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Colorado

The following are testimonials submitted to this site. To tell your story, please go here.

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Lisa

1991, original loan =$2250.00
Today, Sallie Mae =$16,000.00
2 deferments, 1 default since 1991.
Have already paid $4500.00 (twice the original amount!)
I will pay this loan until I die...


The school I went to doesn't even exist anymore, and still I pay and pay.

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Julie 

I am 43 yrs old and am saddled with a debt I will never be able to pay.

I thought I was just a dead beat student loan borrower and have had any real hope of ever overcoming this debt.
I graduated fromt the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in 1991 with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Sociology.
I landed my first job after graduating at the Mckean County Victim's Resource Center where I worked with Battered Women and also was the Volunteer Coordinator.  This is a non-profit organization and my starting salary was 12,000.00 per year BEFORE TAXES. I took home roughly 200.00 dollars a week.

When the bills came in for my student loan payments to kick in I did not make enough money to pay my loans much less pay rent and basic living expenses.  I was easily given a forbearance and had to pay nothing on my student loan while I worked in this low paying non profit job.  My next position was in Houston working for the SEARCH Homeless Project where I stayed until 1996. I was again in a low paying social service position and could not pay my loan payments and make rent as well as vehicle payments and food and bills.
I was again given a forbearance without really understanding what a mess I was getting into financially.


I had a meltdown at my job working with the homeless and was terminated.  I was drinking heavily and had serious burnout working in social services.  I returned to Pennsylvania and got a job working at a plant making decent money and not having the stress anymore of working in social services.  I continued to forbear as I needed the money to put my life back together.
Once again the implications of doing this were muddy to me.  All I knew was that I had to pay for my vehicle and my rent and other necessary bills to survive.  During the time of my lengthy forbearance, the original loan of 24,500.00 was sold several different times.
I don't remember when the calls started coming in for me to start paying a minimum of 800 dollars per month on my student loan.
The collectors were very aggressive and even called friends in other states looking for me and called my older brother as well.
I was never offered any other solution to resolving this issue.


It was pay up or go into default with my good credit at the time going to shit.  I finally had enough of the calls and letters.
I tried to explain that you could not take blood from a stone but the calls and intimidation continued. My relatives and friends were called as well.  I wrote a letter to the creditor as told them to never call me again.  I had to research my rights in this area.  The calls stopped.  It says I now owe 50,457.61 dollars and the amount continues to rise each month.
There is also a continuous monthly charge of 50 dollars for a 'late fee.'


I hear now that our social security benefits will be cancelled unless the loans are paid in full.  I have to wonder if I won the lottery and paid this dept in full if another loan company would come forward and say that I owed them as well?  I cannot apply for work at a job that will check my credit.  A red flag is raised when they see a person has a defaulted student loan.  It seems almost as bad as getting a felony right?  I work under the table most of the time.  I do not bother to apply for jobs that I know I will be excluded from.


I cannot even join the Peace Corps or even consider looking for a teaching job or any other kind of job where I could be helping others.
It was really wonderful to see the story on this last night.  I have felt like the lone ranger for a long time.
What do we do now?

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J.S.

I'm not sure who my original loan was with but I have a file full of letters from different collection companies.  In September 1989 I enrolled in Cosmetology School, shortly after starting school I became pregnant and due to the pregnancy being high risk had to leave school December 1989.  I apparently had 2 loans for $2000.00 each.  I only remember one loan.  There was to be a second loan for the second sememster but I never made it that far.  Shortly after leaving school I physically delivered medical deferment papers to the Colorado Student Loan office.  Being young & inexperienced I didn't keep a copy for myself and somehow they never got the paperwork so the loan did not defer and the calls started for repayment.  The loan defaulted and I was harassed, I was told they would accept nothing less than payment in full and I should get a loan or borrow the money from a relative.  This continued from 1990 until in 2001 when I was a single mother with 5 children filing taxes & qualifying for earned income credit they took my tax returns.  My taxes were offset for a couple of years and over $4000.00 later I received a letter from the Colorado Department of Education stating my loan was settled for less than full payment but was now paid in full.  Then in 2004 it all started again.  There was a call to my work and the collection company told a coworker they were going to garnish my wages for a defaulted student loan.  I talked to these people sent my paperwork from the Department of Education stating my loan was paid in full and didn't hear another word.  Then a year later another call, a different collection company again threatening garnishment.  This time I find out the loan is another $2000.00 loan but the Social Security number is a digit off from mine.  This is the second loan, the amount owed is now over $6000.00.  I'm at a loss, I can't repay this, I only attended school for 3 months, never graduated, and now I owe for a second loan I didn't know existed.  I don't know what happened to the original $4000.00 but that was alot of money for 3 months in school and now they want me to pay the second loan along with the penalties & interest.  Not only is it very wrong but no one can tell me who got the second $2000.00.  There have been several violations of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act but in order for me to pursue it I would have to find a lawyer and the costs and then hope I could win against the Federal Government, not a very comforting thought.  What is a person to do?

