The following are
testimonials submitted to this site. To tell your story, please
I have been unable to reconcile
my student loan debt. Graduating in 1995 with $37,625
in student loans, I have to date paid over $48,500 on those
loans yet Sallie Mae claims I still owe $33,250. I can show
that I have paid (thus far) over $44,125 in interest and penalties
alone, over an eleven year period this works out to over
$4000.00 / year!
Unbelievable. To clarify numerically the above comments;
Original Loan 37,625
Total Paid + Owing 81,750
81,750 - 37,625 =Total Interest and Penalties Paid of over
The worst part is that there seems to be no end in sight,
I didn't consolidate a couple years ago when the rates were
low because I couldn't (wouldn't) accept what they were telling
me I owed.
Having graduated with a series of loans I found it impossible
to reconcile the amounts owing over the years, Sallie Mae
is apparently not required to send payment histories and my
loans were often transferred between lenders which exasperated
the task of tracking payment histories, balances due etc.
It was only after I escalated the issue to the Department
of Educations Ombudsman last year that I was finally able
to obtain a declining balance spreadsheet from Sallie Mae,
of course now I have ten years of fluctuating interest rates
and payments histories to pour through to understand where
all my money has gone. I've had to hire a CPA to help me and
even he can't believe what he is seeing.
Admittedly I was slow off the start in making regular payments
having fallen short in the first 3 or 4 years after the loans
came due. I attribute this to the fact that I didn't even
know who I was supposed to be paying half the time, I've made
payments to the Education Loans Servicing Center, U.S.A Group
Loan Services, NelNet, Sallie Mae United Student Aid Funds
and other collection agencies, at one point a few years ago
I had payment booklets from at least three of these organizations
at the same time.
Some (but not all) of my loans defaulted in 1998. That's when
this Debt Collection Services (DCS) company got involved,
my wages were garnished, a payment plan had to be set up to
get out of that, needless to say my credit was (and still
The records I was finally able to obtain from Sallie Mae this
past year show that I did indeed pay DCS nearly $17,000 as
shown below, but my original loan amount was apparently only
reduced by about $3,000, so basically I paid DCS over $14,000
in collection costs, fees etc. I have yet to determine the
legality of those transactions.
The spreadsheets below show what I've paid thus far, clearly
not an issue of failure to pay, my case shows just how ruthless
these companies can be, somebody is getting filthy rich while
I struggle to support my kids.
SM Summary pg 2 of 2 December , 2005 Company
USA Group $7,478.22
Sallie Mae $22,148.87
Yearly Totals All Organizations
Total Paid on 37.6 K debt $48,495.68
Avg Yearly Pmts $4,408.70
Avg Yearly Pmts 1995 - 2000 $2,992.52
Avg Yearly Pmts last five years $6,108.11
As I stated previously, tracking the amounts owing has been
nearly impossible. How can a lending institution the
size of Sallie Mae get away with not sending regular payment
histories ? This is one of the reasons I was never able to
reconcile what was owed, had I seen the balance increasing
the way it obviously was I would have done something much
sooner. If you financed a lawn mower at Sears and then
a couple months later financed a weed-wacker, you could safely
assume that Sears could tell you how much you paid on each
of those items against the principal, interest etc. even three
or four years down the road. Not so with Sallie Mae,
if they were handling the loans on the lawn appliances we
would get something like this "portions of your
loan for the lawn mower were transferred to J.C. Penney for
collection, Sallie Mae cannot provide payment histories because
they no longer own that loan, your other loans for the lawn
mower engine, tires etc. have been transferred to Wa!
lmart for collection and finally the loan for the weed-wacker
is in default and has been sent to a collection agency".
Meanwhile you're left standing there with payment booklets
from Sears, Walmart and J.C. Penney and a letter from a collection
agency indicating they're charging you 25% of the loan amount
in penalties !
