How to eliminate Student Assistance Corp. from my life?
July 24, 2014 6:24 AM   Subscribe

I do not have any student loans with Nelnet. And yet, I receive telephone calls from the Student Assistance Corporation (evil wrongdoers, as supported on the internet) several times a week. Help me make it stop!

I have registered my number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Also, I have reviewed my loans in the National Student Loan Data System and confirmed that I have no Nelnet loans. I have received nothing in writing, including no bills.

I continue to get calls from a variety of "Student Assistance Co." numbers, which I do not answer (but report), but this morning's 8 a.m. phone call has pushed me over the edge.

What are other options for ending these calls?
posted by miss tea to Law & Government (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Is it a cell phone? My cell phone has an automatic reject feature that you can turn on for certain numbers. Is that an option (please let it be an option)?
posted by getawaysticks at 6:34 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm confused - are they trying to collect on a loan, or are they trying to offer assistance to help you pay a loan?

If they're a collector, there's a definite process for getting a collector to get off your back. Usually you have to ask them to send you a written record of the debt proving that you owe it, and then you send them a letter back stating that you don't owe it. Once you do that, it's on them to do the research to prove whether or not you do. Usually this takes way too long and they find out they goofed anyway and leave you alone.

If they're someone trying to offer you a service, and you've registered with the Do Not Call registry, then you can submit a complaint to the Do Not Call Registry; I've done this a ton of times, you just fill out an online form and send it in. It's not immediate, but it helps. You can also contact your local attorney general and ask what steps you can take.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:35 AM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Have you spoken with them? They may be looking for someone else, or have your contact information mixed up with another person's.

Student loan companies make you list like 5 different alternate contact references so they can track you down if your payments are delinquent. My college roommate and I listed each other as alternate contacts simply because we both ran out of family members to list. In theory, if she stops making payments some day and doesn't respond to notices, her loan companies may call me to ask for her updated contact info.

Probably not a bad idea to pull your credit reports just to check up on things though, make absolutely sure.
posted by phunniemee at 6:42 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

You note that you do not answer the calls. It may be worth answering just one of them and seeing what they have to say. Once you know why they are calling you can explain why you want them to stop - but they won't stop until you answer and tell them to never call back.
posted by trivia genius at 6:43 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Answer one of their calls. Find out who they're looking for.

If it's not you, say "that's not me."

If it IS you, you'll have to send them a written notice asking to prove you owe the debt they are trying to collect. This will likely be impossible for them to do, as you don't have any student loans with them.
posted by tckma at 7:28 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

You have to answer the phone at least once to figure this out.

SAC collectors are generally pretty scummy, but it's not like someone is sitting in an office somewhere making up new debts to harass people about. If someone is being sloppy, you've just got to talk to them and get it taken care of.

FWIW: my experience with this was with the federal government, who somehow managed to get my name and social assigned to a sibling's VA debt. It's not fair, but you've got to spend some time fixing the error if you want them to go away.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:30 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sorry, I agree, you have to answer the phone. If they have a wrong number, they can make the note and you'll never get the call again. If it does persist, sue them.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:36 AM on July 24, 2014

Response by poster: They're trying to collect on a loan, ostensibly in my name, that doesn't exist.

To clarify:

I began this process (maybe about 6 months ago) by answering a few times and explaining that the loan does not exist. They claimed that it does, and used my name. (I confirmed that it does not through the Student Loan Data System.)

I requested no further calls. I do submit every number to Do Not Call.

I also requested a claim in writing, which has not been provided.

I pulled my credit reports, and nothing is there. Thankfully, they seem to be harassing (annoyingly) rather than falsely filing.

Getawaysticks, can you put more detail here about the process of automatic reject? I have an iPhone.

I am submitting something to the Consumer Financial Collection Bureau now. Fingers crossed.

Thanks all.
posted by miss tea at 9:54 AM on July 24, 2014

Best answer: If you requested a claim in writing and they're still calling despite not providing it, you get to sue the pants off them. Congratulations, you're gonna have a couple grand coming down the pipe soon. Send another request (via certified mail), document every single interaction, and start reading about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (or just mention the FDCPA to them; the fact that you know your rights and are willing to sue may be enough to get them off your back).
posted by Itaxpica at 11:04 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do you have a common name? It's possible they just tracked down the wrong Miss Tea. They're not providing written proof that the debt is yours and attached to your SSN. Now you get to file a lawsuit.

Also, what college or university was this loan for? Have you ever attended that school? No? Well, how could you possibly owe a debt to that school, then?
posted by tckma at 12:03 PM on July 24, 2014

Best answer: On the iPhone, if you go into Recents and hit the circled "i" at the right of one of their calls, it will bring up a page that allows you to do things like call them back, make them a contact, or, at the bottom of the page, "block this caller."
posted by Naberius at 2:18 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

miss tea - I hope Naberius's suggestion worked - I am not sure how to do it on iPhone.
posted by getawaysticks at 10:48 AM on July 25, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you Naberius. I've started to use that block.

I also looked into the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and I'm pursuing that too.

I'll report back.

(tckma, I have an unusual name, so this BS is definitely in my name, annoyingly!)
posted by miss tea at 4:05 AM on July 26, 2014

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