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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt
|Subject: Re: Venting Time ( I apologize in advance)||Date: 3/31/1998 6:13 PM|
|Author: Mike7279||Number: 992 of 308225|
I appreciate your response, but I think you misinterpreted the points of my post. My main point was my surprise that 1 day late can be reported on your credit report as 30+ days late with no distinction between the two. I personally think this is wrong because lots of things can cause a payment to be a few days late versus being 30+ days late. If you allow creditors to put adverse items on peoples' accounts for payments made 1 day late, then create a new category for it. Make it uniform, that is all I ask. If I get dinged for being a day late, so should everyone else regardless of the creditor. The fact is that the industry by and large doesn't report items unless they are OVER 30 days late (please correct me if I am wrong about this). Further, now that the industry has set this grace period standard, "rouge" creditors cause more problems than are warranted. The credit agencies don't add a category because almost no one reports them. This I suggest is unfair. This unfairness and the fact that creditors are not required BY LAW (as I was told) to report accounts which are 1 day delinquent were really my only points.
My venting (which I warned and apologized in advance for) was a result of my disappointment with my University. I do not expect them to change anything. I just found it odd that a University which actively solicits money and support from its alumni, treats ALL OF THEM (not just someone who contributes money) harsher than the general credit industry. I brought up the dollar amounts and the fact that I contribute more money than I owed (which is currently a lot less than I guess I implied but at my death would have been six to seven figures) merely to show that the size of the debt was insignificant as compared to the trouble it took the University to report my delinquencies.
I did write my Alumni Office and copied others at the University (see letter below). But, because I disagree with the way they are running things, I do not intend to send them any more contributions. Again, I am mad they are treating ALL alumni in this manner most of whom will never know it. Besides, as someone else pointed out there are more worthy charities out there..
Re: Fostering Alumni Relations
I recently received your latest invitation to the next alumni function. Unfortunately, I must decline to attend and would like to be removed from any further solicitation mailings for the reasons which follow.
Earlier this month, I reviewed my credit reports with the big three reporting agencies. I am told everyone should do so to make sure their reports are accurate and up to date. As you may know, creditors report adverse information on individuals' accounts such as delinquent accounts (30+ days past due, 60+, 90+, 120+) or accounts charged off to bad debt. Upon receiving one of my reports, I noticed that the University reported that my student loan with the University had been "30 days late" in the prior 30 months. This surprised me, and I called the financial aid office. Indeed, I was told that over the past three years some of my payments showed up a day or two late and that a $1.15 late charge had been assessed on each occasion (no payments were over 30 days late). I wasn't surprised about having paid late because in the past few years I recall paying a late fee once or twice. I never had a problem paying a late fee if my payment was late. But 30+ days late, what gives?
I did some research and, evidently, the reporting agencies do not have a "1 to 30 days late" category. So, a payment which is 1 day late falls into the 30 days late category. Although it sounds unfair, any creditor "can" report a debtor 30 days late even if they are only 1 day late, and there is no way of distinguishing the difference from the report. In other words, if someone is "1" day late the University reports them "30" days late. Again, if that is your policy, I can live with it. A late payment is a late payment. (The financial aid office also told me that they were required by law to report in this manner, but unless I am mistaken there is no such law.) The fact is that most creditors never report these payments as late to the credit reporting agencies. Most creditors allow a "grace period" of at least 1 additional payment cycle before reporting an account delinquent. (For this reason, it is logical to not have a 1 to 30 days late category.) Why? Because the University evidently decided not to follow industry practices and allow its alumni the same grace period allowed by credit card companies, consumer loan issuers, banks, and other student loan organizations. For the record, I do not have a problem with that, and I am NOT asking you to remove it from my report. The University made a business decision, and I can live with it.
However, like the University, I can also make decisions. First, by the time you receive this letter I paid the balance of my loan in full in the amount of $496. I am no longer in debt to the University. I am also no longer a contributor. I do not intend to contribute anything in the future to the College of Law (please remove my name from the Phonathon and mailing list). I removed the College of Law as the contingent beneficiary of my IRA. My spouse and I amended our trusts and removed the College of Law as one of the four charitable beneficiaries thereunder (copies enclosed).
In closing, I am not writing this letter because an adverse item was put on my credit report. I am writing it because I was disappointed that the University chooses to treat its alumni worse than most, if not all, of the creditors out there in terms of reporting delinquent accounts. If I were running the accounts receivable department (or the Office of Alumni Relations) of an institution which actively seeks to foster financial and community support from its alumni, I at a minimum would institute a grace period on par with the rest of the universe. I expect that if other loyal alumni checked their credit reports, they would be just as disappointed as I was.
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