I have spoke to a number of individuals who have had similar
experiences with Sallie Mae. The press has given a lot of
attention to banks issuing credit cards to college students
at a very low rate and then tripling or quadrupling those
rates after a missed payment or two, that issue pales in comparison
to what Sallie Mae is getting away with on student loan debt
Based on the numerous articles I've read recently, it appears
to me that this behemoth lender is accountable to no one,
some type of legislation must be enacted to hold these loan
sharks at bay. Right, I'm sure the government officials
who receive millions from these companies will jump right
What would happen if I just stopped paying ? Immigrated
to Canada and never came back ? Well it appears they
would garnish my Social Security checks, I'm 47 now, if I
stopped paying the loans today, in another twenty years the
amount owing would be well over $125,000, if I get $100.00
/ month in Social Security... Bon.
Bonjour Mon Ami. JE DEMENAGE A MONTREAL POUR APPRENDRE
LE FRANCAIS ET JOUER LE HOCKEY. LA BIERE EST MEILLEUR AUSSI
I waited to go to school until
I was in my 30's. I have a family (2 children in high
school now) and a husband. We could not afford to pay
for a decent college education for me, so we borrowed $48,000
to pay for my education. I graduated in 2000.
I had to refinance my loans to a 30 year payoff as my original
payment expected was over $400 per month. Now I am paying
250 per month (when I can afford it). At this time I
am 2 months behind schedule. This amount is crippling
for us. I am trying very hard to be compliant and on
time, but sometimes I have to choose between groceries and
gas for the month, or my student loan.
Now I am concerned that this will effect my son, a high school
senior who is preparing to go to college in the fall.
We can not afford to send him to a good college right now,
so he will be attending community college.
If this continues, I don't know how middle class America will
be able to afford to send their children or themselves to
college to better their future. I went to school because
I wanted a career, not a job. I wanted my children to
see that if you work hard at something, your dreams are possible.
Now I feel like I have screwed my family and might have just
been better working a job!
I originally took out 2 loans,
one for 7500 in 1994 and one 10,000 in 1995. I finished
my degree in 1997 and due to financial hardship defaulted
on my student loan in 2003. I entered into rehab on my loans
just after receiving the default notice. I was whacked with
18.5% in collection fees and interest. I paid the 12 months
I was told to pay but I was never fully told exactly what
"Rehab" was. The collection agency made it sound
like it was just a payment plan for Sallie Mae and it was
never explained the loans would be "Sold" after
the end of the rehab period, interest capitalized into new
principle etc. And who do you think "Bought"
the loan after rehab.......why Sallie Mae of coarse.
They never told me I had to fill out new paperwork to have
my auto-debit from my checking account continued. I thought
it would just continue because all along I thought I was still
dealing with Sallie Mae.
Well the payments weren't continued and I ended up going late
again. I ended up getting a forebearance which was supposed
to cover June 2004 through April 2005. I had just had a baby
and had complications after the birth so I was out of work
longer than expected so I thought forebearance would help
me get back on my feet.
In Feb. 2005 I was sent a letter stating my payments would
be resuming. I requested a lower payment option for 2 years
and this amount was close to the $150 I had been paying in
rehab. I filled out the auto-debit form again. I didn't notice
the payment didn't come out in April and in June I received
a notice that I was late. I once again filled out the auto-debit
My Mom and son were critically injured in a car accident in
June 2005, just as my payments were supposed to start again.
I filled out the autodebit request for a third time along
with another forebearance form and sent them back. To
be quite honest most of the next 4 - 5 months are a blurr
of ICU vigils and helping take care of my dad who also has
health issues along with taking care of my own 3 children
and trying to work. I noticed the payments weren't coming
out but thought, given the circumstances I was granted another
forebearance. I was wrong......
In April 2006, just when I thought my supposed forebearance
was ending I received notice that I was about to default on
my loan. I called Sallie Mae (Of coarse they have NO record
of this call) and I was told the forebearance request was
never received but send another one and they would cover the
aforementioned time period but I would need to start repayment.
I said fine and once again filled out and mailed the forebearance
request and another auto-debit authorization form.
The next contact was a letter from the collection agency.....You
are in default......pay us now.......pay us another 22% in
collection fees.......pay us DAILY COMPOUNDING INTEREST......Pay
us $43,000 for the original $17,500 you borrowed. You can't
consolidate while in default.....you can't rehab because you've
done it once.......
This is insane. Someone needs to do something about this.
