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Double-Charged

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I mentioned that last month was the first month of my IBR payment for my ACS student loan, but this month (August) would be the first month of payment for my Sallie Mae loan. When I looked online at the beginning of the month, it said I’d been approved for IBR (income-based repayment), but still showed my loan status as in deferment. I called to get it straightened out since I wanted to go ahead and start the IBR program immediately. The representative I spoke with switched “off” my deferment so my payment would be due this month (as I’d wanted). I asked if I could go online and enroll in the auto-pay program (if you enroll, they offer .25% off the APR). The representative said I could do so, but it would be too late for this month and wouldn’t go into effect until September so I would still need to make my normal payment online and the auto-pay would begin the following month.

Sounds great!

So I did just as I was instructed. I signed up for auto-pay which did, indeed, say the processing took several days. As my due date was imminent, I also made a one-time payment for my August IBR payment.

A few days pass. And then Sallie Mae auto-deducts $250 (my IBR payment) from my checking account. In other words…I got double charged.

Fortunately, since we’re living on last month’s income we had enough funds in my checking account that this wasn’t a problem in terms of causing us to overdraft or anything. However, this means that instead of the normal $250 payment, I paid TWO $250 payments this month (= $500!!)

What would you do?

I was hoping to have about $250 leftover at the end of the month, which I would have applied as an additional debt payment anyway….but I would have applied it toward the car, NOT the student loans. Is it worth the time, effort, and hassle to call Sallie Mae, argue with them, and try to get reimbursed for the charge (which will probably take a week to straighten out and an additional 2 weeks to get a check in the mail…just in time for me to turn around and have to give it back to them for my September payment).

If I didn’t have the money I would certainly call and argue over it. But we are fortunate to have the extra money at this point and would have used it toward debt anyway. Soooo, do you just live with the double-charge knowing that at least you’re making progress on your debt? Or do you fight it out?

Either way, at least the money is going toward some form of debt payment but its frustrating when things like this happen. I’m already pressed for time in my life, I hate when things like this pop up that require more time and attention.


20 Comments

  • Reply Brooke |

    If it were me, I’d just leave and take the double payment since you have the leftover money. Yes, it isn’t following your priorities, but it seems to be a lot of hassle! It would be different it you were losing money but you’re still paying off debt! *shrug.* Ultimately, its your choice, either one is a good one!!

  • Reply TPol |

    I wouldn’t call them up and ask for a return given that it will be too much time before they return it. After all, the money is applied towards debt. If you ask me calling them would be too much of a hassle.

  • Reply Kili |

    Agreeing with TPol. Not worth the hassle. If it were $2500 I might think differently, but this one I would just let go (and be extra ambitious to find other ways to “find” another $250 to put towards the car)

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    I would think in this instance…just not worth the hassle. Time is more important than the aggravation and headache this would bring.

  • Reply Kris |

    I agree with the others, definitely not worth the time or effort to have it returned to you.

  • Reply Christine |

    I agree it’s not worth the hassle to get it returned. However, I accidently made a double payment before on my student loan and was able to call them up and have them apply it to my next month’s payment. You may want to consider that, and you can then put the “extra” $250 next month that would have went to the student loan toward your car payment, that would sort of right the wrong, in a way.

      • Reply Meghan |

        My initial thought was the same as Christine to have it applied to next months payment, but I wonder if that won’t cause some issues as you have now enrolled in automatic payments. Because of possible complications that might get caused there I would agree with the suggestion to just let it go (or to consider it a challenge to find an additional $250 of income to make it up next month)!

        Cheers,

        Meghan

        • Reply Ashley |

          Oh yikes, yeah you’re right! Sounds like I’ll probably just let it go and I like the challenge of trying to fin an extra $250 this month!

  • Reply Emily N. |

    Definitely not worth the trouble to get them to reverse it, but maybe call to make sure they won’t do it again next month?

  • Reply Kristen |

    Not worth the time and hassle… Plus who is to say they won’t mess it up even worse? I would just walk away and just keep track next month to make sure they don’t somehow do it again. $250 overall is kind of a drop in the bucket.

  • Reply KK |

    I had this happen to me when I changed the due date on my student loans (which is something I L-O-V-E that I can do! It really helps me balance out my budget so I’m not giving away ALL my money at the beginning of the month!). I ended up making 2 $171 payments in June, and since I had the “extra” money laying around, I just counted it as an extra payment toward my loans and it’s just putting me that much closer to a $0 total! 🙂

  • Reply Tania |

    Sad but true, I’ve done this a couple of times… I always just let it be and consider it a forced snowball. Annoying, especially when money is tight, but it isn’t like it’s being lost…

  • Reply Kenny Schneider |

    Ashley,
    I had the exact same thing happen to me when I switched from regular pay to auto-pay! Since you owe them the money anyways, you’re not going to get it back. Plus, as you said, it’s not like it went to the wind. It brought your loan down in the long run. So, for now, you roll with the punches and live to fight another day.

So, what do you think ?