I currently owe $30,000 directly to a university as a collection with 6% interest. They will not release my transcripts from my one year of study at the university until I have paid the amount in full. I am making the minimum payment every month, but my income is roughly $12-13 an hour because all I have is my high school diploma. The interest keeps accruing and I am unable to pay it off in the foreseeable future on my income. I would like to go back to school or complete some sort of training program to obtain a higher paying job, but cannot do so without my undergraduate transcripts.
How can I pay off the university in order to get my transcripts and obtain training to get a higher paying job?
The college is holding the transcript hostage because it is the only collateral they’ve got. It certainly does not sound like this was a government backed student loan so your options are significantly limited.
Sometimes debt is just the beginning of their woes. Students who leave school because they can’t pay their bills often face a second sanction — a freeze on their education. Universities typically refuse to release transcripts for students who owe money, preventing those who’ve dropped out from finishing school elsewhere, which would better position them to repay the debt. Source
Over the years I’ve had a number of clients that have been in this very situation and until the debt is paid, the transcript remains a hostage.
Typically the issue surrounds your college regulations or student contract which says that all outstanding fees must be paid to receive course credit and official transcripts.
Your best course of action would be to attempt to negotiate a suitable solution with the university or hire a lawyer to look into the issue to determine if the college has violated the student contract in any way that may allow you to get an official transcript.
This is not necessarily a great solution but then again, I’m not a huge fan of student loans because the consequences for nonpayment can be very severe, as you’ve learned.