Dept. Of Education’s New Site Giving Headaches To Folks With Student Loans

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(Courtesy of The Consumerist)

Paying your student loan is enough of an annoyance without the Dept. of Education making it more difficult. Unfortunately, the new site for the Federal Student Loan Servicing Center has people tearing their hair out in frustration.

The problems began on Oct. 5, when visitors to found they couldn’t get onto the site. Calls to customer service told them to either mail in their payments or hold their horses until Oct. 10 when the new site would be up and running.

But the site wasn’t prepared for the volume, so on Oct. 10, many of them just saw a message reading, “An error has occurred and has been logged, please try again later.”

Of course, it hasn’t improved since then either, according to Yahoo:

“As of October 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm Eastern time, the website still will not allow students to log in to manage their account or pay their bills online. Calls to the customer service number at 6 pm either rang busy or were answered by a recording indicating that the “Your call cannot be completed at this time, please try again later.” Some students were able to get through by dialing the toll-free number, others who dialed the direct number available for international callers were able to get through after numerous attempts, only to be told that there is an “unusually high call volume” and that the wait time to speak to a representative would be “10 minutes.” When I attempted to call, I was on hold for 26 minutes before being able to speak to a customer service representative.”

When asked when the site would be fully functional, the Yahoo writer was told, “Unfortunately, there is no time or date for that. It might be today or tomorrow, we’re just not sure,” and the deluge of unhappy customers has resulted in “hundreds of calls, and it’s causing the phones to not connect.”

It’s not just people trying to pay their loans that have gotten screwed over by this website mess. Consumerist reader Clifford says he’s been trying to get a copy of his 1098-E from last year, but that it took around 15 attempted calls and then another 20 minutes of waiting just to be told they couldn’t give him the information because their new computer system doesn’t have that information in it yet.

“I was told to wait until the website is back up,” says Cliff. “Not a huge deal for me, but a pretty big deal for a lot of folks trying to make payments, change address information, whatever. And the sliding timeline of when everything will be fixed is rather disturbing.”

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