Really, Sallie Mae? Really?!?

On Friday the 13th, I officially paid off my student loan. I was super excited to finally be done with student loans. But, if you’ve ever heard anyone talk about paying student loans, you know things rarely go smoothly.

When I checked my account balance with Sallie Mae/Navient on Friday morning, it sat right around $1,110. Of course, payoff amount is always slightly higher than the account balance, since any accrued interest has to be added to the balance before the loan is paid off. Knowing this, I clicked through the account information, and found my “10 day loan payoff amount.” That amount ended up being about $1,113. After running my financials a few times, I decided to go ahead and pay off my student loan that day.

But when I went to the “Make a Payment” section of the website, the system would only allow me to enter a payment for $1,111.36. On the payment screen, it referred to this as the “3 day loan payoff amount.” I wasn’t too worried about the $2 difference; I figured after a few days had passed, and the payment cleared, I would go back into the system and check to see if the balance had dropped to “$0”, or if I would need to pay a few more dollars.

I’ve been a little distracted lately, between training someone at work, and selling the house, and Spring, and I haven’t gone back to the Sallie Mae/Navient website to check on my payments. So I was a little shocked today when I went into the website and realized that, even though their system showed me paying off the loan last week, they still deducted a regular monthly payment from my bank account this week. I’m setup on their monthly auto-payment so that I can receive the miniscule discount on my interest rate. I assumed once the payment cleared and the loan was paid off, the auto-pay feature would be shut off.

You know what happens when you assume things?

Instead, I’m now showing a balance on my student loan of -$105.05. That’s right, Sallie Mae now owes me money. Sigh. I’m not even sure how they came to that amount, since my regular monthly payment is $104.58. Luckily, I’m in a position where this isn’t a big deal. Sure, it’s my money, and I want it back. But it isn’t like them taking the money prevents me from paying my other bills, or buying groceries or gas for the week. It’s more of just a hassle. Which is one of the best benefits of finally having my finances on track; Little hiccups don’t create dire situations.

Right now, my plan is just to wait and see. I know that calling Sallie Mae and trying to get a refund is going to be an exercise in frustration, so I’d rather save my patience and wait to see if the system will correct the error on its own. If it doesn’t correct itself in the next few weeks, then I’ll call and try to get things straightened out. I don’t want to risk waiting until next month’s payment date rolls around, and risk them owing me $209.63 (and me being out an additional $104.58).

Just goes to show that moving on is sometimes harder than expected!

– Cindy W.

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