Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking Care of Business and Past Mistakes

Today I did the following:

*Called my doctor about a medication question
*Went online and changed my dental office to one in Long Beach (effective August 1st). This way I can make an appointment for before school starts for my cleaning and to ask about a couple other concerns.
*Called my school to ask about a pay stub question-I thought I might be missing pay, but I wasn't.
*Called district office to make sure they received my cancellation of deduction form for my AFLAC. They did, but it takes a month to process, so that's why they still sent the payment to AFLAC for July.
*Called AFLAC about refund of $144 taken from paycheck after AFLAC was cancelled. She told me they automatically refund me, but if I haven't gotten anything by mid-August to give them a call.

And last, and biggest, I got a hold of the California Student Aid Commission to ask about my APLE loan forgiveness payments. Okay, this is leftover from my days of being less responsible and is something I put off dealing with. Grab a cup of coffee, this part is going to get lengthy.

Because I teach in a low-income school, I am able to get up to $11,000 forgiven on my student loans. The breakdown is $2,000 the first year and $3,000 for the three years after that. I got my payments for the first two years ($5,000), but not years three or four. I have to send in a form stating that I worked there, signed by my principal, and they put the money on my student loan. Sounds simple, right?

Well, inevitably they find something wrong with the form and it gets sent back to me. During year three, this happened three or four times and I don't remember, but I may have given up. Which is RIDICULOUS because it was $3,000. But this was in my less wise days. I know I did the form year four and got it right. They never mailed it back. So, I waited patiently because the payment usually takes until the next Spring (which would have been April 2010) to post. I didn't see anything, so last summer I called the toll-free number.

First, I didn't even get through. The student aid commission is so busy that when you call you usually get  a message saying no one is available and you can't leave a message. This happened a few times. Then, I actually got through once and I was on hold for at least 40 minutes, and then I had to hang up.  :/ Again, I think I quit trying after that. Which is LAME on my part.

So, today I decided to take action and make it happen. I called, got the rejection message, but I kept trying. On the fourth try I got to be put on hold. Hallelujah! I actually only waited 15 minutes and got through to a very nice woman. She explained that I was withdrawn from the program because they didn't get my forms for year three. (Damn!) That funding is gone, so she said I need to submit forms for years four and five, as well as a verification that I did work at my school during year three (no breaks in service allowed) AND a letter of appeal to be reinstated, explaining my situation. She said I should send it certified mail, and to the attention of the person in charge of appeals.

Following this? I barely do. So, I wrote the letter today. I will print out the forms tonight at BF's house (I don't have a printer), and fill them out. I also need to write a letter/form that my principal will sign saying I worked during the 2007 school year. Tomorrow I will drop off the forms for my principal to sign (the secretary says she comes in and out) and then I'll go pick them up and mail them once she fills them out.

I asked how long I should wait before I called again to check the status of my appeal. The woman said to wait 6-8 weeks from when I mail the letter. So, the week of August 22nd I will give them a call. Basically right when I get back from Chicago. Which will be hard because I'm back to work and they close between 12 and 1 for lunch. But, even if I have to step out of a meeting or sit there on hold during one, I'm going to explain to my principal and just do it!

I know this is my own mistake, so I may not get the money. But, I reallyreallyreallyreally hope I would be potentially $6,000 paid on my student loan! I am kicking myself for not taking care of this when I should, but all I can do is try to take care of it now. Even if they will only give me one year of pay, I would be happy with that.

Anyway, the moral of the story: Even when it's really annoying and a big hassle to deal with an organization, if they are giving you money do it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck and make sure you do call when you get back from Chicago, this will make a huge difference to your Student Loan and is an example of how organised and money savvy you are becoming.