Date Received: 2018-10-18T00:00:00
Product: Federal student loan servicing
Issue: Dealing with your lender or servicer
Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided
Consumer Complaint: I was informed on XX/XX/XXXX by an agent from XXXX that I had unknowingly forfeited all of my qualifying payments towards public service loan forgiveness because I had consolidated my direct loans after receiving incorrect information from one of XXXX agents. I had been paying towards my public service loan forgiveness with XXXX XXXX since XXXX and have documentation of all Employer Certification Forms during that time period, as well as all documentation of the approximately 5 years of qualifying payments made.
I contacted XXXX on XX/XX/XXXX to get a confirmation of how many qualifying payments I had made since XXXX. I generally call my loan servicers to get information because I find it more efficient to speak with an actual person than to navigate their website or email portal. The first agent I spoke to informed me that I had no qualifying payments because I had just consolidated my loans in XXXX and thus no payments had been made yet. This was shocking to me because I was informed during a previous phone call in XXXX that once my consolidation was complete I would receive information about how many qualifying payments I had made between XXXX and XXXX. The first agent I spoke to then directed me to her supervisor, agent # XXXX. I explained that I consolidated my loans to XXXX after receiving bad information from one of XXXX XXXX agents when I had called and had a lengthy conversation with agent # XXXX on XX/XX/XXXX. The managing agent I spoke to on XX/XX/XXXX, # XXXX told me that they have no record of this conversation that I had with the agent # XXXX.
I had initially called XXXX in XXXX because I had uploaded four separate Employment Certification forms beginning in XX/XX/XXXX through XX/XX/XXXX to their website documenting that I had worked at PSLF qualified employers from XXXX to XXXX but had not received confirmation or correspondence from XXXX that they received these documents. When I spoke to the agent # XXXX she had informed me that she saw all of my Employment Documents uploaded ( they have since disappeared from my XXXX portal ). During this phone call in XXXX it was conveyed to me that in order to calculate the number of qualifying payments I had made towards PSLF I was required to consolidate my loans with XXXX. I was not informed that by consolidating my loans I would be forfeiting the 5 years of qualifying payments I had made towards PSLF via XXXX XXXX. As I mentioned above, I was assured, that after the consolidation was completed, the number of qualifying payments I had made previously would be calculated and I would be informed of where I was in the payment process in relation to the 120 qualifying payments. I was also informed during this call that in order to make my indirect loans through AES qualify for PSLF I would have to consolidate them. Again, I was not informed during this phone call that by consolidating my direct loans, I would be forfeiting my 5 years of qualifying payments made through XXXX XXXX. I simply assumed that because I was instructed by XXXX XXXX via email on XX/XX/XXXX, to contact XXXX for information regarding the number of qualifying payments I had made that XXXX were the servicers of the program. I also did not assume that the information I was provided by agent # XXXX in XXXX was incorrect or incomplete. So after receiving this faulty and incomplete information from agent # XXXX on XX/XX/XXXX, and against my best interest, I went ahead with my consolidation with XXXX.
The reason that I had called in XXXX, was simply to understand how many qualifying payments I had made and would have never consolidated my loans had I known that I would be forfeiting the qualifying payments I had already made on these loans. It was against my best interest to consolidate because I still have two loan servicers AND have to start over in making qualifying payments towards PSLF. In fact, I was informed by XXXX XXXX # XXXX during our most recent phone conversation on XX/XX/XXXX, that I did the opposite of what I should have done. A reasonable person would NOT have consolidated their loans with the outcome that I have had : I still have two loan servicers, I forfeit approximately 5 years of payments towards forgiveness, and the interest rate is only minimally better than it was with XXXX XXXX. I have worked diligently to make my loan payments on time since XXXX, I have resubmitted income-based repayment paperwork diligently, and proactively communicated with loan servicers to ensure that I can make payments and understand the programs I am enrolled in. Because I was provided incorrect and damaging information by XXXX agent # XXXX, I simply want XXXX to honor the 5 years of qualifying payments I have made towards PSLF.
State/Zip: MA 021XX
Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation
Was Company Response Timely: Yes
Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A
Complaint ID: 3050244
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