A Member of FitBUX had a terrible experience with her Federal student loan servicer which we've found happens way to often. She was kind enough to put her story in writing to help others that are repaying student loans (all names and personal information has been changed)....
"I started paying my federal student loans several months ago. Without naming my servicer, let’s just say that their name starts with an N.
When I received my repayment plan I immediately noted a red flag. My prepayments were applied equally to all loans even though some loans had interest rates 2 times greater than other loans.
So I called my servicer with what I thought were 2 simple questions:
- Can extra payments be applied to my highest interest rate loans first?
- Can I extend my loans from 10 to 25 years to reduce my required monthly payment and then apply any extra funds towards my loan with the highest interest rate first?
They informed me that was not an option BUT I could apply for an income-driven repayment plan (IDR) and also refinance my loans to decrease my required monthly payments.
Puzzled, I reviewed the plan they suggested in detail and spotted a disclaimer stating I wasn’t guaranteed anything. So I passed.
I began researching other financial resources. I spent hours and money researching this: I met with a financial advisor, a personal banker.
Finally, my boyfriend suggested that I contact FitBUX. As a side note, my boyfriend had been convinced by his servicer that he needed to consolidate in order to extend his loans and he did so before we talked…
When I talked with FitBUX, my FitBUX Coach informed me that I was right on both counts:
- Yes, I could extend my federal loans at any time.
- Yes, I could apply any discretionary payment efficiently by targeting my highest interest loans first.
So I called my servicer once more. Even though I explained what I wanted to do in detail they once again recommended an IDR plan. They also explained 7 different options, but none of them matched what I was trying to do.
Getting annoyed, I asked: "I see another option on your website that you have not covered. Can you go over this too?"
Then and only then, did the representative explain that, you guessed it, I could extend my loans and also apply any prepayment efficiently.
OH HOW CONVENIENT! Mind you, this is what I had asked them to do today as well as 3 months ago…before I put in hours of work and spent money towards meeting with these other financial professionals.
Great, so I could finally sign up for this option. I went online and the very last step was checking the box for "terms and conditions." I, like most people, never read the terms and conditions. However, at this point, I had become a “little” suspicious. I opened it: They covered a completely different repayment plan altogether.
I then called my servicer again. They denied this error and asked me to verbally sign up for what I had asked for in the first place. I agreed but asked for all paperwork and terms of the agreement to be sent to me to be reviewed.
Less than an hour later, I received an email prompting me to continue the process of signing up for, you may have guessed it by now, an IDR plan!
Finally, a week later, they extended the loans properly... but my loans were listed under "administrative forbearance" for 2 months, preventing me from making payments during that period while interest kept accruing.
So I called again (we’re at call number 4 by now if you’re keeping track). They explained that it was to “help” me so that I did not have to make the required payment for 2 months. I complained and asked them to cancel this immediately, which they did.
I am explaining my entire process because the information FitBUX gave me was so valuable: FitBUX helped me tremendously in finally resolving these issues.
I would highly recommend FitBUX to begin the process of understanding your best options with your student loans whether they are public or private loans and using their services to make sure you, and most importantly your loan servicer, implement your plan correctly. Knowing that I have FitBUX in my corner going forward has given me the peace of mind knowing that someone has my back and I can maximize my savings.."