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Georgia

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

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Marteeta

I went to college in 1991. My major was Electronic Engineering Technology. Around 1992, I changed my major and transferred to a new college and majored in Music Entertainment Management. I graduated in 1994 and married in 1995.  My marriage failed and I had a son that passed away shortly after birth.  I was bankrupt by 1996 but my student loans continued to accrue interest.  I tell this story because today I do not have a job in my field. As a matter of fact I never had a job in my field of study. I went back to school in 2000 to get a massage certification so that I could have some type of useful skill. Since I have been out of college I have not been able to do anything but survive. I have been pay check to paycheck from day 1. It is now 2006 and  I am remarried and  a stay at home mom of twins. I have no means of income to pay these people back. My credit is destroyed and I feel that I can not win for losing. I went to school to get a good job but I never got the good job so how do I pay off my school loans?  I pray daily to win the lottery so that I can pay this debt. That seems to be my only option at this point. My original loan was about $35,000 the other day I got a bill and it says my balance is $148,203.

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Barbara

My story happened before things got as bad as they are now, back in the early 80s.

I had a small 3% loan to pay off, only $1500, so I was very lucky in that respect.

But even that was a problem because when I finished school there was no work to be found using my degree. Not only that, but the skills I had used to support myself before going back to school had become outdated. So I couldn't  go back to the work I had done before going back to school.

Not only that, but the cost of housing had quadupled while I was in school. Having a family that turned their backs on me in my hour of need also added to the problems.

Despite all of this the student loan people hounded me relentlessly. I was obliged to find an attorney who arranged a payment plan for me. In order to do so, I had to agree to a consent decree. That meant that if I missed so much as one payment, they could haul me to court and I would have no right to defend myself. Waiving those rights was what the consent decree was based upon.

So over a year I made the payments. During that time, I lived in my car for a couple of months. For the rest of that year and the year after, I bounced from one dreadful housing situtation to another, none of which lasted more than a few months.

In the space of two years, I moved twelve times. In the process, I lost my car and all my belongings.

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Sara

Wow, I just watched Dateline. I went back to school at the age of 43 (1986)...my children and I were living in abject poverty. I had gone back five years earlier and refused to take student loans because of the potential debt. But an education offered me a chance to raise both myself and my children up out of poverty. Perhaps if I had stopped after my undergraduate degree, I would have had a chance but I went on to get a PhD in a field that the jobs are scarce...and finished my degree just before my sixty first birthday...four years before most people of my generation plan to retire. I was the first person in my family to have a PhD, and I did it right...University of California Berkeley for the undergraduate, and the University of Arizona for the PhD.

I realized where the debt was going when it hit about $120,000. The school counselors kept finding me money for my research abroad and finally told me I had reached my limit. My degree was just one year short of being finished. I took a year hiatus and worked, got a small inheritance and with that finished my degree. Both of my daughters have gotten undergraduate degrees and pay on their loans enough that their credit is fine so far. But I have gone from abject poverty to educated abject poverty. I have a job coming up in my field, at $18,500 per annum. At this time I owe over $250,000 or a quarter of a million. I am sixty four years old, almost at retirement age. I have never worked enough to expect much from social security which can be garnisheed for anything over $750.00. I probably don't have that much coming.

The creditor that is working with some of my loans, has said that under some circumstances I could be found in contempt of court and go to jail for a short period of time. But of course they wouldn't do something like that.

Yes, it does cause depression, although I try not to let it get to me. I work for my room and board and only $200 per month allowance comes to me from my son at the moment. Please, whatever it is that you do help yourself and the rest of us if you can.


 

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Alida

I became disabled and received Social Security Disability benefits in 1987.  I returned to college to change careers to a less stressful occupation.  When I finished my undergrad, I could not find a job.  I worked with state vocational rehabilitation.  I completed graduate school in 1994 and still could not find a job that paid enough to support me, two children and student loan.  I became ill nearly each year with my disability, but state vocational rehab did not assist me with work, moving, nothing.  My original loan was for $26,045.  Although I have not defaulted on my loan because of frequent illnesses and unemployment my loan is now over $50000.  Sallie Mae holds my loan.  I have written my congressman and senator, but they only offered me a direct student loan option at a higher interest called ED's William D. Ford Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program through Direct Loan's Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan.  with this plan I would pay according to income, the loan would be forgiven after 25 years if not paid.  I am 60 years old and currently unemployed.  I have been informed that if and when I reach retirement age 15% of my social security will go toward the student loan.  I have no retirement from any employer and my anticipated retirement benefit would be around $800.  I never realized that I would be in this situation.  I do not believe in not paying my bills, but I feel that I do not have any options.  I would like to have a life.  Here is an example of a sacrifice I did to allow for me to pay one year steadily on my loan.  After being told that loan payments were due when I found a job to get settled in an area that helped my disability, I moved back home to another state found another job and was able to pay my loan for one year.  However, I got laid off my job and my illness worsened.

