Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Student financial aid, military benefits....and waiting

First things first - I wanted to let you all know that the Dave Ramsey ELP in Auburn, Jason Young with Cotton States, gave me a great rate of $469 a year for homeowners insurance. Yes!

I am so anxious about closing on this house, and the lending aspect of it. Because the loan will be in my name only, that has put a great deal of stress on me for the "what ifs" about it going through. Deep down, I feel like everything is going to be okay. I've had a good feeling from the get-go, and I feel certain that things would not be falling into place like they have been if it wasn't meant to be. But at the same time, I just hate waiting to make it official.

The VA will be sending me some education benefits....hopefully sooner rather than later. Once I get this money, I'm going throw it all at the consolidation loan we've got. That loan has a balance of about $6700 right now. The military benefits will eat about 2/3 of it, and the remaining amount should be paid for with my student loan refund disbursement for summer...

Oh wait - yeah the school has been ridiculous to deal with this summer. I have called and emailed, called and emailed and got nowhere. On Thursday, I emailed my slacker of a financial counselor one more time and I basically told him I was tired of dealing with the crap, and I was 2 seconds away from filing a complaint with the department of education. I don't have a copy of the email with me, but I wish I did - I'd share it. I copied a few other folks at the school, and I guess my barking was FINALLY loud enough this time. On Friday, the assistant director for financial services called, luckily, while I was on my lunch break, and we talked for about 45 minutes. When I got back to the office, there was an email with new forms waiting on me to fill out. I was most disgusted with the whole situation because my so-called counselor assured me time and time again that he had all the necessary documents he needed from me to process my aid, but yet, the asst director had me fill out new forms because the ones he had on file were incorrect.

By Friday evening a new award package was posted to my account. I was told that I *should* receive the funds within 2 weeks....July 2nd. Worst case backup scenario if they don't arrive by then - I can transfer the balance of the loan to a credit card with my credit union. It's certainly not ideal (gah! credit cards!) but the rate is actually lower - 10% vs the 12.25% that my loan is currently at. The only reason I haven't transferred it before is the loan balance was still too high to transfer and I didn't want to transfer just a portion of it. I'm holding off on actually doing this transfer though, and will only do it if I absolutely need to shuffle funds around - as you'll see why by reading further....If I do shuffle the loan balance to the credit card, it would be primarily to decrease my debt ratio, because the minimum monthly credit card payment would be significantly less than the consolidation loan payment, and 2, because the interest rate is lower. Even still transferring to the credit card would be a VERY temporary last resort in the even that the funds don't arrive when I need them to, and I would pay it off once they DID finally arrive.

Like I said, I pray and hope that the military benefits and aid arrive sooner rather than later....I need that money to pay off the consolidation loan that I have. I need that consolidation loan paid off to I can decrease my individual debt ratio. This is only a problem because my pre-qualification was so tight, that there's no wiggle room for anything to go wrong....and the fact that my summer financial aid had not posted at the time of pre-qualification, and I'm not sure if my lender took that information into consideration when he pre-qualified me. I was up front and honest with him about it, but I really don't know if he included the last bit of my student loans into his calculations.

This sucks. If the student loans were going to be deferred for at least another year, they wouldn't have to count them in the calculations. But because they call come out of deferment in May, they have to count them. And the thing that sucks even more is that each of the student loan lenders are reporting level repayment options, even though I fully intend to do the graduated repayment option (smaller payments for the first few years, which will get increasingly bigger) so that I can snowball the "extra" money I have each month at paying a bigger chunk at one loan until it's knocked out, and then I'll snowball the next one, and so on and so forth... The other strike with these student loans being in deferment, is that the reason they are all reporting a level repayment option is because I'm not allowed to request a graduated repayment plan until they come out of deferment.

Thank you student loan lenders, for telling my mortgage lender that my debt ratio is higher than what it ACTUALLY will be when I start making the payments because you wont let me go ahead and sign up for the graduated repayment plan. And thank you, GCU, for f*ckin' around and not doing a damn thing until I barked so loud that the asst director had to contact me and promised to expedite my aid. I should hope so, a full 7 weeks into a 16 week session of classes when I should have been paid in full by the end of week 4!!!! If I had been paid at the end of week 4, that damn consolidation loan would have been paid off already and my debt ratio would have dropped significantly anyway, and the summer disbursement would have appeared on my credit so there would have been no question if my lender included it in his calculations for my pre-qual. Of course, my lender did say that he thinks I'll be okay - he specifically told me not to do any shuffling right now. I wont do anything (expect actual payoffs) without asking him first. The last thing I need is to shuffle money around in a way that looks shady and they drop my loan altogether and financing falls though.

Moral of the story: Don't take out student loans. If I had it to do all over again, I would have only taken out the tuition cost only while in grad school...I didn't have the option to pay cash. I only went back to grad school to get my dream job. I got it, but it would have been stupid to drop out of grad school, so I've continued forward. December cannot get here fast enough.

No comments: