Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Education

What Should I Say to Get My Transcript When the School Won’t Release It? – Tasha

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I owe my technical college money, my debt has been sent to collections and now they won’t release my transcript. I read another post about this, and I have taken your advice about contacting the Department of Education or the Program Accreditor, but I am not sure what to say to them. I owe them because I withdrew from a semester after the deadline, because I was put on bed rest for my pregnancy and could not finish the semester.

What should I say to the department of education or the proram accreditor? Should I email them or give them a phone call.



Dear Tasha,

The student contract typically says the transcript will be held until all debts are paid to the school. The transcript is the collateral the school can hold to leverage payment.

Your best shot is going to be asking for understanding and cooperation. At the end of the day the school wants to get paid and keeping that in mind maybe you can negotiate with the billing department some sort of payment plan in exchange for them releasing your transcript.

It’s much easier for the school to turn down an anonymous request so I would suggest you take the time to go to the school billing office and ask for their help to resolve the situation if possible. Don’t go in with a chip on your shoulder. Go in looking for some middle ground you and the school can agree on.

I’d take all the documentation you can about your situation to help provide support to your claims. Show the school information to help get them on your side. And you might have to make an initial payment as well.

Now that the account has gone to collections, the balance will be higher than it was originally, so don’t be surprised about that.

While it is possible to write to the State Department of Education that is responsible for the school, it’s always best to try and work something out with the school first.

READ  California Passes Law to Prevent Schools From Withholding Transcripts

If you do contact an outside party I would not suggest email or a phone call. You need to put a personal face on this. I would suggest you send them a letter in the mail and provide copies of information you feel comfortable sharing to state your case and reason why you want to get their help. I’d even suggest some colored paper or other way to help your claim stand out in a stack of paper. Heck, even sticking a gold star on the letter is a big help.

Bottom line – you need to sell the reason you are hoping for the cooperation of the school, they are not required to give it to you.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top