Saturday, 13 June 2009

Loan Companies and threatening letters

I was a PGCE student till February. I was working till 1am each morning and I was not satisfied with the work I was producing so I thought that it was time to leave. The problem with this is I still don't have regular paid employment but the loan company are asking for their money. They had asked for immediate payment two months ago but we agreed that I would pay back my loan at a very reasonable rate, to start in three months (July). I received a letter asking for payment in full today (June 12th)! When I phoned up to ask why things had changed I was told that they had received no payments. I explained the agreement that was made two months earlier and a standing order had been set up. I was told that this sort of agreement is never made.

It gets stranger and stranger. I asked them to check their recordings because I said at the time and I repeated again that I had family and friends who would lend me money but I didn't want to ask them for a loan to pay back the loan. The agreement was then made. The lady on the end of the phone told me that she was very experienced and I would have been told to create a standing order to pay back a small amount three times. I said this was getting ridiculous. If they wanted me to pay a small amount three times it would have been much easier to send a cheque for that amount rather than set up a standing order.

I was to phone back an hour later so that my previous telephone agreement could be reviewed. I had to ask for this review a few times because I was told on two or three occasions that the agreement that was made with me was not possible. I told them that I do not record phone calls but I do make notes. I would welcome their review as I had complied with everything that they had said and I had received a threatening letter. Again I was being told that they wanted the money immediately and in full.

The hour went very slowly but to cut a long story short the agreement that was made two months earlier would stand with the proviso that it would be reviewed in three to six months. A few seconds later this became six months. I am to contact them in December to renegotiate the loan. If I forget then I will receive another threatening letter telling me to repay the full loan. I should take this as a reminder to phone them to renegotiate. The very experienced person an hour earlier had told me it was not possible to have an agreement like this and now it was possible. So much for experience. Strangely, I was told that it was not possible to review a phone call within an hour. Why had I made two phone calls?

My biggest concern is that threatening letters are being sent out and will continue to be sent out because they are 'system-generated'. This is loan-speak for 'we like to send out threatening letters because some people may respond to them by paying even if there is a totally different agreement in place'. The threatening letters are sent out and the 'system' is blamed. Well change the system. If I get any more problems with the loan company I will let you know.

Change the world


  1. was this the normal student loan company,doesn't sound like my experience with them.

  2. I think it is the normal loan company.

    I am glad it was a good experience for you Sea. It hasn't been too bad for me but it must be intimidating for some people to have to deal with such letters.

  3. I went to my bank last week to check the date that payment would go to the loan company. If it was the start of the month then that is fine. It was the start of the month - but August. It strikes me that the loan company were over-zealous in their three months because I asked for the loan to be paid back starting in three months. Fortunately the bank easily changed the month from the 8th August to 8th July.