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When I graduated from college in 1994, I owed just over $13,500 in guaranteed student loans. Loans were my only means of supplementing my tuition. Originally I had one loan from a college I attended in Ohio and one for the college I graduated from in Georgia. Each loan charged 8% interest. The average rate of interest at the time was 8% to 10%.

Upon my graduation I received a mailed solicitation which suggested that instead of individually paying two sources, each charging 8% interest, I could pay one source (Sallie Mae) still being charged 8% interest for the combined loan. I agreed to do this in order to simplify my payments even though I would pay the same rate of interest, as that rate of interest was then the "norm".

I have paid on my loan for over 12 years and still owe more than I did when I graduated (now just over $14,000)! I even completed a year of service in Americorps just to receive an "education award" of $4,750 to apply to my loans, only this "award was taxed and only compensated for the amount of interest I accrued while my loan was in forebearance during my stint in the corps.

I now work 2 jobs, one professional full-time job and one retail part-time job, just to pay my everyday expenses and my student loan debt.  Last year I was motivated to inquire about advertised low interest rates offered as part of current student loan consolidation plans. I sought a lower interest rate, not an extension in the amount of time to repay my loan.

When I contacted Sallie Mae I was informed that my lumping two loans together in 1994, even with the same interest rate, is considered a "consolidation" and that, by law, individuals are only permitted to consolidate a student loan one time.

In a nation that permits individuals to refinance their home and auto loans, and transfer balances on credit cards, all to take advantage of lower interest rates, it is extremely unfair and unproductive to prohibit individuals from refinancing student loans. I would like to see the law changed to allow previously consolidated student loans to be refinanced at much lower rates.

I am not looking for a handout or for the ability not to have to ever repay the loans, just for fair and feasible repayment policies.
How many of you have put your life on hold, not having relationships, not getting married, not buying homes or not having children, because of your student loan debt?



I voluntarily joined the military in 1979. U.S.Army's elite 82nd Airborne Div.Was involved in oversea exercises in Egypt, reguarding the Iran/Irag war. We were shot at by snipers and lives were at times in peril. Fortunatly, all was good and I returned home safe and was honorably discharge in 1982. At that time there was no more GI Bill to pay for college. The only finanial help available then was VEAP (veteran educational assistance program). For every dollar up to 150.00 a month would be doubled if attending school. I was able to put away 50.00 a month, so for the 3years I attended college, I recieved 150.00 a month for expenses. I completed the ARMY's ROTC program, and was commissioned a 2nd LT.,and served for a time with the Arkansas National Guard. However, I did not grad.from school because, I couln't pay for the last year, when the military money ran out. Long story short, I recieved loan amts.,totaling $8750. to help off-set the cost during those 3 years. Now 20 years later due to bad decisions with women, drugs,financial hardships on my part, And the greed of the USA Group, and others involved with student loan recovery that say I now owe 32 something thousand and counting. As a struggling musician and warehouse/driver type guy. I've never made more than 25 grand in a year in my life. I'm hounded relentlessly, have been garnished, credit report sucks, tax refunds taken, etc. My kids are suffering now, more victims, doing without basic needs. If CEO's would only make alittle less, be accountable for their actions. Stop the GREED, this place would be better off for more of the little folks. I served my country in good faith because I cared, now I feel my country doesn't care and has left me and you without much faith in the education system. It's broke, fix it!

thank you, for lettin' me vent.


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