don’t ever get a private student loan
Quick back story: two summers ago I got a Bank of America private student loan to fund a study abroad trip to Japan. The loan wasn't supposed to go into repayment until six months after I graduated, which, even if I had graduated "on time" in May (I'm graduating in December), still would not be for another few months. In June, I started getting phone calls from a company called American Education Services, who claimed that Bank of America had "sold them" my loan, and that said loan was now up for repayment. I had several conversations with AES in June and July in which I stated several times that I am in school full time and have no means of paying any student loans back at this time. Each time, I was given a different option of fixing the situation - the first time, a "note" was made in my file that I was still in school and I was told that once my university faxed in my proof of enrollment on the 19th of that month, my loan would be deferred until June of next year (six months after graduation). Lo and behold, I get a phone call from them about three weeks later claiming that I have a past due balance on my account. This time, I'm told to send in deferment forms to take care of the problem. So I fill them out, have my school fill them out, fax them in and hear nothing from them at all until Saturday morning, when I get a phone call from SEO (? apparently they're a collections agency) claiming that my account is now "delinquent" and that it has been reported to the credit bureau. I'm LIVID because I have been in a constant state of communication with these people about my situation, and I can't for the life of me understand why they would just straight up send my account to collections before contacting me to inform me that "the deferment forms weren't the right ones", which is the line the manager fed me on the phone this morning. Their latest solution is to have me put the account in/on forbearance which would have them covering the payments for the next six to twelve months (which would be almost exactly the same as me deferring it for a year, so IDK WHY WE DON'T JUST DO THAT BUT OK GUYS WHATEVER) and would change my account from "delinquent" to "active" or w/e so I won't be harassed by collection agencies anymore. My parents had credit problems and were constantly having trouble getting approved for things and having collection people call the house, that's not what I want for my life at all. Having as clean a credit report as possible is extremely important to me, so I'm not putting my head in the sand at all about getting this mess cleaned up. So, questions. Forgive me if any of this sounds naive, I'm new to this: 1. Can collections seriously put a ding on your credit report after "missing" just one or two payments? It sounds to me more like a scare tactic or a threat, even movie rental places don't work that fast, but of course I am going to request a copy of my credit report to be sure...and dispute it if there's anything on there. I do not play. I'm about to have to find a new place/sign a new lease and I don't need this shit right now. 2. If, for whatever reason, they deny my forbearance, what other options do I have? I have absolutely 100% no way of making these payments at all right now, and I've made that INSANELY clear. I'm about ready to call my local congressman's office about it, some googling lead me to some information about an ombudsman? But I think that only applies to federal loans. This one is private which means they get to be more ridiculous, fml. 3. What can I do about these collection calls? They've been happening twice a morning (EARLY morning) since Saturday. I've got a million job applications out all over the world so turning off my phone/not answering isn't necessarily an option. I looked back through the memories and found something about mailing them a cease and desist letter? I'd do that, but I'm scared that if something the fuck ELSE manages to go wrong, nobody will be able to contact me to let me know and it'll snowball. 4. Does having student loans out affect your ability to request a credit report? I've done it in the past and have always received error messages telling me that it might have something to do with military service or student loans...? But this was over a year ago so it wouldn't have had anything to do with this present nonsense. Thanks for any help. These people woke me up after only three hours of sleep and I am on what can only be politely described as a HEAT SEEKING BLOODTHIRSTY RAMPAGE right now.