Today at 12:01 am, I became 100% financially independent. There was no fanfare in particular, no magic chimes as the last of my childhood evaporated. It would have been nice if a dapper, Jiminy-Cricket-esque Guide to Adulthood had arrived, but I’m guessing he’s holed up with a bunch of hookers and blow. (In my head, this character has a carnival-esque straw boater hat, pale suit, and a cane, and appears in a flourish of colored smoke.)
I suppose it isn’t that big a deal, but now I pay my own car insurance. I decided, in light of the recent fires in Norman and the penchant of people driving by to throw lit cigarettes from their car windows, that it would be prudent to avail myself of renter’s insurance as well. Insurance is complicated, and the whole affair made me feel vaguely as though I were being scammed, but now my passengers without medical insurance are well-covered in case of a car accident in my car.
This evening, I decided to take a serious look at my finances, to adjust my budget to accommodate the insurance payments. I also wanted to follow up on my student loans, which is a good idea periodically.
To my surprise, two of my loans have vanished. That is to say, they were originally serviced by the Student Loan Corporation, which is a subsidiary of Citi group. When I logged in to the Student Loan Corporation’s site, they insisted that they had no knowledge of ever having had loans for me, and suggested that I go talk to Sallie Mae instead.
Sallie Mae told me that while they used to service some of my loans, they don’t any more, as they have sold them all to FedLoan Servicing, a company out of pennsylvania. FedLoan Servicing is now servicing almost all of my loans–except the two that used to be serviced by the Student Loan Corporation.
Now, the federal government has a website that is supposed to keep track of all of this nonsense. That website insists that the Student Loan Corporation still services those two loans. All of the other information about my loans on the federal website is correct and up-to-day, so this error is a little perplexing. More perplexing is that Citi apparently sold off all of the Student Loan Corporation’s holdings to Sallie Mae and Discover Financial Services. Since Sallie Mae doesn’t have record of these loans, then they might have gone to Discover, but Discover doesn’t have any apparent infrastructure for locating loans they are servicing.
In short, I owe someone something like $8000, but I have no idea to whom I owe that money, or where to find them. The Student Loan Corporation doesn’t even list a telephone number on their website, so calling them to find out what the hell is going on is unlikely to work.
I would love to think that since I can’t find these two loans, that I won’t have to pay them back, but I’m pretty sure that they are just waiting in the wings to ruin my credit score.
Also, screw credit scores. After trying to locate the loans, I sought out my yearly credit report and scores. One company maintains that my score is average because I have too many credit accounts–another maintains that my score is average because I do not have enough credit accounts. Further, my score is being brought down by the fact that credit card companies keep checking my score, without asking me, in order to send me UNSOLICITED pre-approved offers. What the hell, America? What the hell.