Why I don’t prefer the US to France: High cost of university

Anyone else think this is unfair? I took a class in the spring term (May/June), so my loan went into deferment, supposedly until 2010 – the year my university listed as my graduation date. But that wasn’t correct since I graduated just after that spring term in August 2007. (And I thought loans were automatically in deferment until 6 months after graduation??)

Dear Direct Loan Borrower,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding your Direct Loan. Prior to October 11, 2007, we listed your separation date from Oakland University as December 31, 2010. However, our records show that on October 11, 2007, the college notified us that your last date of attendance as a half-time student was June 27, 2007 and not October 11, 2010 as they originally certified. We updated your separation date to June 27, 2007. Because this action would have created a past due status for your loan, we applied a forbearance to your loan to postpone the payments due for July 21, 2007 through October 21, 2007.

They didn’t even give me the option to pay the bills from July to October; they just automatically put my loan into forbearance (which also expired immediately), and that tacked on $122 in interest! So I have to pay extra because my college didn’t report the correct graduation date?

Can someone with student loan experience explain this to me? I never had student loans as an undergrad, and I only borrowed for the last year of my graduate degree, so this is all new to me.

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  • La Belette Rouge

    Oh, how I envy you to have loans for only one year of graduate school!I was referred to your blog via the French in Action blog–I am in the longing stages of my French life. I am off to your archives to see how you made your dream a reality!

  • La Belette Rouge

    Oh, how I envy you to have loans for only one year of graduate school!

    I was referred to your blog via the French in Action blog–I am in the longing stages of my French life. I am off to your archives to see how you made your dream a reality!

  • nicole

    Jennie, I don’t have much advice, but it seems clear in your situation that you are supposed to get 6 months of deferment and that this forbearance should be taken off. I don’t have any good suggestions for how to go about that, but it definitely doesn’t sound like it’s the right thing. Good luck with the battle!

  • nicole

    Jennie, I don’t have much advice, but it seems clear in your situation that you are supposed to get 6 months of deferment and that this forbearance should be taken off. I don’t have any good suggestions for how to go about that, but it definitely doesn’t sound like it’s the right thing. Good luck with the battle!

  • Heather

    Whether you have a six month grace period depends on what kind of loan you have. If it’s not a Stafford, a Perkins or a Pell through the federal government, you might not have a grace period.That being said, this forbearance business is ridiculous! How dare they make it your fault retrospectively! I’d contact your university’s financial aid office for advice/strongarming the lender into being fair. American insurance and loan companies have become notorious for their exploitation of individuals; once a larger entity gets involved they tend to drop their ridiculousness and pretend it never happened.

  • Heather

    Whether you have a six month grace period depends on what kind of loan you have. If it’s not a Stafford, a Perkins or a Pell through the federal government, you might not have a grace period.

    That being said, this forbearance business is ridiculous! How dare they make it your fault retrospectively! I’d contact your university’s financial aid office for advice/strongarming the lender into being fair. American insurance and loan companies have become notorious for their exploitation of individuals; once a larger entity gets involved they tend to drop their ridiculousness and pretend it never happened.

  • JP

    I would say try starting at the school. Until they notify the lender of your real graduation date no changes will be made. Then once they they have corrected, you should be able to go back to the lender and get them to change that. Also, worst case you should have a second 6-month deference for your loan. All of my loans had the initial 6-month deference, and then have an additional optional 6-month deference that I could use if if I ever fall in to hard times and need to pause the payment of my loans. This goes for both my federal school loans and private loans. Most people save this for the future, but it may help if nothing else will now.Hope any of that helps. Good luck, I am glad I made it through that whole period, it was stressful, but now everything is settled out and runs smoothly.

  • JP

    I would say try starting at the school. Until they notify the lender of your real graduation date no changes will be made. Then once they they have corrected, you should be able to go back to the lender and get them to change that.

    Also, worst case you should have a second 6-month deference for your loan. All of my loans had the initial 6-month deference, and then have an additional optional 6-month deference that I could use if if I ever fall in to hard times and need to pause the payment of my loans. This goes for both my federal school loans and private loans. Most people save this for the future, but it may help if nothing else will now.

    Hope any of that helps. Good luck, I am glad I made it through that whole period, it was stressful, but now everything is settled out and runs smoothly.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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