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welcome to the college investor audio show when we talk about the biggest issues impacting millennial life from super long head to side hustles to building l will show you how to get out of debt so that you can build real wealth for the future hey guys Robert from the college investor here I am so excited to be with you here today and we are gonna talk about something a little more unique than what we have talked about lately and that is Student Loan Servicing problems specifically we are gonna dive into aspire resources which is one of the smaller student loan services and they have a little bit of a complicated history they may be your loan servicer or they might have used to have been your loan servicer so what you need to know is that aspire is a for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit company Iowa student loan and services as a spire Service Center and what's interesting about this company is they are one of the federal student loan servicers so if you didn't know this the Department of Education holds all of the federal student loans and they're the owners but they contract out with all these individual companies and these companies are the ones that actually take care of all your Loan Servicing send out statements all that kind of stuff but the interesting thing with aspire is despite what they describe as high customer satisfaction as reported from their Department of Education evaluations they could not accumulate enough accounts to warrant the cost of operating per their 2015 statement on the matter and ceased Direct Loan Servicing so the Department of Education actually confirmed that aspire initiated the end of the contract to service these loans and so aspire ended up transferring all these loans to mo hella who we've written about before on the blog however aspire is still servicing other kinds of loans especially private student loans so they still do a lot in this space so despite their aforementioned high customer service rating Aspire has not been immune to complaints and so we have been diving into complaints that have been posted on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database which the CFPB the Better Business Bureau website and other places around the web to get an idea of possible issues that you might be having with aspire loan servicing and when we went through all of the issues that have been reported here are a few of the issues that stood out and some of these are very unique because we've looked at almost every loan servicer and every one of them has their consumer complaints I mean these are big companies but these ones aspire had some interesting ones here and the first one that really stood out was phantom student loan balances yes you heard that right phantom balances so paying off your student loans can be a thrilling experience however that excitement can duel really fast when you think you've paid off your debt only to discover that you somehow still owe it and we talked about a case a few weeks ago where one of our readers wrote in and their student loan servicer did not tell anyone that the loan was paid off and so this server this reader was denied on their student loan well that's been happening to some borrowers at aspire and one aspire borrower experienced this exact situation where the amount they still owed was quite small but they paid off their loan and then logged into her account to make sure that there was nothing wrong but they found five dollars of unpaid interest still there somehow even though their loan was paid off had the borrower never looked it would have just sat there accumulating more interest until Aspire decided to let them know and then another incident occurred where one borrower paid off her loans and then checked her balance online to find $20 still remaining and she even received a bill that confirmed she owed that amount and after calling and inquiring about the issue the balance would be waived after a system error was corrected but guess what that didn't happen as well eventually according to a spires response the area was fixed in the account corrected but you know while the borrower was not on the hook for this erroneous balance just think what would have happened if we're not watchful about all these different situations so it's super important the lesson here is that even if you pay off your student loans in full there's two things that you need to do one when you get your statement saying that the loan is paid off in full and they send you a nice letter that says like paid in full on it it's great you need to save that you make a copy of it you need to keep that letter in a safe place scan it in so you have it online and keep the records and then to within about thirty to sixty days you should still log back into your account and make sure that the balance is paid in full and I guess I'm going to add a third right here is the number three thing you should do is check your credit report and make sure your credit report is accurately saying that your student loans are paid in full alright the next thing that we saw a few things about with Auto pay Agony's and now we've seen this with quite a few loan servicers because auto pay is huge like I auto pay all my bills everything is just set on autopilot and the cool thing with auto pay as well is when you set up auto pay for your student loans typically they'll give you a discount on your student loan interest rate so you usually see 0.25 percent discount and your interest rate if you set up auto pay and paperless statements but when auto pay goes wrong it is the most frustrating experience in the entire world and one Aspire borrower describes in a complaint how they switched banks and informed a spire via the proper form to update their auto pay however and the process of setting up the payments of the new Bank that payment what that month's payment was cancelled and the borrower was deemed to have missed a payment the borrow had not requested that cancellation and lost the interest rate reduction that they had with a spire and that just is annoying another thing that we saw a lot from aspire was duplicate or triplicate payments so getting overcharged in a payment is one thing but getting your payment tripled is even worse and so this happened to at least one Aspire borrower and while the incident could have been a one-off error I'm sure it caused a lot of short-term distress for those affected the borrower logged into their checking account and saw that three student loan payments had been taken out instead of one which sent their account into overdraft when the borrower called aspire to resolve the issue aspire said they knew of the problem and they were working on it when asked why they had not notified the borrower of the issue if they known about it no answer was given that's awesome right like I'm gonna call yeah we knew there was a problem well that's great the borrower hard to wait at least five days for that refund to get processed to get completed and they felt like the borrower liked the customer service reps while they did their job well the policy itself was outrageously burdensome the important
Thanks for your comment Jonas Compiseno, have a nice day.
- Jeri Molacek, Staff Member
did you guys see this as a result of a court order we are temporarily blocked from processing debt discharges okay let's quickly read up on this so the student loan debt relief application has just been open for about a week but two days ago it has been put on hold what happened back in September Attorneys General from Six republican-led States sued the Biden Administration with their argument being that the president is overstepping his authority and that this action would cause some private lenders to lose business and as of this past Friday the U.S court of appeals for the eighth circuit granted an administrative state which is a temporary pause until the courts decides whether to Grant an injunction or not the legal experts say that the GOP States will struggle to prove that they have the necessary standing in the meantime we'll just be on standby until the court either issues an injunction or dismissal okay Jinx the but can I still apply for forgiveness in the meantime yes you can just make sure to head over to studentaid.gov and it'll take you like one minute to fill in all this information so definitely go do that if you qualify hope that helps follow for more updates this is shinxa over and out
Thanks Tad your participation is very much appreciated
- Jeri Molacek
About the author
I've studied interpretive sociology at Cairn University in Langhorne and I am an expert in environmental policy. I usually feel quixotic. My previous job was motorcycle mechanic I held this position for 22 years, I love talking about digital hoarding and watching documentaries. Huge fan of Stanley Tucci I practice triathlon training and collect eggs.
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