By now, you all know that I enjoyed adding entries to this blog that talk about how I’ve reduced my student loan debt by one or two thousand dollars. They are feel good posts for me and I hope that they give those who are mired in student loan debt some hope. However, there are so many more aspects of this student loan business that aren’t as exciting or sexy as announcing that I’ve reduced the total principal owed by $X thousand.
For example, the other day I wrote about how the online payment system offered by NJHESAA that is, essentially, useless since this private student loan company passes the cost of doing this type of business on to its borrowers. NJHESAA offers an online payment system, but it charges you 2.5% for a “convenience fee” in order to use the service. What a disgrace!
Well, another issue that I’ve been aggravated about with NJHESAA is their inability to process my paper check payment in a timely fashion. For example, after I send a student loan payment to this private lender it generally takes them 10 – 15 days to process the check. WHY!?!?!
Why does it take NJHESAA so long to process a payment!?
Well, if you know anything about finance and how loans work, then you know why it takes NJHESAA so long to process payments. It’s very simple – the longer you hold a payment and not process it, the more the interest due on the payment grows. Here’s my real world example:
On Thursday, February 11th I sent my latest payment to NJHESAA. As of that date, I owed about $62 in accrued interest. Now, I understand that it takes some time for my payment to work its way through the postal system, through the NJHESAA’s mailing system, and eventually to be deposited in the bank. In 2010, that process should take between 3 and 5 days.
However, since my check has not been deposited yet and here we are – 9 days after the payment was sent – another $85 in interest has been accrued. So the total interest owed on the NJHESAA loan today has gone from $62 on the day that I sent the payment to $147 today. How disgusting is that?
And I don’t believe for one minute that my payment isn’t sitting on someone’s desk at the NJHESAA waiting to be deposited early next week. After all, since NJHESAA is closed on the weekends they get to accrue a few more days of interest by not depositing my check! Awesome! And why do I not believe that the payment isn’t sitting there? Because I have a job and I know that when someone sends me something, I get it in a matter of 2 or 3 days. There isn’t any big secret to the United States Postal Service – you send an item and they deliver it. In the rarest of cases your item might be lost, but the chances of that happening are slim to none.
It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that the folks at NJHESAA are organized for the purpose of making money on the backs of college students. Months ago I showed that there is absolutely no reason for me to be paying 7.3%+ in interest on my student loan. There is no reason for them to pass the 2.5% credit card/online check processing fee onto their borrowers. There is absolutely no reason why my payment hasn’t been processed after being out of my hands for 9 days already. The sum of all these parts equals a student loan company that is directly focused on generating cash for itself at the expense of a young cohort of the public.
Each of these points are made more glaring due to the fact that my federal Direct Loan doesn’t have any of these problems. Think about that for a minute. The interest rate is lower. There is no processing fee for online payments. And when I send a check to the USDOE (which goes to a southern state somewhere), they process it in a day or two. Meanwhile, when I send a check to Newark for the NJHESAA it takes days and now weeks to process the payment? Bullshit.
They’re obviously holding my checks in order to generate more interest on my loan. I can’t wait to be done with this student loan company. And when I am done with them, I’m going to devote even more of my time towards exploring their practices and showing the Garden State’s young borrowers why they should avoid this organization at all costs.
For shame, NJHESAA. For shame.