It's the student loan mafia and sadly it's all perfectly legal.......while
the CEO of Sallie Mae makes MILLIONS I will be struggling
to pay this debt. I have never tried to not repay but I wonder
since Sallie Mae has their hand in all the pies, lender, guarantor,
collection agency, if they don't do this sort of thing on
purpose so people will default and they can triple, quadruple
etc the amount you owe. It's SICKENING!!!!!!!!!
If it's one thing I have learned through all this it is my
children will NEVER take out a student loan......especially
with any company affiliated with Sallie Mae.......sadly I
will still be paying this loan back when it's time for my
children to go to college limiting my ability to provide assistance
for their education....
Maybe that's Sallie Mae's ultimate goal.....to produce a generation
of borrowers who can't ever begin to repay their enormous
debts so their children will also be enslaved into student
loan debt......Someone please help stop this, before our children
suffer the consequences of not being able to go to college
or spend the rest of their lives paying down debt to predatory
lenders like Sallie Mae!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am glad to see I am not the
only one in this sinking boat! Unfortunately i am not
alone and these loans continue to drive all of us insane.
I have recently completed/received my Master in Architecture,
and unlike what most people think...this job is strictly for
the love of the practice, not for the love of money.
Looking at my loan balance you would think i was a millionare,
unfortunately i am on the opposite end of that pay scale.
My father just recently mentioned to me that "60 minutes"
had completed a story dealing with Sallie Mae and those (like
us) trying to create a life while living under the shadows
of these student loans...i was unable to catch the story but
did google it and found out just how bad this subject is or
I am from a family of two brothers, both of which are around
the same age range...meaning we where all in college around
the same time =ifficulty for my parents to finance the individual
situations. Regardless, they worked extremely
hard to help as they could, but understandably the cost burden
is way too much to bare. Dont get me wrong I am extremely
thankful for what has been given to me, but not going to college
was not an option. All of us (brothers) were forced
to deal with some lending agency to "help" with
our college tuitions. In my case... i seemed to
pick up the largest tab. lucky me...
5 years of undergrad work + 1 year or post grad work =according
to Sallie Mae & AES) approx. $185,000.00. How is
anybody ever supposed to get out of this debt? Please
give me an answer....somebody?! anybody?! and
this balance is as of today...5.12.06 This amount
does not even take into account the money paid over the 5
years. I began paying my undergrad loan 6 months after
i graduated in 2000. then completed my Masters in 05'and
have been paying for both since. So needless to say...I
am still living paycheck to paycheck. My monthly loan
payment is right around $700-800...it will be more when and
if i decide to make a little extra on each paymnet.
Go figure! How do these companies get away with it.
I know Sallie Mae was primarily identified, but there are
many many more. AES ( American Eductaion Services) is
another... at least Sallie Mae let me defer my balance
while i was back in school. TRYING TO BETTER MYSELF...
AES on the other hand continually demanded payment, every
month while trying to go to school full time. I havent
mentioned, but i attended school in Boston, MA. The
cost of living is not inexpensive. Countless calls to
AES and Sallie Mae, proved absolutely worthless. The
time and breath i wasted on waiting to reach an operator has
surely taken a few years off my life. And of course
the Number one answer to all my questions was always "there
is nothing else you can do sir." "you still
must continue to make your payments sir" (at least
they tryed to be polite)
I dont know if this will help anybody cope or understand the
hell of student loans, but for my sake....i needed to write
something. Hopefully somebody will hear these pleas.
I am a grown-up, although i may not sound like one when speaking
to any lending institutions rep., and i do understand the
concept of making a buck. Capitlaism is a wonderful
thing. But the way these companies and completely taking
advantage of the concept...is just insane. And it is
driving the all of us insane. I understand that i have a loan
out. I understand that i should be held to pay for it.
But for a company to take a loan of say $30,000.00 and turn
it into 100,000....I just dont get it. Interest? sure
no prob... but COME ON PEOPLE. Does nobody (that
can make a difference) see the issue here?
I guess im done rambling...whining....whatever you may call
it. I hope these testimonials make a difference someday....hopefully
someday soon!! My loans say ill be paying until im juuuuust
about 60 years old. WOW... I think we all need
to continue to state our issues with these institutions.
Our voices cannot be ignored forever....can they? Until
then good luck to everybody dealing with this hell.
