Why You Should Keep Everything

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My husband will tease from time to time that I am a pack-rat.  I keep so much stuff.  No, I'm not hoarding anything.  It's difficult for me to get rid of gifts that have been given to me - sentimental value.  If something may prove useful - I don't want to throw it out.  Again, I am not hoarding - my house is organized and not crowded.  (Though I do have a creative and imaginative 5 year old who does not like to pick-up his toys)

I also find it very important to keep documents.  Financial documents.  Journals and diaries.  Calendars and planners.  Okay, I guess maybe that is going a bit far?  Yet, it has come in so handy several times the past few years.

Two years ago - I began receiving phone calls and letters stating that I owed on a student loan.  Well, I did take out student loans for college - but I was well aware of them and knew their current status.  These letters and calls claimed that I was very behind.  Also, the amount owed didn't match my student loans.

I've finally been provided with the "proof" of what I owe on this student loan.

As it turns out - a very underhanded office has pulled a student loan application of mine from over a decade ago... and claim I owe it.  What these low-down, dirty rotten thieves didn't account for - was my record keeping ability.  The loan in question was actually consolidated into a current loan - which is being paid... to the company it is owed.

So, they've pulled a previous account.... which was long ago paid off.  They've hoped I would forget or not keep accurate records and think that I needed to pay them.  They thought it likely that I would just pay up.

Well, I'm not just a good record keeper...  I also watch every single penny.  Getting my hard earned money is difficult.   

I've researched this company/office extensively and have found that I am not the only one they've done this to.  I've found complaints that stretch back years.

My question is, how do they continue to operate?  How have they not been shut down?  What is wrong with our legal system that allows them to continue to harass people.   Even if the company was in the right in thinking they were owed money - their behaviors are disgusting and illegal.  I use to work in finance - I know what is and is not allowed when it comes to lending and collecting.

So, my Saturday advice - keep everything!  Don't assume that just because 7 or 10 years have passed, you can now throw out financial documents.  Don't assume that because an account or loan is paid in full that you no longer need proof of every transaction.  Keep it all!