Maurer Law LLC always offers a free evaluation of transcript cases and takes a dedicated number of pro bono transcript cases each month. You can reach Maurer Law through our contact page.
Having your official transcript withheld because of student loans can be a huge headache. Without an official transcript, you can’t get the job or complete the degree you need. And without the job or the degree, you can’t make the money to pay off your loans.
This Catch-22 is trapping more and more people.
In fact, the Ohio Attorney General’s collections unit has more than 300,000 active university accounts — that’s almost 3% of the entire population of Ohio. And many of those collections can result in a withheld transcript.
Unfortunately under current law a university does have the right to withhold your transcript in many circumstances. If you are caught in this situation, there are a few things you can do:
1. Talk to your employer or new school about accepting an unofficial transcript
Under federal education records law, you are entitled to an unofficial copy of your transcript, regardless of the status of your student loans. Talk to your new employer or new university about accepting an unofficial transcript instead. If they’ll accept it, make a written request for your unofficial transcript from your old registrar’s office, being sure to cite the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in your letter.
2. Negotiate a payment plan
Withholding the transcript is always at the discretion of the university. There are no laws mandating that a university withhold a transcript. As a result, some universities may be willing to release your transcript if you speak with them and enter into a payment plan on your loans.
3. Consider bankruptcy
If you are already considering bankruptcy, mention that your transcript is on hold when you speak with your bankruptcy attorney. Because withholding a transcript is a method of debt collection, universities are generally not allowed to continue holding onto your transcript once you file a bankruptcy petition.
Of course, entering bankruptcy is a big decision and should not be entered into lightly. A bankruptcy attorney can help you help you assess whether bankruptcy makes sense for your overall financial health.
Maurer Law LLC does not offer bankruptcy evaluations, so if you are considering this route, you may want to reach out to a bankruptcy attorney.
4. Speak with an attorney
There may be other options for you to consider depending on your exact circumstances. Maurer Law LLC always offers a free evaluation of transcript cases and takes a dedicated number of pro bono transcript cases each month.