:::: MENU ::::

Posts tagged with: Student Loans

3 Financial Issues

by

Hi friends!

First, I just want to apologize for the fewer blog posts as of late. I’ve typically been really good about posting a minimum of 2 per Monday (sometimes 3) plus one more on Thursday or Friday. But the past couple weeks it’s been tough to find the time for even one post! It’s not that I don’t have anything to talk about. Trust me – I could talk PLENTY about our finances/budget/etc. It’s just that there’s never enough time! Now that the semester is really going strong it’s like a balancing act to keep everything together. I love my jobs (both of them) and am so thankful for them, but they require a lot of time and between work and dealing with my father’s health issues….well, saying I feel a bit overwhelmed is an understatement. Regarding the latter, we’re hoping to have his move to Texas (closer to family) complete-ish in the next couple weeks. I say “ish” because there will still be lots left at his house in Utah that my siblings and I will have to deal with in the coming months. But as much as we want to get the house on the market ASAP, we’re thankful to be in a financial position where we have the flexibility to let it sit a couple months until we have the proper time to deal with it all. Regarding this – anyone have experience with selling a (still furnished, in need of some repair) home out-of-state? I’m hoping we can hire an estate planner person to go sell the remaining stuff and subcontract out any needed repair work. We’ll also have to hire a lawn company and perhaps a cleaning service to keep it looking nice while it’s vacant and on the market. Any tips or suggestions in this regard?

That aside, I really had planned for the purpose of this post to be about 3 financial issues I’ve dealt with this month.

  1. Comcast:  In my last budget post I mentioned that I’d been dealing with some cable/internet provider issues. Our bill has typically been around $110-ish, but then I received a bill in August for $150!! I’d called and thought everything was resolved…until I got a new September bill also for $150! No way, Comcast! Not today! You’ve messed with the wrong person! Generally when these issues pop up it’s 100% worth it to go into the store (the local branches have infinitely better customer service than the call center people). But I logistically couldn’t make it happen between work and childcare schedules. So I called and basically geared up for a fight (though, to be clear, I always try to remain respectful when in these types of situations. It’s easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar!) I did have to ask for a manager, but I explained the situation – basically, last month they said they’d given me a credit and all was resolved, but in fact the current month bill shows that my payment was considered a partial payment. Meaning, there was no credit ever given to my account. So it showed I still owed the remaining balance. I’ve found that it helps when you tell the manager exactly what will make you happy. I mean, be reasonable. But it’s not okay to scream and yell and pitch a fit. No one wins in that scenario. Instead, have some idea of a compromise or solution that will fix the problem and be mutually beneficial for both parties. I already had in mind my solution:  just give me a credit that will take my bill down to $110 (the normal monthly payment). I’m already in a new promo rate so I don’t want to change that, but I refuse to pay the full $150 bill when I’d been told my account had been credited, all was resolved, yada yada yada. So make my bill $110, and we’ll be good. The manager had me hold for a minute and did one better. Gave me a credit so my current month’s bill is $97.02. Even better than what I’d asked for. Next month should be back to the regular rate (about $110ish). This time, I got the manager’s name and took notes of the call so I have them for reference just-in-case. But I’m hopeful that this situation is now fully resolved.
  2. Phone service: A couple months ago we switched phone providers to get a (slightly) better rate and get a free upgrade to newer phones. After canceling we received a GIANT ($250) phone bill from our old provider. But part of the deal with our switch is that our new provider would reimburse us the cancellation fee to buy us out of the contract. Rather than send us a check, they just take it off our our bill. So last month we had a huge bill to pay (to our old provider), but I was hoping it would even out this month when we got our new provider’s bill, showing the $250 credit. Turns out all is good in that area. This month we’ll have a much lower bill (but to remind you so it’s not a surprise with my next budget post – I’d fudged my August budget a bit. I paid the full $250 for the old phone network last month, but I cheated a little and split it half-way in this month. So I’ll still be reporting charges this month in my budget update at the end of the month. But really that was money that was paid for awhile ago). In October, things in this regard will be all smoothed over and we’ll be comfortably paying our new bill.
  3. Navient. Y’all. I can’t even. I cannot. Remember my “best day ever” post where I said my Navient issue was resolved? Ha! Nope! It seriously makes me so angry just thinking about it so I’m going to keep this brief for the sake of my blood pressure and psychological wellbeing. Long story short – issue is NOT resolved. They still have my loan (which was just transferred from another loan servicer, ACS) categorized as unsubsidized. They claim its a valid unsubsidized loan. Many, many hours (literal hours) of my life have been spent talking to all kinds of people – Navient’s customer service, Navient’s escalation department, the loan guarantor, national student loan database services, and on and on and on. We’ve reached a point where I’ve had to contact a loan mediation service (it’s free for me – part of the federal government, I guess). But they don’t move quickly. My last call to them was Friday and they said I wouldn’t hear back for 7-10 business days. So, yeah. In the meantime, I’m being charged interest out the wazoo for this student loan that is supposed to be subsidized (and, therefore, unpaid interest is supposed to be forgiven). So its going to totally mess up my debt totals when I do my next debt update (hopefully coming this Thursday! I’ve been holding off hoping that I’d get this issue resolved so I could report accurate debt totals, but no dice). I swear this issue has taken years off my life due to the stress and headache of it all. I know on my last post many people suggested reaching out to a class action lawsuit attorney (since Navient has so many pending lawsuits against them for wrongfully charging extra interest, etc.). I’m hoping the mediation can help us come to a resolution. I’m just so strapped for time I don’t even know what to do. It’s a huge burden in my life and just makes me wish I could write a check and be debt-free today. It’s just so wrong and it feels like there’s no ramification. No way to hold them accountable. I feel a little bit defeated at this point. But I’m keeping the course with the mediation route and hoping for some success at the other end. I’ll keep you updated.

