Mohela Strikes Again - Live Like a Mensch
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Mohela Strikes Again


You may recall that I've been less than impressed by Mohela, the bank that took over my student loan in December 2011.

Some background: I had decided last year, just before Mohela bought my loan, to stop sending $600 per month to pay off my student debt, and instead only send the minimum payment of $360, keeping the other $240 for retirement savings. (It became clear after a single interaction with the folks at Mohela that I was willing to do anything to pay off my debt and be done with these jackanapes as quickly as possible, even if it meant saving less for retirement, at least for the moment. More on that in a moment.)

However, despite having told my former lender that I wanted to return to my minimum payment, Mohela seemed to think I owed them $600 each month. The unproductive and frustrating argument I had with a Mohela supervisor ended with him stating that he could reduce my minimum payment to as low as $90. I tried to calmly explain that I didn't *want* to pay $90--that I wanted to pay the agreed upon minimum of $360.

Imagine my lack of surprise when the following month, Mohela deducted a grand total of $68.04 from my account. I have no idea where that amount came from. No one ever mentioned a payment option of $68.04, and it certainly seems to be a lower amount than the "as low as $90" offer that Mr. I'm-Not-Listening Supervisor had suggested.

No matter. I simply added an automatic $300 monthly payment to that auto-debit, because those two amounts added together are within spitting distance of the minimum I was planning on sending anyway.

It only took another month for me to decide to send the additional $231.96 to Mohela each month rather than to my retirement. Every four weeks, I send an additional payment to them electronically, in the hopes that I can dance a jig while burning Mohela in effigy before LO turns 3. (08/31/2013, by the way).

Fast forward to Monday. I logged onto my Mohela account so that I could send my usual additional payment of $231.96 for November, as my payment date is the 28th of each month.

But instead of an auto-debit of $68.04, I discovered that Mohela would be extracting $353.64 as my minimum payment on November 28, which if you'll notice, is an entirely different (not to mention higher) amount. I immediately got on the phone, because I really enjoy spending an evening banging my head against the wall.

The very nice customer support agent spent a little time looking into my account and told me that my payment had gone up because it had been determined that $68.04 per month was not enough money for me to pay off my loan in the allotted time frame. Never mind the fact that I have been sending Mohela $600 per month almost since the beginning of my relationship with them, plus an extra grand I sent them back at tax time, which means that even if I were to start only paying $68.04 per month now, I would still pay off the loan within the necessary time frame. Because clearly, that has nothing to do with the bureaucratic decision-making process.

Ultimately, I don't give a rat's derriere that they raised my minimum payment. We'll just call it a very overdue compliance with my request as of last winter. 

No, my problem is with the fact that Mohela did not see fit to inform me of this change.

My very nice customer service lady (who commented on LO's adorable babbling in the background which meant that I could no longer see her as the face [or I guess hear her as the voice] of the evil empire) kept telling me that Mohela must have informed me. Well, I did receive a paper bill from them, which struck me as odd since I do everything online. But the bill was simply that--it did not explain a darn thing.

When the nice lady asked if there was anything she could do to make me feel more comfortable with Mohela's treatment of me, I asked her to cancel my recurring $300 payment, as I budget $600 each month for my student loan and not $653.64. That was when she told me she couldn't do that.

Of course.

So I went back online and cancelled my $300 payment.

You can probably guess what happened next.

The following day, I recieved an email from Mohela informing me that the recurring $300 payment had been cancelled. (Because if there's something that Mohela is diligent about informing customers of, it's the actions that the customers themselves have taken. Lord knows, we'd have no way of knowing this stuff if they didn't inform us!)

The email just happened to mention that the final installment of that recurring payment would be paid from my account on November 28, 2012, despite the fact that I had cancelled it on November 26. Basically, through no choice of my own, I'm paying these people $653.64 this month.


Thankfully, I have an extra fifty(+) bucks to spare to be able to pay for Mohela's cavalier treatment of its "customers." And that extra $53.64 will bring me that much closer to the day I can have a Mohela-shaped bonfire in my backyard and sing "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead."

But man, that day just can't come fast enough.



Don't forget to enter to win our the Mary Hunt giveaway! I'll be giving away two Mary Hunt books: Raising Financially Confident Kids and Debt-Proof Your Christmas. Just post a comment on this blog post telling me which book you're interested in before noon on Friday, November 30. (Please click that link to post your comment). I'll choose two winners at random, one for each book.

Please enter!



frugal_fun said:

If there was ever an argument against allowing a company to auto-debit your bank accounts, it's the Mohelas of the world. A electronic payment that I generate and control, yes, letting them pull at random from my account, no.

December 3, 2012 6:24 AM

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