My student loans have yet again been transferred to another company/department/servicer. It is a little disconcerting that I owe SOMEONE hundreds of thousands of dollars and that SOMEONE can change at any time without any input from me.
But that’s just a side note for today’s post.
When I was trying to get settled in with this new servicer I had to set up my log in. The standard stuff like choosing a user name and password, one of those funky ID pictures of either a stapler or a colorful frog (things that are supposed to speak to you enough to remember, right?), and the security questions.
I have a hard time with the security questions. If they aren’t the right question I can never remember my answer – I can hardly remember my username and password, let alone my first favorite color. My mother’s maiden name luckily never changes but that’s not always an option. My favorite band often does (change), if I can even think of one in the first place. And even simple questions like, “What was your high school mascot?” can be tricky. Did I put “Tigers,” or “Orem Tigers,” or “Golden Tigers,” or “tigers,” or “Orem tigers” or even “orem Tigers,” etc.
I was doing pretty well in this log in process until I came to security question #2. I got 5 options:
1. What is your first niece’s name?
2. What is your paternal grandfather’s nickname?
3. Where is your vacation home?
4. What was your maternal grandmother’s favorite food? (okay, I can’t remember this one exactly but it seemed like a detail I wouldn’t likely know about my grandmother)
5. What was the name of your first pet?
I felt like these were horrible question options! Luckily I have a niece but I didn’t until just recently. And who does the Dept of Education think I am to have a vacation home? I’m not sure if my grandpa has a nickname unless they merely mean what I call him, which is simple “grandpa.” Another grandparent question which feels like it is rubbing in the fact that some people never knew their grandparents, and finally, what if I never had a pet growing up? I did, but I had so many I can’t remember which was the first!
I felt lucky I have a niece and was luckily able to move on.
Then there are those security picture/phrases you have to put in for buying things online or commenting on blogs, etc (pictured above). I know I have to prove I’m not a computer, but sometimes I really cannot figure out what the phrase is to type. And it’s usually ALMOST a word, something like “Bat1leshape” or “luv3rly,” and of course written all catty-wampus (love that word but have no idea how to spell it!) and scribbled on or blurry. I’ve had times where I’ve had to try four or five times before I can get it right. Sometimes I think it would help if I WAS a robot to decipher the code!
And maybe I could be a photographer for the security pictures. I think I have access to some good ones already. Who wouldn’t want to see a sand Taj Mahal, pancakes, or pretty chilis when they log in to pay a lot of money for little progress to no progress on loan repayment? Or you could choose a more romantic one like a costco anniversary cake or feel accomplished by seeing made ahead freezer meals…I think they are at least better than the stapler. Then again, staplers do hold things together, which has some metaphorical value I suppose.