I sure was younger and stupider back when I was a college student. Because of this, I collected a nice cautionary tale for anyone going to college now. Collegeinvest was the company that did my student loans way back when, towards the end of the time I had their loan, they switched to using an external processing company, Nelnet, to handle their billing. My interest rate was 5% but I had a 1% reduction for paying on time every month. Collegeinvest kept trying to get me to consolidate, but I was a bit paranoid about it because they weren’t listed anywhere on my loan statements, the papers were covered with mentions of Nelnet instead. My interest rate went up twice in the course of 2 years, so I decided it was time to consolidate before it went even higher.

So I instead went with Nelnet. The consolidation process was easy, but the person handling the loan told me that my 1% reduction couldn’t be carried over, but they would give it back to me if I paid on time for a year. Here’s the two cautionary bits. Never believe what a loan officer tells you. Read the contract, and keep the contract where you can easily reference it. 

I’ve pretty much lost all of my old paperwork in the move from the old house, and I didn’t check at the time to make sure that 1% was in there. I was assured by the loan officer though. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gone with their consolidation loan. I remember clearly having that as part of the deal. A year after I consolidated? They sold the loan to US Bank and no hint of the 1% reduction is present. I called nelnet recently (I’m very busy most of the time, this is years later and I was calling them about something else) and they said that the 1% was not part of the loan, and don’t know why the person told me it was. Obviously they either reworked something when they sold it, or the loan officer lied to get their commission… but the lesson stands. Never sign anything unless you read through it and make sure that everything they’re telling you is in the actual contract, then KEEP the contract so they can’t say that it is otherwise later. Especially when dealing with scum like Nelnet.