Stupid Loans

Or as they are more commonly known, student loans.

Being a student of less-than-wealthy economic status (read: Broke-Ass, as my best friend would say) I am waiting for the wonderful news that my student loan has been processed. In fact, my cheque book is lying awaking nights dreaming of it while slowly bleeding to death in the day. It’s sad to watch the tiny little drops of black ink blood falling slowly from the cheque book, staining my debit card. You can almost hear it playing the blues…

Anyway, I sent in the application in late December. The week before school started, I got a nice little letter from the lender telling me one of the corrections I made had invalidated the loan and I would need to start over. Fine, I’ll agree with that being mostly my fault. Common sense would dictate that one cannot use white-out on a loan application. HOWEVER, as Ms. Nice told me, I should have read the detailed corrections policy they sent with the loan papers. I checked the packet twice– no corrections policy at all. Mind you, I do know every specific law relevant to student loans in every state of this country. The five pages (I’m not kidding) of additional legal notes made those quite clear. I was nice, though, having worked on the other end of a phone at a call centre, and did not mention this to Ms. Nice.

The private loan officer at my school really is nice. She has done everything she possibly can to expedite this process and is always very helpful. She will probably be fired soon, as she will not fit in with the others in administration. Yesterday I told her she was going to get very accustomed to my presence in her office. She gave me the original copies of the loan papers, which she had faxed in on 8 Feb. and told me I should check with student loan accounting, as the funds would likely be in. Imagine my surprise when the folks in accounting looked at me like I’d grown a few extra appendages and asked when I had applied for a loan in the first place. Ready to attack the next person remotely related to school finances, I simply left campus, muttering all the way through my 35 mile drive home.

Today, never being one to be satisfied with only minor torture, I phoned up the lender once again. This time Ms. Nice and Helpful answered. Ok, she did *attempt* to be helpful. She’s just apparently not used to…umm… we’ll say *persistent* callers such as myself. She said the loan was in processing and that they still needed copies of my ID. I told her to check pages four and five of the application, where my ID should be listed and a lovely picture copied. Oh, she says, they are there. Good thing I called. Just think of the trouble she would have had finding pages four and five of the next few thousand applications that came in if I hadn’t pointed out the location to her.

After putting me on hold so she could email someone to say my ID was there, she explained that I needed school certification and asked if there was anything else she could do to help. Wrong question. I guess I hadn’t gone far enough into the application– the certification was far away from pages four and five, nestled quietly on page three. This completely floored the dear lady. And she couldn’t find it. Managing not to scream at her, I began actually reading the page to her until she magically found it.

We were sharing mutual frustration at this point, and she told me in a Nice and Helpful tone that I hadn’t saved myself any time getting that school certification form filled out. They needed official documentation. Whoo…*official*… I pointed out to her that the page actually said school certification and was signed by the director of financial aid at my school. Yes, she said, but it still wasn’t official. At this point I had had it with her and the whole process. I explained to her that I was sorry to have wasted everyone’s time with the silly little unofficial form, but that it did come with THEIR application with instructions to fill it out, get it signed by a school rep, and fax it in with the application. I must be hallucinating again.

Oh, she says nicely, that explains it. The applications have been revised and that form is no longer valid. Seemed to make her happy at least. I was still a bit caught up in it. Still, we ended the call with her wishing me a great day and me being reserved enough not to wish her anything. Her dentist will probably send me a thank you note. I’m sure all of that grinding of the teeth couldn’t have helped Ms. Nice and Helpful’s dental health.

Good thing I have that high paying job. Oh wait, being a student doesn’t actually pay well. I guess that’s what I get for thinking the student loan company would be able to understand and process their own loan forms. They must have got their business and finance degrees from the university I’m currently attending.

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