promissory note in June for the first loan that I actually wanted, but I can't imagine that would allow someone to take out loans for me without my explicit approval, right? Does this kind of mistake happen frequently?
2. Given that my goals are:
- make the $20,000 loan disappear
- locate the missing $10,000
- give back all the money
- avoid paying any interest on unwanted loans
- avoid damage to my credit score
what is my best strategy? Who should I call, what should I ask? Do I need a lawyer? At the moment, my only plan is to call up the bursar's office on Tuesday, ask them what happened, and hope they can fix it for me, but if they are less than helpful, I have no idea what to do.
3. What did I do wrong? Is there something I could have done or can do for the future to avoid this?
I am pretty unfamiliar with loans in general, and totally bewildered by this turn of events, and I'd really really like to wrap this up quickly and neatly, with a minimum of "Dude where's my car"-esque antics.