Jan 9, 2008

Final lesson in paying off student loans: Don't let the lender steal from you

A few months ago, I gave some tips on how I'm paying off my student loans. I wanted to add a final tip to that list for when you send in the final payment if you do so early.

You see, the final payment I made on my private law school loans resulted in a slight overpayment of $1.15. I only know this because it said so when I logged on to check my account. I waited a few months, figuring the lender would eventually refund the balance. Nothing doing, even after I received the "Congratulations, you paid off your loan!" letter three months after the final payment. So I finally used their online contact form and asked them when I could expect a refund. Here's the response I got:
A request has been submitted to mail the refund to you. Please allow 7 to 9 business days for processing and mail time. Thank you, [Lender]
So here's my final tip for paying off student loans: Don't let them get away with stealing your money when you send the final payment.

While $1.15 isn't a lot of money, the total of overpayments must add up, thus the lender's hope that I would just forget/not notice the money and gift it to them via inaction. I'm so glad I don't have to have any more contact with them! (Well, I hope so - I'm still in that 7 to 9 period ...)

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