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Witheld

I am a single mom with no income other than my own. I completed my BA with not so much as a credit card debt and found I couldn't find a job with a BA in psychology. I needed to support my child so I rushed into a Master of Science degree where I blame the school mostly for it taking 3.5 years, for capilalizing on my pre-requisites I needed and not being honest to say that the degree combination might not work for me. I was young then and did OK up until 2001, since then I have gone through periods of sometimes upwards of 2 years working $7 an hour positions. I consolidated to Sallie Mae, the biggest mistake of my life. THe loan is now at $50,0000 but when I left school was at $35000 to be paid off in 10 years, manageable and would be 2 years off now from being completely debt free.

Now I'm looking at who knows how long. The university? The could care less, I've even applied for part-time positions WITH the university I graduated from and receive not even a phone call for an interview. I guess they don't believe in their school any more than anyone else did. I guess anymore you can't afford to be young and not know it all. I know one thing, my daughter WILL NOT ever borrow a dime, there are grants and scholarships out there that NO one wants you to know about. Even my credit card company has come through for me in times of financial difficulty because I do try and be a responsible borrower and pay as best I can but this student loan mess is a monster.

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C.M.

Total Borrowed: 34000
Total Owed: 48000
Age 22: Graduated in June.

I graduated high school and went strait to college. (I wasn't an english major so mind the spellng here may be poor) I graduated with a 4 year degree in mid June 2006. My loan is due to start repayment in January. I have saved every penny I earn to pay towards this loan. I have only had the standard deferment all students have the option to have while attending full time in school. I had not consolodated this past summer because the rates on the current loan appeared to be less or the same as rates offered consolodators. However,I did consolodate my Federal loans for a much lower rate. I have not gone into repayment and my student loan has capitalized several times, I have not defaulted and my payments begin at $634 per month. I will make each payment on time as is the contract I signed with my promisary note.

I did not expect that this loan would gain so much in fees in just a few short months since I graduated. I am sure it is legal, and that I simply should have read and understood in greater depth the terms of the promisary note, and that of the repayment schedule is subject to change as explained to me recently by the loan counselor.

I have yet to begin my first scheduled repayment and my loan is increading my debt quickly! In the past few months added to my loan principal when it capitalized were amounts close to 14000(and some change). (could be the interest added already) My current interest rate is around 11% from it being 8% with this last capitalization. What was not explained to me was how my loan can capitalize so quickly each month (my loan is set to be anual variable) or how so much $ can be added to the total of my loan. I can not imagine how after reading other stories here how large my loan will grow to become in only 6 months time? How can I get out of this trap? I don't want to end up like the other stories here. After reading the stories here I will be contacting Sallie Mae to see what might be happening with my current loan.
For my masters degree I will go with another company guaranteed.

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Stephanie

As a non-traditional student (in my 50's)I borrowed Pell money and money from government student loans. When I graduated in 1993 I went to a work shop where I was warned that if I consolidated my loans it would prevent me from applying for a lower interest rate.

However, after a few years of trying to repay the loans I finally consolidated them at 9%.

In 2002, my father died and left me some money. More than half of the money went to repaying the student loans (through Nelnet) which had by then grown to over $50,000.

I made one payment by luck within the time frame that allowed me to deduct the interest on my taxes. Then, unknowingly, made another payment over $25,000 (with no one advising me that this would not be eligible for deduction on my taxes).

I learned around this time that students were borrowing money for a vastly lower interest rate.

Please notify me if there is any recourse for the interest I paid for my education, and the lack of interest deduction on my taxes.

Thanks.

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Jason

In the summer of 2002 I started attending a culinary school in Pasadena California. As most students do in this country, I got a loan through Sallie Mae. When I signed for the loan I was told that my payments would be between $300 to $400 per month, and my interest rate would be around 7%. I started receiving statements right before I was to finish school saying that my interest rate had shot up to over 11% and then 13%. I started making some payments (about $2000 worth) but thought this was absurd, I then consolidated my loans and my payments didn't go down they went up. I have used defferment for my loans over the last year. My interest rate has now shot up to 18.175% and my monthly payments have gone up to $930+ per month. The original principal on the loan was a little over $35000 but total amount due is now at a whopping $62,000 and change. I have asked sallie mae for a copy of everything in my file, I have also spent some time reading into different articles about sallie mae, and I feel that I have also become a victim of this company. I receive about 15+ phone calls a day from sallie mae and so do some of my friends that also have loans with sallie mae.





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