Background: After completing his first semester (Fall 2017) at The George Washington University, my son withdrew from all classes early in his second semester (Spring 2018) due to mental health reasons. Early in the beginning of his third semester (Fall 2018), The George Washington University allowed my son to take a retroactive leave of absence in order to save his institutional aid. His psychiatrist and psychologist have not cleared him to return to The George Washington University.
Recently, my son received a letter from Heartland/ECSI that began: “This letter is to inform you that your student loan account with The George Washington University is 90 past due in the amount of $243.00 (as of September 3, 2020). Based on the terms of the promissory note you signed, you have agreed to make payments on this loan…”
Following are excerpts from a chat with a "customer advocate" at Heartland/ECSI this evening:
• H/E: Your account has received a $3 late fee and 30 day past due credit report. You may apply for a forbearance beginning 04/2020 to remove the past due principal and negative credit report.
• You: Wow, you already notified the credit reporting agencies?
• H/E: That is correct. Your account went into repayment June and it received a negative report for that payment. Your account is currently 3 months past due. Your school requires you to use the Mandatory Forbearance form.
• H/E: I advise you to apply for a forbearance beginning 06/2020 to remove the delinquency from your account, remove the negative credit report (s), and bring the account current. Here are the instructions to locate the form and upload for processing: [Snip]
• H/E: Great, happy to help you today. This will remove the delinquency and negative report. I want to thank you for using HECSI Live Chat. Have a nice day!
Should my son follow the advice of the Heartland/ECSI customer advocate or should he engage Student Accounts or Student Financial Aid at The George Washington University for guidance?
I simply have no idea how to advise my son on this.