A small debt and big questions


New Member
Hello people (I'm sorry in case of English failures),

I will also tell a story besides the debt.

I was living in Florida as permanent resident (as minor child although when I entered the country I was already over 18) since December 2018 and then, after finishing one semester of ESOL in a high school, my stepmother said that I must go to another school since I would get a better quality English. I'm not complaining about the previous course, well, I couldn't do anything about this since I didn't know so well the country neither I had any source of income (I was living with my stepmother and father). I don't know if I was dependent de jure.

Passed the test to enter the new institution, when she saw the tuition cost (I thought that she did know the price) she got scared and they with this and since they would not pay this, my mother from Brazil that had to pay. I would like to have a job but I never got one despite I'm applying and searching every day.

On July 31th 2019, then I started another semester at Palm Beach State College which I did the process by a payment plan, through the college site. Although the access was made through the college's website, the payment plan was under the Nelnet institution. I did it in my name and registered for automatic payment through my bank account (I still have this account, with a debit card). The automatic withdrawal would then be done every 20th of each month. This would be the second semester of the college I suppose... because I don't remember anything. Since my mother would not have US$ 666 to pay fully, then I entered this agreement with paying monthly US$ 166 from July to October 2019.

Everything would be okay since I had the certainty that I would at least continue this semester of English course although I didn't know that this would be a loan (a loan of US$ 666??) and yes a kind of monthly payment as if it were any English course as in Brazil. Ok, my stepmother should warned me about this. Well anyway this is very weird for me. Another weird thing is that if this is a loan, why they didn't check my credit history and if I have any income in case of any default?

At the end of September 2019, then, for various reasons such as depression almost every week, lack of support from my father and stepmother and something else, I left the US and returned to Brazil. But before I do that, I decided to leave the college, cancel through the college website on September 24th. My money has been withdrawn automatically. I asked for this month's refund because I went to classes until the 18th (on September 20th I didn't go because the bus didn't pass and that's the reason, since I didn't have money for Uber), as the classes were Monday and Wednesday (my mother suggested to do this). By college, it would be a bureaucratic process, and possibly would not accepted (besides waiting several weeks waiting for the response), something I wouldn't do because I couldn't continue living there, with a severe depression and couldn't continue living with them anymore (my father and stepmother). My stepmother said that hardly I could get this refund. Faced with this reality, and after checking to a website (government related) that provides advice on issues related to this, I contacted my bank and talked about this unauthorized withdrawal. I had the certainty that this would be a unauthourized withdrawal. After a few days, I got my money back and I was informed that my bank contacted the college and it agreed to making a refund. Interestingly, I found nothing related to the cancellation by the Nelnet payment plan website, where my previous payments were registered. My stepmother and me would be go to psychiatrist to try to get this refund with a medical report but I said that I solved this already. I tried to solve this for myself and created a small bomb. I'm ashamed of that.

Next month, already in Brazil (October), I received a charge from Nelnet, as if I was still living in US and going to classes. First I contacted the college, then they said that this case would be solved with the institution (the Nelnet).

Contacting Nelnet, I filed a complaint about. After many annoyances and more few weeks, because they apparently did not understand my problem (first they said that I wasn't registered on their website), they said the following:

"Hi, thanks for the email,

You have a remaining payment balance of US$ 333 and you are responsible for making the remaining payment. Your tuition has already been fully paid for a school. To request more information about your payment plan policy, you can call Nelnet Campus Commerce at [...] to speak with a person to help.

Thank you for contacting Nelnet Campus Commerce

So I found it all weird, so I asked them about what part of the contract I had to pay for the entire annuity, even though I didn't go to classes anymore. They then answered:

"Thank you for reaching out.

After a certain point, we are showing the remaining balance was paid by Nelnet to your school. This caused the remaining US$333.00 to be owed to us rather than to your school. Due to this, I would advise to have you pay this remaining balance when possible and discuss any sort of refunds owed with your school.

I show any updates/decreases to your payment plan balance would have needed to have been completed by 9/24/2019. I am showing this could be why the payment plan balance was not updated when you dropped the classes. I hope this information helps.

If you have other questions, please contact us by phone [...].

Thank you for contacting Nelnet. [...] "

That said, so I ended up creating a contraption, and worse, I don't remember reading anything about it when I entered the plan (I checked their terms of use and didn't find anything), or exactly how it worked. My classes would be until December 2019. If the Nelnet had agreed with the bank and returned it to me, how they would charging me... ok. I thought leaving school was enough to avoid future charges and problems for them, as is usually the case with other types of payments that I know.

I also tried to ask if the PBSC couldn't refund the US$ 333 since I cancelled my classes early for them and then the Nelnet answered me that the deadline is over (I suppose that this because of few days of difference from the day I left the classes)... what scheme.

I was with a debt of US$ 333 and an automatic e-mail from Nelnet said that they could take legal actions to take the money (what money? I didn't have anything neither an income) and I had to pay them also the attorney costs. Attorney costs of a US$ 333 debt? As curiosity, what would happen if I defaulted this debt?

After many headaches and talking to my stepmother about this, I concluded by myself that I would pay the debt. Although I know that here in Brazil I would be not affected by this, I think that I would be correct to pay since maybe I can return to the country (this is another question that I want to find out later). There's not interest and the minimum monthly installment is US$ 15. Now who is helping me to pay the debt is my brother (thank you very much!). Currently the debt is US$ 213. The debt is being paid every month.

Too bad here in Brazil is being so difficult to get an income (worse now with lockdowns)... I want to finish the debt as soon as possible. Currently I'm in undergraduation. Although the debt doesn't have an interest, I have another interest: the currency devaluation every month.

I think in returning to the country, although I don't know if after my undergraduation here in Brazil, I will continue my graduation in United States or in another country. Neither I know if I'll be able to return since this September will be passed 1 year since I left United States.

The question is: how to prevent similar problems in United States with this what are the consequences of defaulting small debts such as this? Now that I live in Brazil, for example, I can't operate my bank account since I must have an American number and I wasn't a rich with properties in US. If I didn't have my stepmother to call them to pay the debt, how could be this problem be solved? Flying by plane (the ticket would be more expensive than the debt itself) just to pay? And what are the consequences when it happens with bigger loans such as student loans from undergraduation (with tuition bigger than some new cars)? Debts in US expire after several years (I'm not saying that I'll do this, I'm asking as curiosity).

So far I don't know how I got into trouble like that. At least I learned something.

Thanks for attention and I'm sorry for any confusion and putting another subjects in the text...
You say that the debt it currently being paid by $15 monthly deductions. In 15 months, it will be paid.
If you want to pay it sooner, log on to your Nelnet account and make a larger payment.
You say that the debt it currently being paid by $15 monthly deductions. In 15 months, it will be paid.
If you want to pay it sooner, log on to your Nelnet account and make a larger payment.

Oh I'm sorry for the misunderstanding... I said that the US$ 15 is the minimum. My brother is paying US$ 30 monthly but I'm thinking in helping him in paying this. This current debt is same as minimum wage here in Brazil. If I could pay fully I would do this immediately. It would be easier if they accepted BTC as payment.

This is another problem: I log to the Nelnet account but I couldn't do anything besides checking the balance, then the payment can be made only with calling... I thought about sending the money by TransferWise to my Capital One account but I fear the money becoming "stuck" since I don't know if they would do the automatic withdraw.
If your brother is paying $30 per month, then in about 7 months the debt will be paid in full and you can just pay your brother back.