I'm a twenty-nine year old man and a disabled veteran of the current wars. I'm highly decorated and have many letters of recommendations (from several commands), medals and ribbons to certify that I am. I was discharged three years ago (as of yesterday ironically) from the Navy after six years of honorable service.
Yesterday, I almost was scammed out of roughly $42,000 dollars (plus interest) of my MGI Bill money and my own by ITT Technical Institute in Seattle, WA. I personally witnessed sales tactics worst than any used car salesperson could ever dream of having.
What ITT Tech tried really hard to do was to have me take out a "student loan" for the amount of $42,816 to cover the entire degree program (for an associates degree!) with an extremely high interest rate (30%). They also almost had me sign over my monthly MGI Benefits checks to them (per the "Request for Budgetary Assistance" contract they wanted me to sign) to pay for that loan plus whatever interest had incurred. I know that many people have actually fell for this scam. It's unforgivable to do something like this to anyone much less someone who risked his/her life to protect this country.
Normally, a student (using the MGI Bill) would be given the option to take out a student loan to cover the first quarter's tuition and fees and then afterwards the MGI Bill would kick in to cover all future payments. That's the way most schools do it. I don't believe these guys care about doing anything the right way nor do they care anything about their Veterans. At least that's how I felt after speaking with their representative, Mary Hong and the "Assistant Dean," who would not give me his name. Weird huh?
The whole deal was a scam from the beginning from the receptionists, to the fluffer (Roger), to the lead salesperson (Mary), and then to the lead, lead salesperson (I don't know, Satan perhaps?) and there after. ITT Tech is a business, not a school... a really awful business mind you. I'm really surprised I didn't walk out of there owning an '85 Buick LeSabre.
It was quite obvious when the "financial advisor," Mary Hong began to get upset when I began reading the fine print of the several contracts she put in front of me. I read one after another setting each one to the side without signing anything. When I was finished she asked if I had any questions. She really wasn't in any position to answer anything I had to ask. She fumbled through the rest of our meeting like a rookie, unable to explain why things didn't add up correctly. I can tell you why, it's all bull****.
After some real hesitation on my part, she left the room and came back with a "new offer" for me. She offered me some extra money off the top of that student loan to help with my "expenses." Pretty nice of them to offer me some of my own money back to me eh? I'm sure a little illegal too, but who's looking at the fine print anyways?
When I was told I could not take the paperwork home to look at, I knew something really rotten was going on. So I took all the paperwork home with me to look at. I have in my possession all the contracts/paperwork (not signed) that she tried to have me sign yesterday. As I figured nothing adds up right and from what I can see it's one of the worst scams I have ever witnessed.
These people are loan officers not "financial aid specialists." They tried to trap me in an outrageously bad loan (thanks a lot Sallie Mae) which I would have been paying on for years. On top of it all, I would have been paying for a crappy education that probably wouldn't have gotten me anywhere in the real world.
I have a feeling that a lot of people have run into this exact same problem I have (or another that we haven't yet heard about) with ITT Tech. These scandalous individuals are basically screwing a lot of innocent people out of a lot of money. So that's how it goes I guess, after all the paperwork is signed, commission is divided up, champagne bottles are corked and another poor guy bites the dust. We have to stop this now!
This would be a great story that I feel everyone should know about, especially my fellow Veteran's. We certainly DO NOT need to get screwed anymore than we already have been. Thanks for listening and I hope I saved at least one person from making the same mistake I almost did.