This is my first post here so I apologise in advance if I miss any key points out.
I'm looking for some advice with regards to numerous problems I've had with my Professional Training loan I took out with Natwest about five years ago.
Bit of Background
This has become something of a long story so please bear with me.
I took the loan out for £20k, around £30k by the time interest went on (can't remember exact amounts, it was a long time ago)
to put me through Law School.
About 3 - 4 months after I took the loan out, I found out that NatWest were not going to offer the loan any more
and as such the 'graduate specialist' that I had been assigned to help with problems I had was reassigned to another area of the bank,
and I was told she could no longer help me, I had to deal with the graduate area of the call centre.
1. As far as I (and my parents, who were in the initial loan meeting with me) can remember, I was told my repayments would be around £150 - £190,
and they would confirm this with me in writing nearer the time of my payments commencing, towards the end of my year's loan deferral while I was studying.
I put in a call to the call centre around October (loan payments due to start in January) to check the amount as I hadn't heard anything,
and was told again £150 or so. I wrote this on the back of a notepad I had as I hadn't had anything in writing from them.
First payment for £299 goes out in January.
Obviously this is almost double their lower estimate of £150.
When I queried this, I was told it was an 'administrative error' and that the lady who had given me the £150 figure had not factored in the interest.
When I put in a complaint, I was told that unless I could produce it in writing they would not take my complaint any further.
Funnily enough, both times, these figures were given to me verbally, and the only recourse the bank would offer was to increase my overdraft.
I have been struggling along but making the £299 payments for the last 4 or so years having decided that I would just get on and manage.
2. This product came with a year's payment holiday while I was studying, with the option of an extra 3 months if I went to a particular Law School (which I did).
I initially turned down the extra 3 months on the basis that it would be an incentive to get a job.
I got a job straight out of college, but unfortunately had to move out of my rental accommodation on incredibly short notice
(landlord sold the house out from under me) which floored my finances around November time (again, repayments officially due to start in January).
I went into my local branch and put in the request for the extra 3 months payment holiday I was told I could have.
Nobody knew about this, and after lots of to-ing and fro-ing we finally established that, yes, I could apply for it.
I went through the paperwork with a lady in the branch and she told me she would submit it and I didn't need to do anything further.
I heard nothing further from them, and as stated above my first loan payment went out unexpectedly in January, instead of April as I was expecting.
Calling back into the branch, the lady I spoke to there could remember me filling in the paperwork and she said she sent it off,
but the admin centre denied all knowledge, claiming to have never received it.
Another complaint made and I was told there was nothing they could do, once they had started the loan payments they couldn't delay them again.
Again, they offered to increase my overdraft rather than solve the problem.
3. When I took the loan out, I was told it wouldn't affect my ability to get a mortgage as it was classed as a 'Student Debt'.
Now my partner and I are trying to buy our first property together, and following a meeting with a mortgage adviser,
was told that this loan does indeed count against me and most banks will not touch me as long as that loan is outstanding.
I have about six years of repayments left - and we simply cannot wait that long to get a house.
Yet another complaint to the bank and I was told this was obviously another 'admin error' from someone who didn't understand the loan fully,
and again, if I can produce written evidence they will consider my complaint. Yet again, no written evidence.
I am absolutely at the end of my rope with the bank and the 'admin errors' I keep encountering,
they don't seem to appreciate that their 'silly mistakes' are causing me huge stress with my finances.
Can anyone give me any advice as to where I go from here?
Thanks in advance and sorry for the rant