Mesa woman confused about $2,400 student loan

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- Veronica Woodwards recently earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ottawa University located in Phoenix.

It's a degree that brings her a lot of pride.

"This is gold to me, pure gold," Veronica told 3 On Your Side as a big smile spread across her face.

"I believe that we need to be influenced in education because the more you know the better you will live."

At 65 years old, Veronica says not much slows her down. 

Even after surviving a stroke, she continues to surround and educate herself with books.

But recently, Veronica says she's been spending time educating herself about the University Accounting Service, a company that also goes by the name UAS.

Veronica says, "I get this letter and it's telling me I owe them a whole bunch of money that I know nothing about."

The bill states Veronica owes more than $2,400 in student loans. But her name is spelled slightly wrong and it's for a school she's never heard of before, Everest.

She says the year she reportedly took the loan, 1900, doesn't make sense.

"I wasn't even born yet," Veronica jokes.

UAS tells 3 On Your Side that they're simply the billing service for schools and if there's a problem, I should take it up with Everest.

I did, and Everest College immediately looked into the matter.

Turns out, the loan is from the 1970's when Veronica went to a California school that was eventually acquired by Everest.

An Everest spokesperson tells me since Veronica had a stroke and because the loan is more than 30 years old, they and University Accounting Service are cancelling out the debt.

That means Veronica is free from that $2400 loan.

Veronica says she sure is glad she contacted 3 On Your Side when she did.

"I put the TV on and there you were and I thought, Oh, yes, 3 On My Side! Why didn't I ever think of that."

I have to give University Accounting Service and Everest College all of the credit. 

They looked into the matter and quickly resolved the issue for Veronica. 

She says she can now spend her time focusing on other matters.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM EVEREST

From Kent Jenkins, Everest Spokesperson

Ms. Veronica Woodward was a student some years ago at a school that has since been acquired by Corinthian Colleges, parent company of Everest.

While in school, Ms. Woodward received a Federal student loan and maintained an outstanding balance on this loan for a number of years.

UAS – a billing service specifically for Federal student loans – has been billing Ms. Woodward on her outstanding debt.

However, late last year, prior to KTVK-3TV’s inquiry, because of concerns related to Ms. Woodward’s health condition, Everest forgave her debt.

Ms. Woodward will receive no further statements from UAS.