It all started in 2009 when my husband received his bachelor's degree for computers. Wells Fargo had our school loan and we had it all set up to pay a certain amount every month. We would get invoiced and I would always send that amount along with an extra amount to be applied to the principal.
Everything was as sweet as apple pie until the loan was handed off to ACS Education.
That's when our school-loan-hell had begun.
I have no clue why Wells Fargo would hand off the loan. Maybe they didn't like that we were paying off the loan and not taking the 40+ years of interest that they would prefer us to pay. Who knows any more why banks do what they do.
So here we are with ACS Education and all of a sudden the minimum required is a lot lower than what Wells Fargo required. That's okay because we decided we were going to continue paying it how were were paying it with Wells Fargo which is a lot more than what they were requiring. Only with ACS if you are not paying attention they will not apply your funds properly to the bill.
They have all 8 (Yes, EIGHT) accounts listed separately with interest rates varying from 2.360% to 6.800%.
At one point during our dealings with them they tried to consolidate all 8 loans together using the highest interest rate without our consent! Uh, hello! You can't do that ACS! We made them put it back.
Attention Students...When you get these letters in the mail from the bank telling you that they did this you need to pick up the phone and ask questions because I guarantee you are not getting an interest rate that is fair. They consolidate these accounts without asking you, send you the letter letting you know that they did, and many assume that's just the way the bank winds blow. That's how people get ripped off. They don't pay attention. You need to pay attention and ask questions if you don't understand why they do what they do.
So my husband and I let them know a long time ago that we would continue paying the minimum amount just like we were before which was roughly $324.62 per/month.
We had a terrible time of it trying to get them to show these payments and balances. Sometimes we have to call them asking them what the balance is of the account that we just sent extra money to in order to make sure that our funds were actually applied to that specific principal.
Are you confused yet?
Last month I sent extra money to be applied to account #8, which has the highest interest rate, and you would think that money applied would be reflected on this month's statement but it is not. The only thing reflected on this month's statement is accounts 1 - 7. In order to see what the balance is for account number 8 I need to send extra money to account number 7 and then next month accounts 1 - 6 as well as account 8 will be shown...but not account 7.
WTP? (What The Poop)
This month they are saying on the statement that we owe a minimum of $200.98 to be spread through all 8 accounts. Can you believe it? So we will send a check for $324.62 to be paid and then in about a week or so I will send them extra cash instructing them to pay it to the principal on account #8 in order to pay down the loan with the highest interest rate faster.
But, it doesn't seem like they appreciate the fact that we are trying to pay off the loan fast. Why would they? Uh, I don't want to take the next 50 years to pay off a school loan.
THAT is RIDICULOUS.
We got a notification saying that accounts 1, 3, and 4 interest rates were going to be lowered. Really? Well what about accounts 2, 5, 6, 7 & 8? Ironically those are the accounts with the higher interest rates but I keep hammering at account 7 and 8 so we can get those paid off faster. Why there are 8 separate accounts is beyond me!
It seems like every month or every other month my husband has to get on the phone and say,
"What the Poop?"
He'll be calling them again today and hopefully we won't get a call center in Jamaica! I hope he can reach some sort of Wells Fargo and/or ACS Education Regional Manager so we can get this cluster-poop figured out!
1. We plan on sending the original monthly amount of $324.62.
2. If you're going to give us an interest break on part of the loan then maybe you should give us an interest break on the entire loan!?
3. When I tell you to apply something to the PRINCIPAL, that means PRINCIPAL, it is NOT a PREPAID PAYMENT to INTEREST.
Are you CRAZY!!!?
I shouldn't have to write a separate check on principal payments but I do because you guys don't know if you are coming or going and it's pretty clear that you can't stand the fact that we have half the school loan paid off already. It's only been 3 years!!?
Depending on what my husband finds out this afternoon when he talks to them, yet again, will determine whether or not we will try to get another bank to pay off this ridiculous loan for us and get back to the basics of paying on something with monthly statements that make sense.