Report: #1397932

Complaint Review: American Trades Institute

  • Submitted: Tue, September 05, 2017
  • Updated: Tue, September 05, 2017
  • Reported By: Ada — Plymouth Minnesota USA
  • American Trades Institute
    6627 Maple Avenue
    Dallas, Texas

American Trades Institute Took Advantage, Cheated, Unprofessional, Mislead, Humiliating Dallas Texas **Author of this Report is NOT CONFIRMED**

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I was barely 21 when I signed up to get an education from American Trades Institute (A.T.I) in Dallas, Texas in 1987. I was on my own and extremely unprepared to understand how to research my educational options or understand how student loans worked. I did not have familial support or friends with any clout to help me navigate this decision to better myself or stay away from what I soon discovered was just a diploma mill.

I took a nine month course called Computerized Business Administration, which I thought would greatly help me get better employment. I was living and working on my own and made about six dollars an hour. I barely made ends meet.

Within a few weeks I realized I had made a big mistake. The teachers seemed to treat their job like it was just another part-time job to fill their pocket books. I can remember being laughed at for asking questions, and when I asked why this particular teacher was just joking around and not answering my question, he starting screaming. This was, in fact, 30 years ago, so I have vague memory of exactly what it was that started the yelling. All I know is that I felt like the school was not training me at all. No new computerized training at all. It was on software I already was using!  

I remember going to their office and asking to be dismissed from the course, but was told I could not get my money back, which at that time was $5,000.  So, I decided to stick out the entire 9 months and "graduated" from the course.

Needless to say, I didn't  have any new, competitive skills to keep or get a job that paid more than 8 dollars an hour.  Within a few years, I found myself out of work, caring for a family member, and then suffered homelessness. I quit paying on the loan, and was completely naiive to the fact that I could never run away from it.

A few years later, while struggling to get on my feet, my neighbor at the apt. complex where I lived and worked at, told me a collection agency called her phone number and was looking for me. I contacted them back, and began to start paying on my defaulted loan. By this time (1998) I now had a student loan of $10,000!!! It more than doubled. I started making new payments when I could  and when I couldn't, I made sure I contacted the loan holder to make payment arrangements.

Flash forward several years later, I put my loan in deferrment because I went back to school, to a legitimate community college in my home state of Minnesota. I graduated with a 3.7 average and went on to finish my four year.

I do have debt from the legitimate not-for-profit colleges, about the same as what I still owe (aprox. 8 grand) from American Trades Institute. I have been paying on all my loans without missing a payment for the last three years. I have no problem wanting to pay back my loans from the two and four year colleges I attended recently. However, it makes me sick that I have to pay back more than twice what the original loan was just because I was not street smart enough to know a rip-off when I see one. I was just 21 with no way to fight back. I had no one to guide or help me at that time. With all the payments over the years to that original loan, I know I have paid more than what the original loan was for.

I don't believe I should have to pay on a 30 year old loan anymore. The school is a fraud and more and more private for profit schools are being exposed for ripping off students and tax payers. I want a fresh start - I  have more than paid my dues on the fiasco. I want help to get rid of this nightmare.


Thanks for reading.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/05/2017 06:54 AM 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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