Because we all need another reason to hate banks at the moment
March 11, 2009 10:50 AM   Subscribe

My sister is having issues with her student loans through Wells Fargo. She has two student loans which appear on the same statement each month -- but Wells Fargo only applies her payment to one loan, and the other loan becomes delinquent. She's been on the phone with them every month for the past 4-5 months regarding this, but it keeps happening. Who has enough muscle to fix this?

Since the two loans are on the same statement, my sister pays $(X+Y) each month in one payment (either electronically or by check, not sure), but X loan will get all the money and Y loan will become delinquent. Then she will get a nasty call from Wells Fargo regarding the "delinquent" loan. She and my parents have repeatedly called to complain about this, yet Wells Fargo cannot get their act together. This has happened every month since her loan repayment started in October. I'm worried it could eventually hurt her credit score, plus it is a big pain in the butt.

My dad says to call (or threaten to call) the state Attorney General. Is there anyone else to contact? Should we just climb up the chain of Wells Fargo customer service until we get someone who cares? She is in South Dakota if it matters.
posted by sararah to Work & Money (19 answers total)
What does making 2 payments (Payment X and then Payment Y) instead of 1 lump sum do?

If her loans have gone 30 days past due, it's most likely already on her credit report.
posted by jerseygirl at 11:00 AM on March 11, 2009

Is there any reason why your sister can't write two separate checks each month, indicating the account number of each specific loan in the comment field of the check? That might solve your issue. It's still annoying, though.
posted by theantikitty at 11:01 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding two checks. But if they still screw it up, submit her story to the Consumerist.
posted by kimdog at 11:16 AM on March 11, 2009

Best answer: Take this to small claims court...check the state to see how high of an amount you can sue for. I did this in Cali...and it was the ONLY TIME that I felt I won. Not only did they have to abide by the courts...they weren't able to lawyer up since its small claims court.

I did quite well with WaMu screwing me over. Look at the fuckers now. Shouldn't have messed with me and my family, bastards!
posted by hal_c_on at 11:27 AM on March 11, 2009

Best answer: Can she consolidate her loans with another bank and cut Wells Fargo out completely?
posted by MegoSteve at 11:36 AM on March 11, 2009

Has she tried paying in person at a Wells Fargo bank?
posted by Carol Anne at 11:55 AM on March 11, 2009

I have a couple of places where I have two separate accounts and I have to use two checks (or the electronic equivalent) and make sure the appropriate account information is on them.
posted by TedW at 12:00 PM on March 11, 2009

Best answer: Wells Fargo is a pain to deal with.

That said, I e-mail their customer service representatives who are more helpful than people on the phone usually.
posted by abdulf at 12:06 PM on March 11, 2009

Response by poster: So both loans appear on the same statement (paper & electronic), and she pays electronically, and there is no way to pay them separately. I don't think it is reasonable to say "even though we offer electronic bill pay, you have to pay your bill in such and such a way because we are too stupid to process it electronically." If they want two checks they should be on separate statements, which they are not. She has not tried going to the bank directly.
posted by sararah at 12:24 PM on March 11, 2009

Response by poster: She says she actually can't pay at the bank since Wells Fargo is separate from Wells Fargo Education Financial.
posted by sararah at 12:27 PM on March 11, 2009

First, decide on how you want to deal with this
1) Fight Wells Fargo on the principal of their stupidity
2) Work around Wells Fargo's stupidity

If you want to do number 1, then good luck, it's the altruistic approach and you might save others some grief, but I also don't have any good advice there.

If instead number 2 is your approach, I'll throw out a suggestion. There should be two separate account numbers for the two loans. My electronic bill pay system organizes things by account numbers. So I can easily create an automatic payment for each account. Two electronic checks, and more importantly (if it was me) I don't get infuriated every month writing two checks when I should only be doing one. You may be able to do the same thing.
posted by forforf at 12:44 PM on March 11, 2009

Best answer: I don't know how feasible it is because banks aren't too cool on loaning money right now, but maybe she could consolidate with another bank as someone else suggested? I have multiple student loans that I consolidated a couple of years ago that I pay in one payment in one place every month.
posted by fructose at 7:29 PM on March 11, 2009

I only receive one statement but pay two bills each month to cover my student loans (with the different account numbers in the memo line). If you pay your bills electronically, it's really no big deal.
posted by jrichards at 7:26 AM on March 12, 2009

Best answer: I should add that I don't pay these bills through an automatic withdrawal from my checking account (I can see where this might be a problem) - I have my online bill pay set up to send two checks to my lender each month. I'm sure this is something your sister could easily set up once and not have to worry about again.
posted by jrichards at 7:28 AM on March 12, 2009

Best answer: The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education can be helpful in situations like this, perhaps more so than the Attorney General. Good luck.
posted by judith at 6:11 PM on March 16, 2009

@Sarahah - This is Chastity from the Wells Fargo Online Customer Outreach Team. Your sister's auto loan setup sounds pretty frustrating and I would like to connect her with our online Executive Office to attempt to get this problem resolved. Please have her contact me at and I will DM her the 800# to call. I'm not sure why the loan set up is causing these problems and our online Executive Office might not have the answers however, we will definitely will connect her with our Auto Loan department and stick with her to ensure that everything has been done to resolve her issue. I look forward to hearing from your sister.
posted by Wells Fargo at 12:36 PM on March 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: 1. We have figured out that the problem should be remedied if my sister signs up for auto-pay for some reason.

2. I have contacted you, Chastity/Wells Fargo via MefiMail/Private Message with some specific questions. Googling your email you turn up on a few other message boards/blogs where you have commented so I am hoping this is not a phishing scam.

3. Thanks all for your suggestions, we are trying some workarounds if switching to autopay does not work.
posted by sararah at 8:59 PM on March 21, 2009

Response by poster: oh and hal_c_on, your reply was friggin' hilarious. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm glad your situation worked out!
posted by sararah at 9:02 PM on March 21, 2009

@Sarahah - This is Chastity again from the Wells Fargo Online Customer Outreach Team. I'm glad to hear it seems you and your sister have resolved her issue. I'm not sure why but I didn't receive the email you sent me. I would like to make sure you are able to contact me in case your sister experiences problems again making her payment(s). Again you can reach me at
posted by Wells Fargo at 3:03 PM on March 27, 2009

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