Avoid being the worst call I ever get

You may think the worst phone call I get is where someone is down right nasty and rude.  But honestly the worst call I ever have is for the person who has no options left but to make a payment.

Several things have happened with these people.  They have consolidated their loans so they can’t reset their forbearance time.  They have used all three years of General Forbearance.  In addition, they make too much money to qualify for any other kind of deferment or forbearance as well as having what they consider to be an affordable Income Driven Repayment.

Then the person says the words to me I dread “well what should people like me do, there has to be others in this situation.”  The problem is a couple fold.  First I don’t know the people’s situation and I hate generalizing, but here is what typically happens.  They make enough money to normally make payments (hence why the IDR’s are higher) but they have strapped themselves with above average house payments, car payments, credit cards, etc.  I know this because they usually start naming their bills to me.

As a loan rep, I can’t say to them save more, work more, etc.  What I say is well unfortunately we have no other options at this point but take your time and work on your budget and see if there is any room there and if not just do what you can.  What I want to say is unfortunately when you are behind the 8 ball you have to do something extreme, jack up your income or cut your life style.  While I realize this may not be possible for all, it certainly is for many, they just may not be to that point to accept it yet.

And its not that they can’t pay anything.  They will often times say “I can afford $200 not just the $400 you have me as the lowest payment, why won’t you take something.”  The answer by the way is our payments are set by the Department of Education and all fit into plans.  Its sad but its the same reason you (usually) can’t call up GM and say you want your car payment cut in half.  As I’ve said earlier this call makes me sick.

Here is the point of this story.  Stay on top of your loans.  Know that your forbearances and deferments have limits.  Ask questions early in the process to avoid this situation and becoming the worst call any loan rep has in their day.