• Report: #822309

Complaint Review: Higher One

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 13, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, February 22, 2012

  • Reported By: Kcmerenda — Denison Texas U.S.A.
Higher One
80 Swan Way, Suite 200 Oakland, California United States of America

Higher One Charges fees for accessing student loans/scholarships Oakland, California

*Consumer Suggestion: No One Should Be Forced To Do Business With HigherOne

*Author of original report: Then give me my $52.50 back

*UPDATE Employee: Receiving your financial aid refund is always free

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My student loans and scholarships are deposited on my university-issued Higher One card. Each year when I get my student loans/scholarships, I am charged 3.5 percent to access my own money in order to pay my property taxes. Higher One calls this a cash advance, but it is not creditit is my own loan and scholarship money. I took $1,500 two days ago to pay my property taxes and Higher One charged me $52.50. This is not right. How can they do this?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/13/2012 12:48 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

No One Should Be Forced To Do Business With HigherOne

AUTHOR: Trey - (United States of America)

Please read my experience with this company that I shared here at Rip Off Report.  You will find it under:
HigherOne One Focus: Higher Education Students Forced To Receive Their Refunds Through HigherOne 

Texas Tech University did business with HigherOne for one year. Then they returned to processing student refunds through the bank information provided by students or paper check.

Where I currently attend school I have no choice.  Well, I can choose direct deposit to my bank, but my funds will still be funneled through HigherOne.  This should be illegal to force people to do business with a particular bank.  

Please write to your University, and your congressmen or congresswomen and let them know that this is your money and you should not be forced to have it funneled through HigherOne.  My post contains information and links showing how profitable this is for HigherOne.  However, there is a mountain of information on the Internet regarding the millions this company makes from the fees assessed to student accounts. 

Again, this is really an issue of choice.  Banks make a mountain of money from the fees they assess. However, no one should not be forced into an account with any institution.  For a school to tell their students they won't get THEIR money any other way is WRONG!!
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#2 Author of original report

Then give me my $52.50 back

AUTHOR: Kcmerenda - (U.S.A.)

My bank transferred $1,500 of my student loan refund (deposited by my university to my Higher One card) to my checking account so that I can cover a check for my property taxes and Higher One charged me 3.5 percent of this ($52.50) as a "cash advance" fee -- a "cash advance" for accessing my own student loan. This is unethical. This is stealing my money. I am raising four children by myself on $16,000 per year, putting myself through college while working two low-wage jobs, and perhaps $52.50 is a bar tab to an executive at Higher One, but for me it is a serious loss. I have repeatedly requested that this "cash advance" fee be returned to me and Higher One continually says that this is a charge I agreed to when my university issued me this card. I hope that very soon companies such as Higher One will be forced to discontinue unfair, unethical, and cruel (yes, to me as a person living in poverty, this is an act of cruelty) practices such as this. How does Higher One justify charging me money to use my own money? Shame.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Receiving your financial aid refund is always free

AUTHOR: Higher One - (United States of America)

I am with Higher One and wanted to clarify some points. Electronic disbursement of financial aid refunds are regulated by the Department of Education. Its 2008 regulations regarding the distribution of Title IV funds states refunds must be disbursed to students free of charge.

Higher One does not charge students to receive their refunds, so this is not the charge of 3.5% you cite. Similar to other checking accounts, you can receive cash from a Higher One ATM free of charge (daily $500 limit--common to many banks' ATMs). You can also pay your bill with either free online bill pay or utilizing traditional checks that you can order, so it is not necessary to conduct a cash advance.

There are plenty of other ways to use the card and account free of charge. Just log into your account and go to EasyHelp or call us and we can show you how.

Note that banking with Higher One is a students personal choice. Every student is alway given a choice to have their refunds disbursed to any domestic bank or in some cases, to receive a check. Again, these disbursements are always free of charge.
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