Hm. Am I feeling vindictive or lazy today?

Posted on 20.09.2011


For those of you who aren’t aware, I’m currently in repayment on my college loans. That should come as no big surprise, as I’m a college graduate from the USA… there’s a nearly 100% chance that I’ve got loans to pay off! That being said, I got lucky and got lots of scholarships, and also got some great interest rates on the fed loans that make it worth having them.

However, there’s this one loan. It was a parent loan that my parents took out during my first year, and when they were separating, they defaulted on it because the left parent didn’t know what the right parent was doing. Neither of them could afford to make the payments, and even though it doesn’t effect MY credit, I took them on. I’m currently the one paying for all of the loans, but I think that’s par for the ‘Independence’ course that I wanted to badly.

Either way, the defaulted loan was sold to a collection agency, who in turn sold it to another collection agency. This most recent collection agency is a pain in the ass, and also seems to think that its customers don’t know their rights. My father didn’t know his rights the first time they called, and I had to school him on them. Because there are certain things that these companies cannot say, or threaten to do, and they were scaring the hell out of my poor father.

Speaking of which, if you are unsure of your rights as a person/consumer in repayment of loans or in default and trying to make those payments, GO HERE AND PRINT THIS OUT. (#thingsIlearnedwhileworkingintheFinAidofficeFTW)

So, this time around, my dad didn’t take any of their shit and shot back with some of the things from that page, and also a few snarky comments (yeah, Dad!). He’s the one doing the talking, because even though I’ve been making the payments ON TIME FOR A MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS, since the loan is in his name, they won’t talk to me. So they talk to me through dad and pretend my dad makes the decisions in this situation, ho ho ho.

What it boils down to, and my reason for writing today, is that I have a little over $4,000 left to pay on this loan. Since it’s in collections, there is no more interest accruing, which is pretty awesome. It also doesn’t effect my credit either way, since it’s not in my name. It does technically effect my father’s credit as long as it exists, but if we want to get technical it’s been doing that since he defaulted, and even after the loan is paid off, it will stay ON the credit record for at least 5 years. So there’s no harm in keeping it around a bit longer, since no one’s trying to buy a house anytime soon.

I asked my father to ask them for a payoff amount, which is generally lower than the amount owed. The number they gave my dad was just under $3,200. I could easily take a loan from my pension to pay this off and rid us of their obnoxious and harassing behaviour. It’s not me I’m concerned about as much as my dad, and how they seem to try to trick us into paying more every six months.

So, I could take a loan out (from myself) and pay them the lower payoff amount, and it would only cost me about interest over 3 years, which equals out to about $200. That’s the ‘lazy’ option I’ve got. It’s lazy because I’ve learned that sometimes it’s worth it to pay for peace of mind.

Even with the interest I’d be paying myself, it’s still lower than the amount owed on the loan. It would be nice to get rid of that, and I’d still be making the payments, but just not dealing with the bs and shady business dealings. I JUST paid off the last loan I took from my pension, though, and that’s why I’m a bit wary of taking out another loan. It’s great that I have the money and it’s there, and while my money is probably safer OUT of my account right now rather than in it, just, ugh.

On the other hand (and this is where ‘vindictive’ comes in), these kinds of companies are rated based on how many open collections they have, how fast they can get consumers to make payoffs, and how long it takes them to clear certain accounts. So vindictive, bitchy me wants to make it as difficult as possible for them to get their money and get a better rating.

I think I already know which direction I’ll go in, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

If nothing else, I’ll make the payoff and then report them to the Better Business Bureau, just for fun and as a final ‘fuck you’.

So, what would you do, if this was your situation?

Posted in: life, money