Contacting DFAS for Student Loan Repayment

rbs2014

New Member
Hello.

I was in NROTC for two years. For reasons I don't want to get into now and aren't particularly relevant to my question, I left the program and never enlisted. When I left, I had worked out that I would repay the "loan" for my education once I had graduated. I was told to contact DFAS once I finished to figure out the logistics to pay (aka who to send the check to).

I graduated in 2014 and have been constantly trying to contact DFAS. Every time I do, I get a generic "we are looking into the situation" response. I contact them (by email and phone) at least once a month- lately it's been almost every week.

Meanwhile, I'm sure that interest is accruing, and I'll be responsible for that as well. It's been almost three years since I graduated.

I've tried contacting others, such as officers I formally worked with, but I just get re-routed back to talking to DFAS. Since they can't seem to respond, I'm left in this circle of hell.

Does anyone have an idea of how to get ahold of DFAS or anyone else who can help me? I just want to pay back the "loan." That's all.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
I hope you have been keeping a log of phone call dates and with whom you talked, and copies of all emails.

It's time to send a registered USPS formal letter, attention Debt Repayment, providing all information, your attempts to contact and start repayment, and requesting specific actions.

If the auditing function inside DFAS catches up with you, there is a possibility they will have no knowledge of your attempts to contact them, and you will look like you have been evading payment since 2014. It's a big staff, and left hands and right hands don't talk. No one is going to stand up and say "yes, I talked with him and did nothing."

Send the letter to mark an official attempt to contact.

I assume you have been working with these folks:
https://www.dfas.mil/debtandclaims/paymydebt/paymydebt.html

Next time you call, get names and extensions, and continue to be relentless. You do not want collection proceedings to start and impact your credit rating. Ask if they have a file on you. Ask to elevate to a supervisor. Be firm, polite and clear.

If things get really ugly, you may want to consult one of the civilian lawyers who deal with ROTC issues. Here's an example of what you can find when googling "lawyers for military ROTC disenrollment." No specific endorsement from me, but there are firms out there, usually staffed by former JAGs, who specialize in military-related admin and criminal issues.
These firms will often do an initial free phone consult.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.domeklaw.com/amp/disenrollment-hearings-and-recoupment-actions.html


http://www.tullylegal.com/washington-dc/legal-services/military-law/rotc-military-academy-disenrollment/



Another approach, if a letter and other documented actions do not produce traction, is to go high order and contact DOD Inspector General and lodge a complaint. That poop rolls downhill very fast. You have to provide facts and supporting information of a credible complaint, that you have been trying for x time to resolve your debt issue, and have not gotten a response.
http://www.dodig.mil/Hotline/faq.html

What's at risk here is your credit rating and paying more money than you owe. You are trying to act in good faith. Ramp up your self-advocacy by a power of ten and keep pounding away on offense. Don't wait for the situation that puts you in a defensive mode.
 

rbs2014

New Member
I hope you have been keeping a log of phone call dates and with whom you talked, and copies of all emails.

It's time to send a registered USPS formal letter, attention Debt Repayment, providing all information, your attempts to contact and start repayment, and requesting specific actions.

If the auditing function inside DFAS catches up with you, there is a possibility they will have no knowledge of your attempts to contact them, and you will look like you have been evading payment since 2014. It's a big staff, and left hands and right hands don't talk. No one is going to stand up and say "yes, I talked with him and did nothing."

Send the letter to mark an official attempt to contact.

I assume you have been working with these folks:
https://www.dfas.mil/debtandclaims/paymydebt/paymydebt.html

Next time you call, get names and extensions, and continue to be relentless. You do not want collection proceedings to start and impact your credit rating. Ask if they have a file on you. Ask to elevate to a supervisor. Be firm, polite and clear.

If things get really ugly, you may want to consult one of the civilian lawyers who deal with ROTC issues. Here's an example of what you can find when googling "lawyers for military ROTC disenrollment." No specific endorsement from me, but there are firms out there, usually staffed by former JAGs, who specialize in military-related admin and criminal issues.
These firms will often do an initial free phone consult.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.domeklaw.com/amp/disenrollment-hearings-and-recoupment-actions.html


http://www.tullylegal.com/washington-dc/legal-services/military-law/rotc-military-academy-disenrollment/



Another approach, if a letter and other documented actions do not produce traction, is to go high order and contact DOD Inspector General and lodge a complaint. That poop rolls downhill very fast. You have to provide facts and supporting information of a credible complaint, that you have been trying for x time to resolve your debt issue, and have not gotten a response.
http://www.dodig.mil/Hotline/faq.html

What's at risk here is your credit rating and paying more money than you owe. You are trying to act in good faith. Ramp up your self-advocacy by a power of ten and keep pounding away on offense. Don't wait for the situation that puts you in a defensive mode.
Thank you for the help, Capt MJ.

I have been keeping a log of every email sent and every call made. Most calls end up with me leaving a voicemail or getting bounced because the call volume is too high, but in the few I've made it to someone I've written down their name.

The certified letter is a good idea, and maybe I'll start looking into legal consult.

Thankfully my credit rating hasn't been impacted (yet), and I check each of the three free ones once a year. They did hold my federal tax return last year, but did not this year for some reason. If the IRS knows that I owe, then I would think DFAS would be able to give me the account number so I could pay.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Good luck. You're trying to do the right thing. If you have time, drop back in with an update. I am rooting for you.
 
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