Jpmorgan Chase Bank / Chase Student Loan Servicing — student loan bait and switch
My son's college stopped using sallie mae and went to usingcitibank and chase bank (jp morgan chase) for all their student and parent plus loans. our college financial aid admin. told us that he didn't qualify for any financial aid (free help). she also told us that he didn't qualify for any loans that he could take out himself even with a co-signer. the financial aid admin. said that she had tried for approval through citibank but got a denial. that was no surprise. my income to debt ratio is off right now because of needing two additional cars for two college son's. not to mention paying half the rent for an apartment while my son's go to college. I informed the fin. aid admin. that there was no way that I could make any payments on any loans right now. I also informed her it would be at least 6 to 8 months before anything would be paid off to even make it a possibility. she than told me about this special parent plus loan program that our government had set up to help those parents with college age children be able to send their child to college and defer the loan payments until after their child graduated college. this sounded a little to good to be true so our financial aid admin. gave me the toll free number to call chase and get more info. about this particular type of loan. once on the phone with a customer service representative, I asked her to explain how they could even consider approving someone for a loan when their income to debt ratio wasn't good. her reply was that their parent plus loans aren't based on the persons ability to repay the loan. I couldn't beleive what I had just heard. I told her that that was crazy for anyone to make a loan that way. I asked her specific questions pretaining to this particular parent plus loan with deferred payments inwhich our government had set up to help parents pay for their kids college education. when I asked her what the catch was for qualifying for this loan, her reply was, "no catch, this is a loan that everyone can get because the government has set these loans up to help parents with their kids college education because of the bad economic times." I asked her how the deferred payments worked and she stated that no payments would be scheduled until after my son graduated college. I asked about the interest rates on this loan thinking that they would be higher than a normal loan and her reply was 8.5% fixed during the life of the loan. I asked her what the normal time frame was for repaying the loan once my son graduated and her answer to this question was 5 to 10 years depending on the amount of the loan. I asked alot of question about this parent plus loan with deferred payments because I felt like something just wasn't right. after discussing this particular loan at legenth with this rep., I asked her to mail me the forms for this loan. after a week, I never received the forms so I called again and went through all the question again and got the same answers from a second chase customer serv. rep. this time, I requested the forms for this same parent plus loan with deferred payments to be faxed to me. once they finished printing off, I started reading them and found no mention of deferred loan payments for parent plus loans or any particular qualification rules/requirements.in turn, I called teri the college financial aid admin. and asked her if chase had provided them with any forms or other info. on these deferred payment loans and she said that it was the same as what I got. teri said that she would call chase and make sure that the forms were the right ones. as teri called chase, I called them myself once again. again we went through all the questions and included the questions about the form that I had gotten faxed to me eariler. making sure that I had the right form for the right loan before filling anything out. as I got off the phone with chase's customer serv. rep., teri called me back telling me that I had the right form. she said that the customer service rep. told her that the form I had was the right one and it was being used because they didn't have any special form for the parent plus loan with deferred payments because the government just opened up these loans for parents. this sounded right because I was told the same thing by another customer serv. rep. a day or two later, I went to the mail box an found that the forms inwhich were mailed to me had been delivered by the usps. teri and I didcussed this loan again prior to me filling out the form because I just didn't feel good about the forms they sent me. teri knew my reservations but stated that "their a lending institution and that a bank wouldn't do anything like what you are worried about." against my better judgement, I completed the form and mailed it back to chase with a letter specifically stating what loan I was applying for. chase disburssed the money to the college in the last part of june. around the latter part of july, I receive a payment boot with my first payment due aug.21. imagine my surprise. I called the college financial aid admin. and informed her of what I had gotten in the mail. she agreed with me, there should have been no payment book because of the deferred payments connected to the loan that I applied for. she suggested that I call chase so I did. it is then that I found out that to qualify for the parent plus loan with deferred payments, your money had to be dispurssed after july 1, and at least one parent had to be enrolled in school no less then part time. surprise! I got no notification that I didn't qualify for the loan with deferred payments and I wasn't given the option to turn down the standard parent plus loan (which I would have done). chase automatically switched my application from one particular parent plus loan with deferred payments to the standard parent plus loan without confirmation from me as to my acceptance of this switch. I think the law calls this procedure "bait and switch". they baited me by not disclosing the qualifications for the deferred payments loan and misrepresenting the forms inwhich they sent me even when specifically asked about them. they switched me to another loan without my approval and no notification of their act until a month after they had disbursed the payment to the college. this is a huge warning folks. stay away from jp morgan chase bank and any of their subsidiaries. it is my understanding that I wasn't the only one at this college who fell for this hook, line and sinker. I ask that if any of you have experienced this same bait and switch through jp morgan chase bank, please file a formal written complaint with the office of the comptroller of the currency, 1301 mckinney street, suite 3450, houston, tx 77010 ph. [protected]. lets be heard. college is expensive enough without banks taking advantage of parents who desire a college education for their children.