For all of you high school seniors in New Jersey and current undergraduate students – this one is for you.
When looking to find a way to finance your education, stay AWAY from the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority! They are, by far, the most rotten folks that I’ve come across in my time as a college student. To begin with – they are NOT a public organization! That’s right, they may be called the NEW JERSEY HESAA, but they are not a public group. What does that mean? That means that they use higher interest rates and give little to no wiggle room when it comes to flexibility on repayment options. This is a private company, yet when you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), some schools will list the NJHESAA as a source of funding. STAY AWAY!
And if you want to know what it’s like to deal with them once you graduate and it comes time to repay, it’s even worse. In short, their customer service motto might as well be summed up as “The customer is always wrong…and is a moron, too.”
Not once have I hung up the phone and not been aggravated after talking to these people. That is if you can get them on the phone! As I type this I am on minute 18 of being on hold since I called to ask them about a payment. That’s right, for 18 minutes of my life I’ve heard nothing but a mellow tune and some completely rude “for shorter wait times, use our automated system” messages.
Back to their “customer service” people. For those of you that don’t know, you can have your NJHESAA payments deferred if you are still in school. Well, after I graduated from my undergraduate school, I went right for my Master’s Degree. I went to school both during the school year and during the summers – which Rutgers has documented very well for me. Yet still, last summer these asses at the NJHESAA randomly listed me as not being at least a part-time student for the month of June (which was false) and then in August, they reported me to the credit bureaus for not paying my monthly payment.
Bear in mind, I had no monthly payment and after they realized their mistake in June, they immediately put me back as “deferred” in July. Yet still, they wanted that mysterious, random payment from June 2005 (which they never got because it was completely uncalled for). After battling with them and telling them that they were wrong for putting me into the credit agencies, they still claim that they are 100% right about their mistake. Rutgers told them that they were wrong and I told them that they were wrong, yet they still believe in themselves as being right. Morons. By the way, minute 24 on hold.
Thankfully, I have Triple Advantage Credit Reporting from Experian and when I told the Experian people about the complete disaster that the NJHESAA is and how they goofed on their records and proved themselves incorrect by reinstating my part-time status in July 2005, they removed the “missed payment” from my record. I like Experian, they do a good job of protecting regular consumers like me from bastard assholes like NJHESAA.
As a side note, you should know that I have never missed a payment on anything that I’ve ever had to make a payment on. When I was $25K in credit card debt, I still made every monthly payment. When I owed $15K for my new used car, I made every monthly payment. I’ve never missed a cell phone payment or a water bill payment. When I had a landline phone, I paid the scam artists at Verizon every month on time. My credit record indicates this and that is what I believe led Experian to remove the stupid claim that NJHESAA made on my account.
OH! How could I forget the worst part about an NJHESAA loan? You cannot consolidate it anywhere but with them! That’s right. It’s a private loan and they will only allow you to consolidate it with them. Don’t look for this statement on their website or look for it in any of the promotional materials that you are sent (unless you love reading the fine “fuck you” print at the bottom of the page). They won’t tell you that!
I can only imagine what would happen if the public-at-large held NJHESAA responsible to its namesake. How dare they go around claiming that they help make college affordable? What a sorry crock of bullshit these assholes are. I’m going to end this post now after a full 30 minutes after being on hold.
Scumbags. STAY AWAY!