Business

Difficulties paying back overdue loan with the SLB

TELL Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, December 09, 2018

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Dear Claudienne,

I am writing to you with deep frustration regarding my loan from the Students' Loan Bureau (SLB). I graduated from Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in 2009. However, due to financial and other circumstances I did not get a job to repay my loan.

When I was unable to get a job after graduating, I made contact with the SLB and told them that I did not have a job.

I got a minimum wage job as a merchandiser. 18 months after I graduated from CMU but could hardly get by with that pay, much less to pay the SLB. Nonetheless, I started paying back the loan even though it was a struggle.

Even during those times I was looking for other ways to generate an income to pay my student loan and joined a network marketing business with the expectation of using my earnings from it to pay the SLB. However, that didn't work out.

The last payment I made to the SLB was in October 2013, as after that I fell on even harder times as all my efforts trying to get a job in my field, failed.

In September of 2018, I received a call from a fictitious agency instructing me to send monies to an account to complete my SLB loan payments. I immediately ended the call and blocked the number because the person didn't identify herself and it sounded like a scam.

On Monday, October 22, 2018 I received a call from my guarantor stating that two bailiffs had come to his workplace and were threatening to arrest him for my student loan.

Please note that neither the guarantor nor I had received a letter from the SLB during the five years that I had not made any payments on the loan. Yet they sent my account over to collections and now the bailiffs are treating my guarantor like a criminal. In the same way that they got my number and called me, couldn't they have called my guarantor instead of showing up at his work place?

The day after the bailiffs confronted my guarantor, I called the SLB and learnt that my account had been sent to “Jamaica Asset Management Recovery Agency Ltd”. Please note that this was not the agency that had called me previously.

When I contacted the agency I was told that I would have to pay the SLB $659,000 by the end of the year or otherwise I would be taken to court.

I told the agent of the collections company that I was willing to set up a payment plan because I could not pay off the loan by the end of the year.

My guarantor is also unable to pay this sum as he is taking care of his disabled child. There is no need for the SLB to involve my guarantor in this matter as I will work hard to pay off the loan.

I am still not able to find a job in my field of study but I just started working as a freelancer and I am willing to set up a payment plan with the Student Loan Bureau so I can complete the payments in monthly installments. My income is still not 100 per cent but I am willing to pay back my debts.

I would appreciate your assistance in this matter.

SM

Dear SM

Tell Claudienne has been in communication with the SLB and their legal officer agreed to meet with you on Monday, December 3. Prior to the meeting you told Tell Claudienne that you had decided to borrow money from the bank and pay off the SLB loan. The SLB lawyer told Tell Claudienne that at the meeting you promised to pay the total oustanding balance owed to the SLB by the end of December.

We wish you all the best.


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