Monday, July 24, 2006


This letter concerns the delinquency that currently exists on your student loan(s) referenced below. Please note: we may report information about your account to credit bureaus. Late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report. The total amount due is shown below.

That's the beginning of the letter, complete with all-cap salutation and bold everywhere. Nothing like an attention-grabbing lead.

If you have not taken care of this matter, DO SO TODAY!

Let me be clear: I hate being late for anything, much less a bill. I've worked pretty hard in the past six years to repair my financial name. It would have been easy to simply welch on everything and call in one of the "credit repair" organizations that, in effect, mediate one's bankrupty for a profit while shortchanging the original creditors. Not coincidentally, it makes one's reputation worth as much as the typical promissory note in a game of "Life."

We urge you to make payment(s) to bring your student loan(s) current.
When I got the first letter telling me I'd been late back in April, I did exactly that: I sent two times the payment in May with an apology. My creditor, apparently puzzled by responsibility, chose to apply my extra payment directly to the principal and consider me still in arrears, even though they said (as in the above) that it's what I should do. And now, come July, I'm told that I persist in my stubborn arrearness.
We are required to advise you that if you are delinquent and if this delinquency is not resolved, your loan(s) will be assigned to your guarantor. Your guarantor will report your default to all national credit bureaus. If your loan(s) defaults, your guarantor may initiate proceedings to offset your state and federal tax refunds... garnish your wages, or assign your loan(s) ... for further litigation.
Hopefully the subsequent phone call (I didn't yell, I swear) means that the current payment I've sent will be properly handled this time. After all, that's in the letter as well:
If you have already sent your payment, thank you and please disregard this notice.
Yup - after all of that, if you've already taken care of it, well, hey, no hard feelings. Even though you've now sent five months' payments in the past four months, we'll just consider you up-to-date. See you in August!

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