So that’s the update on my 3 financial issues. As per usual, this was way lengthier than I’d originally intended. heh. Guess I had a little time after all. I’ll try to get a debt update post put together for you guys for later this week (Thursday or Friday). Thanks for your support along the way!!!


Best Day Eveeeeeeeer!

by

I was torn on the title of this post. Went with best day ever, but also wanted to write Everything is Awesome, inspired by the lego movie song (check it out here<and now you’ve got it stuck in your head! mwahaha!)

I’ve had not one, but TWO big money-related success stories to share that happened just today!

Success Number One. After posting my morning post about Navient sucking big (bleep), I had to make some phone calls. I’d already contacted my old school in Florida to try to obtain my master promissory note (spoke to them last week, was hoping to hear back this week). Over the weekend, I got a letter from Navient also suggesting I contact the loan guarantor. So I called them first thing this morning and find out (1) they have no information about my loan. They ONLY get the master promissory note if I’m in default and they’re trying to collect (which is not the situation here – I’m current). And (2) the master promissory note would not even solve my issue because it does NOT state whether the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized! That’s the whole reason I’ve been on this wild goose chase! So I call back to Navient with uber-low expectations. My best case scenario is that I’ll speak with a supervisor, they’ll do some “investigation” and that’ll be it. Well, it took a long time (nearly 30 minutes), but by the time I hung up THEY HAD AGREED TO CHANGE THE LOAN BACK TO BEING SUBSIDIZED! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! Apparently they “found” whatever paperwork was missing/lost and were able to verify that yes, indeed, this loan is supposed to be subsidized. It will take 5 business days to show up on my account, but then I’ll be refunded the interest they’ve charged and everything will be gravy (until the next issue that pops up). You know, it’s so crazy. When I speak to them they make it sound like this is a legitimate mistake, not some big scheme to purposely screw lenders out of tons of money (just a quick google of Navient lawsuit returns tons of articles about how they’ve been sued repeatedly for alleged fraudulent practices involving systematically overcharging customers money, etc.). On my morning post I had several people post that this sounds like a class action lawsuit in the making. I’m torn on the subject. Was it intentional and systematic? Perhaps. But it could have also just been poor business management. Not that it’s acceptable either way, and it sucks that I’m the one stuck dealing with it, but I’m just SO SO SO happy this is now resolved!

Whew!

Success Number Two. This morning was a little frantic. I was running late getting ready and getting the girls ready so I decided I’d drop them at preschool and rush back home to get myself ready before going into work (it’s truly SO MUCH EASIER when I’m able to get ready after they’re out of the house. Some days I have to be at school early so I don’t have that option, but today my first meeting wasn’t until 10am, so I was able to return home after drop off). Anyway, I’m rushing. Like….fast. I dropped the girls off and am speeding down the road (literally speeding), when I see those flashing lights in the rear-view and my heart drops to my stomach. I haven’t had a ticket in YEARS (I think since 2009, to be exact). And I was sick. Not only was I going way over the speed limit (53 in a 35mph zone, to be exact), but I had left my entire purse at home!!! I had no wallet, no ID, no registration, no insurance, etc. etc. etc. All I had were my keys and my phone. I was expecting to rack up nearly a grand worth of tickets. When the cop came to my window I was 100% honest (no point in lying). Yes, I know I’m speeding. I was in a huge rush, but that doesn’t make it okay and I was going WAY over the speed limit. Also, you’re going to be really angry at me….I left my purse at home so I don’t have ANY documentation with me. ((insert shoulder shrug and smile))  The cop let me pull up my insurance on my phone and used the registration sticker from my license plate (in Arizona we get a paper registration that you’re supposed to keep in the car AND a sticker registration to put on our plate. I had the sticker on my plate, I just didn’t have the paper with me). I gave him my birth date so he could look up my license. After everything was said and done I left with (drumroll)……ONLY A WARNING!!!!! Yes, can you believe it!? He didn’t write anything about my license or registration and just let me slide on those. In the warning he wrote I was only going 45 in the 35 zone because if he’d written how fast I was really going he said he’d be forced to write a ticket (and get in trouble if he didn’t). I was nearly crying from the gratitude I felt for that officer. I wanted to hug him but settled for a handshake (I’m sure there’s some rule about not letting people hug you when you’re wearing a gun on your hip). I just want to say – cops get such a bad rep these days. They’re always in the news for shooting innocent people and although not all cops are good people, the one I dealt with today was the BEST kind of people! I’m still filled with gratitude and compassion for this guy just thinking about it as I type. Plus, I’ve learned my lesson so I will definitely refrain from speeding, even if I’m in a hurry. It’s unsafe for others and unfair to put other drivers and/or pedestrians in that position just because I’m running late.

So that’s all. What started off as a pretty crappy Monday morning has turned into THE BEST DAY EVEEEEEERRRR!!! And I hope that all your days are going well, too!

Let’s keep the positivity flowing! Tell me something GOOD that’s happened to you lately!!!