How to Obtain a College Transcript if there is a Hold on your Account

college transcript

It’s no secret that we are in a difficult economy. College students and recent graduates have been struggling to find jobs, while many others have had their loans deferred or forgiven. That sounds like good news right? Wrong! There is an increasing number of people who need transcripts from college or university courses but their account has been placed on hold by the university. How can you get your transcript when there is a hold on your account? The following article will provide some helpful tips and suggestions for obtaining a copy of your transcript when there is a hold on your account.

Can your alma mater withhold your college transcript?

Though it is often hard for people to understand (and may not make total sense) a college transcript is the property of the college or university and not the student. That means that, yes, they can put a hold on an account and prevent a student from obtaining their official transcript for a number of reasons.

A college can put a hold on your account because you need to meet with an advisor, you need to perform a task such as orientation, you have to settle something an account (such as an overdue book from the library), or for the most common reason, a bill that is unpaid or in arrears. Some of these issues may be simple to resolve by simply scheduling a meeting or returning a book, but if the issue is a financial one it may be more difficult to deal with.

Then what happens when you need your official college transcript issued by the university because you’re applying for jobs, graduate school , etc., and they won’t send one out until that hold has been lifted? You have a few options available to you if you need a hold based on unpaid debt lifted from your account.

1. Pay your debt

This may seem obvious, but one way to get a hold removed from your college account so that you can get an official college transcript is by paying the debt you owe to the university. You certainly don’t need to pay the balance on your account, as sometimes this can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars (depending on where you went to college). Most universities will allow you to become current on your account which may be just one or two payments so that your account is caught up and you can order a transcript.

2.File bankruptcy

Educational debt is one of the things that can be eliminated if you were to file for bankruptcy. This may be a possibility if you are so far behind in your payments on student loans that there is no way you could possibly recover. Filing for bankruptcy has many pros and cons that you may want to consider independent of your student loan debt though, and for the purposes of this article has one main problem. It can take weeks or sometimes months for bankruptcy court to complete a case and for all creditors to be notified. That means that if you need a transcript in the near future, you are unlikely to be able to access one until the case is settled and your school is told. Going through the process of a bankruptcy may be something you want to consider if your financial circumstances are poor, but it will likely take too long for the job or graduate school needs your college transcript currently.

3.Can a third party request your college transcript?

If you need your college transcript for a specific purpose, like as one of the last steps of the interview process for a new job, it may be possible for a third party (like your prospective company) to request and receive your college transcript.  This is not common but it does happen. This should be discussed with the office of financial aid at your college to figure out if this can work in your case, and what paperwork will need to be filled out ahead of time by yourself or another person you designate for this purpose.

If none of these options work there are other ways around obtaining a copy of your transcript despite having holds on your account from the university. One option that may help is checking into an online service like who provide transcripts services nationwide. Another way might be to ask the recipient of the transcript if they would accept an unofficial copy of your transcript. This type of document would have all of the information of the official transcript, but may still be available to you despite there being a hold on your account. Whichever path you choose to take in order to obtain your college transcript, make sure that you hold onto it for future use, so that you don’t have to concern yourself with this same issue next time you need a record of your college performance.

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