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loan never certified or disbursed

jwern1jwern1 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
Hi Everyone,

I'm having issues with my son's Financial Aid office over a private student loan that I applied for, was approved for, took a day off work and went to my son's school to sign a promissory note for, and the school failed to certify it and the funds were never disbursed. They did not contact either myself or my son to inform us that there was any unpaid balance during the semester. When my son attempted to register for classes the following semester, he was told that he had a large balance due and would not be able to complete registration until it was settled with the accounting office. Both he and I contacted the financial aid office and they stated that the amount of the loan was not filled in and they never returned the paperwork to the lender. When I returned the promissory note to the Aid office, I did not know the exact dollar amount that was needed and they told me they would contact the accounting office for the information and would enter it on the form, as they had done for me the previous semester. Regardless, no one ever contacted me to tell me there was an issue, and I was told that the only step left in the process was for the school to certify the loan and the funds would be disbursed.

Anyhow, I was shocked when they told me that the loan could not be processed since the semester was already over, and they suggested that take out a private(and obviously much higher interest) loan out through my bank. At one point they suggested I outright pay the entire amount in cash to the school. If that was something I wanted to do, I would have done so instead of taking out a loan.

I called the Department of Education, and they told me that the school should request a late disbursement similar to when they request one for federal student aid. The school refused to take any responsibility or provide any assistance to resolve the issue. I have since paid off $45,000 in loans in full and paid $15,000 up front during my son's first three years. My son lost all interest in returning to the same university after the way they treated us, and attempted to transfer to another college. The school now is refusing to release his transcript for the semesters that were paid in full. My son told them that he doesn't want his credits from the semester in issue despite this essentially resulting in him having wasted 4 months going to class for nothing. I was always very on top of getting the school all the paperwork they needed and I personally think its unacceptable to change payment terms after the fact.

Has anyone ever encountered a situation like this? I have a feeling that I will have to file suit against them(this has turned into a matter or principle for me) to get the $60,000 in credits I paid for transferred to the school my son wants to attend. I know most school's have rules buried in their policies that state they withhold ALL credits if any funds are owed to the school, but I'm sorry to break it to them but its common law conversion to withhold someone's property(ie his credits for the first 3 years) if money is owed for a separate transaction. It's actually quite disturbing that school's think that it's acceptable behaviour. "So what if you paid $60,000- you're not getting anything out of it"

So frustrating!
Post edited by jwern1 on

Replies to: loan never certified or disbursed

  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,535Super Moderator Senior Member
    If a Stafford loan was not originated before the last day of the semester, it cannot be processed now if the student is not enrolled. I realize this seems unfair, but that's the way it is. If your son was enrolled now, the loan could be processed - but if he is not in school, the loan cannot be processed. If it was originated before the last day of the semester, it can be processed as a late disbursement. However, you said it was never certified - so it was not originated. Most private loans also work this way.

    I am a bit confused, though. Was it a Stafford loan or a private loan? You stated that this was a private loan. Why did you contact the Dept. of Ed.? Why didn't you contact the lender?

    There are lenders who will certify late disbursement private loans. You can call around until you find one, then have them work with the school to get it certified. Do a CC search for private or alternative lenders - there are some good links.
  • jwern1jwern1 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    I contacted the Department of Education because I assumed that they would have regulations governing matters of this nature for schools that receive federal funding. And they do, but unfortunately they said it was specific to federal loans. The only point of contact I had from day one was with my son's financial aid office- during the semester in question, they told me that there was only offered 1 private loan(it turns out that the head of the financial aid department was on the board of directors- this is going back several years ago before the government started investigating lenders giving school's kickbacks. Pulling up the old financial aid website on archive.org shows that they did, in fact, list this one particular loan as the only private loan available) They told me they contacted the lender and that there was absolutely nothing that could be done to disburse the money. After that, they suggested that I should either remortgage my house or some other lending option. I went to university in Europe and student loans were completely foreign to me.

    Are their lenders that will work with a school and student for a balance from 4 years ago?

    All monetary points aside, I guess the worst part of this was that my son's education was put on hold over something that could have been corrected if the school had acted reasonably and in a timely manner... and if the school had let us know that there were other private student loan options(I would have been happy to do the research on my own had I known this) besides the one choice they offered, it would have been easier for me to have oversight over what was going on instead of everything being handled by the school.
  • NikkiiLNikkiiL Posts: 1,048Registered User Senior Member
    There are several private student loans who will disburse for funds owed in a prior term...even when the student is no longer enrolled in any school. I'd have to dig though my lender information to see which ones still do this, but I do know that Suntrust currently offers one that will disburse when a student is no longer enrolled, as I have recently submitted a loan for one of my students who had to drop out and left a balance owed to the school. I will check on others when I get to my office tomorrow.
  • hazmathazmat Posts: 8,435User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    You didn't receive a Bursar account statement/summary or log on to read this? That is the first odd thing that comes to my mind. How did you determine monies owed and monies paid for previous semesters?
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,535Super Moderator Senior Member
    I didn't realize that the loan was that old. I thought it was recent. NiikkiiL should be able to provide some help, hopefully.

    I'm still confused. Did he go to school AFTER that semester - at the same school?
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