I have received 3 emails from Higher One claiming that they need to verify my identity. Keep in mind, my refund was dispersed three days ago. Why is it that in the middle of the night (approximately 9:10pm) I get an email from their customer service claiming that something urgent needs my attention.
I logged into my account as the email instructed and was greeted with a screen that a hold would be placed on my account within 20 days unless I provided them with necessary proof of my identity. The acceptable forms of proof are the usual: passport, signed social, government issued identification card etc. The first day I thought nothing of it, and sent a picture of my signed social security card. I promptly got an email that it had been received and I thought everything would be fine. However, I open my email today and I have yet another email from Higher One claiming that the image I sent was "unverifiable" and that they now need "copies of your Official Birth Certificate and current Proof of Address or a copy of your valid unexpired Government-issued photo ID." I spoke with a former student at Valencia and he too was alarmed that I needed to provide all these documents being that he never had to do any of that.
When I log into my account, I can do NOTHING without providing these documents. I can't check my balance, I can't see if there is possibly any fraud going on with my account. It's absolutely ridiculous. In my opinion, this "hold" is already in effect. With disregard to the "17 days they've given me.
I then sent a reply back to the email I received wondering why no one had contacted me via phone if there was a problem verifying who I actually was, and why would they need to conduct this "investigation" AFTER I've already received my financial aid refund (of course I received a failure to send notice shortly afterwards). It seems very fishy to me and all the red flags are up in my play book. I do not like this company and I am very upset that students are forced to have their refunds disbursed this way. I will soon be filing to have my refund deposited into my credit union which I trust.
When I first heard about the debit card refund, I was a little taken aback, as I have two debit cards already and thought a third would be cumbersome. But I then thought everything would be fine, because I could keep my finances separate and use a different card for financial obligations. But after reading the terms and conditions extensively I soon realized that I didn't feel good about this company at all. Why should someone charge me a fee for money I already borrowed? In order to avoid a monthly fee I have to have a direct deposit exceeding "x" amount of dollars each month. It's ridiculous. I feel students should have a choice which way they'd like to receive their refund. This whole Higher One business is a bad idea. Even the Huffington Post wrote an article about how this debit card is something students could very well do without.