I feel the pain of each one of you. We must continue
to fight this. Good Luck all!!!
Not the WHOLE Picture on 'Collection/Credit/Squeeze
the Blood from US'
ask me about 1 or 2 late chargez to cause me to get [not a
2nd mtg] another 1st mtg to get freakin' Chase [which cards
I don't have] from RAPING me BTW - CHASE bought my SallieMae
Visa acct. and Absconded w/ $$$$$ 18 mos ago [ causing me
to RE-CONSOLIDATE ] oh well BBaW
I have not defaulted on my student
loans, but I started paying SLOWLY when I graduated from college.
Long story short...I have never missed a payment nor payed
late. I was in deferment a few months after college, then
I went to grad school. A couple of years after grad school,
I was paying a couple hundred dollars a month (on a consolidated
loan totalling about $47,000). These payments only went towards
Before I had a steady job, I consolidated my loans 3 times,
making it impossible to even keep track of my total. I started
out with my orginal loan from school, and am now borrowing
through Sallie Mae. I have been continuously paying
off my student loans for over 4 years now.
I am a preschool teacher, making less than $25,000 a year.
I am 30 years old, and cannot afford to buy a house because
of my student loan payments. My only debt is my student loan
from Sallie Mae. I can't afford to have children.
I am now paying over $300 a month at an interest of over 6%.
The below statement is taken directly from the Sallie Mae
website about my current student loan. I think it is interesting
that I am pretty much paying 100% interest because they are
allowed to compound it. This angers me because my only debt
is through trying to get an education. I don't have credit
card debt or even a car loan.
Current repayment information about your education Loan(s)
starred (*) below is as follows:
NUMBER OF PAYMENTS PAYMENT AMOUNT DUE DATE
289 $317.67 10/11/06
1 $306.27 11/11/30
Current Principal Balance $46,887.18
Accrued Interest to be Capitalized $0.00
Total Principal to be Paid $46,887.18
Estimated Amount of Interest to be Paid During Repayment
Estimated Total Amount to be Paid $92,112.90
I can not honestly tell you how
much I originally borrowed. I can say that I currently owe
over $350,000. Most of this amount is accrued interest. I
have read these stories and I feel fortunate to be able to
make a $2600/mo payment. What I am angry about are the lies
and the abuse that has led up to my loan balance.
When I went to dental school
in 1984 I was told to study hard and not to worry about the
tuition because there was ample funds to be borrowed. But
try not to borrow too much..lol Sign here and you will get
the money you need after a 2% reduction for fees. Oh by the
way you need to pay that back and the interest is accruing
right now at 15%. You could drop out now, but you still would
have to pay us back. Just study hard. Oh and our student loan
officer was fired for taking kickbacks (finders fee etc.)
from the bank for steering borrowers their way.
I worked as a dentist for four
years and then I returned to school to specialize in orthodontics(I
wanted to but also had to). When I was working as a general
dentist I paid my loans (over 1000.00/mo) only to get a year
end statement showing that I owed more principle at the end
of the year than at its start. I called the lender and was
educated in negative amortization. "These are really
horrible loans" the sympathetic rep told me. Why do I
have one of these??
Well as I mentioned I returned
to school. Hey that's great but the interest...tick ...tick.
Oh and I'll need more money for two years. No problem!! Mom
and dad helped out. After school I worked for a year prior
to buying the practice. Did I mention that I now have 2 kids
and a mortgage. I signed for the practice. A good one, but
it was in decline and needed building. Bam! (thanks Emeril)
1.3 mil in debt. No problem...and yet another forbearance
was signed for. Do I pay my student loan, my practice note
or my mortgage?
Practice paid for, I consolidated
my loans. Something that could not be done previously. I write
checks. Big checks...but very little goes to the principle?
I call..."well you need to pay the interest first."
I will say that I didn't always make my payment exactly on
the due date, but I always paid each mo. My last payments
were made on time but no reduction in principle. I call..."I
need an accounting breakdown of my payments". They send
My friends, I am a lucky person.
I am blessed with 4 great children and a loving wife. I am
also being ripped off royally. I pay my mortgage and the amount
goes down. As does my car loan, my office note, but not my
student loan. And this is legal??