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Iyore

I have no idea Sallieman was a blood thirty parasite until, I saw the piece at the 60 minutes. I am also a victim. Initially, my original loan was $42,000. Today, I have paid almost the same amount to Salliemae yet, I am still oweing them approximately $69,000.

At my difficult period with an AUSTIC child to raise, I requested salliemae for a reduction of the interest rate or rather asking them for another banking institution to assume my loan for a lower rate. They declined. Their reason was since I have already consolidated my loan as of 2001, my only option is to assume another loan before they can relinquished the loan to another lender.

I tried to get my congress representative involved yet, no avail. I am sick and tired with this payment with almost 7% interest rate when other institutions were willing to assume this loan at 2% less than two years ago. Why is it that I can not refinance this illegetimate loan? Today, almost all loan can be refinanced.

Thanks for providing this avenue for my sadden, still un ending experience.

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Sara

I thought I had it bad.  I hated to hear that others also had complaints about Sallie Mae loans on 60 Minutes but it was nice to finally hear that someone was looking into the problem.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I am soooooooo glad someone is finally trying to help the students.  I also have Sallie Mae loans and have had my share of hard times with their kindness.  After graduating from graduate school, I could not find a job because I had to take my bar exam.  Unfortunately, I did not pass my bar exam yet my loans came due.  I postponed as long as I could yet the loans still added up, even faster when you postpone and don't pay on the interest.  For three months I could not find a job.  I was overqualified for most jobs (law degree, JD) and underqualified for better paying jobs.  Living in a small town like Augusta, GA, it is hard to find a job that pays more than $28,000 with benefits and still be able to pay living expenses, food, insurance, ca!
 r amentities and student loans.  I couldn't move to a bigger city because the cost of living is higher and where would I live???

I had to put my loans on a credit card so I would not ruin my credit and be late on my loans.  I ended up with a $8,000 credit card bill.  I tried to consolidate my Sallie Mae loans because I watched my interest rates go from 4% to now 7.5%, which will also go up again in July.  Sallie Mae stated that I could not consolidate my loans.  I tried to use the interest paid to claim on my taxes, which could help me make future payments.  Sallie Mae stated that I didn't use my loans for school purposes and I didn't go full time.  I called the school to get a confirmation that my loans were for school purposes only and that I was full time. I made a complaint then Sallie Mae stated that the school I went to was not Title 4 (I think that is it, too upset to remember) so I did not qualify.  The school is now qualified but that doesn't change anything.  No consolidation, no claiming interest on my taxes to get money back, and the interest keeps going up.  I had to take three years off !
 from studying for my bar exam to catch up on my bills.  The course for the bar exam was $2,000 and I had to work two jobs (one full time in the day and teaching at night) in order to pay my bills, try to catch up with the credit card payment, not be late with future Sallie Mae loans, and try to live.  So, who is getting a tax break with the interest on my loans???

Please don't end the story about Sallie Mae and students doing everything they can to pay the loans.  Something has got to give and someone needs to help us and future students with the fight.  Soon I am looking into paying off my Sallie Mae loans with credit cards that have a fixed interest, this is usually less than what Sallie Mae is charging. Why does that make sense???????   Something should be done for those of us that didn't graduate and find top paying jobs right away, or didn't pass the accounting, doctor, or attorney's bar exam and still get jobs that paid top dollar. 

What ever you do, please continue to push the story to the right people.  Something should be done.  There are good people out there who decided to go to school, get a better education to find a good job and end up feeling ashamed and in debt when the loan provider tries everything it can to take everything you have, one dollar at a time, one way or the other.

I look forward to more stories about Sallie Mae and any updates that might happen in the future. (This story was sent to 60 Minutes, it is not as severe as others but all of us affected NEED to SPEAK OUT.)

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Meredith

I quit high school in 1987 and got my GED in 1992.  After talking with a few collegs (including UGA) I realized that I wouldn't likely pass admissions given my situation.  So I went to the only other college in my area, a private Christian 2-year school.  There, I was welcomed and shown the financial aide forms without further delay. 

This was a tough period in my life and I didn't do so well in many of my classes.  After off-and-on attendance for 4 years I accrued $29,000 in loan debt.  The school wasn't cheap, but I felt like I had no other options.  The financial aide office just asked if I would agree to pay back the loans, they made no effort to discourage me from taking them out, especially considering their high tuition. 

Well 10 years later I have close to $45,000 of student loan debt, which is currently in deferment as I'm finally finishing my two-year degree (out of pocket this time, thank you).  I haven't defaulted thank God. 

The interest on all of my loans combined is more than my car payment.  My total payment would be $550 per month before consolidation.  I'm very afraid to consolidate as I won't have as much freedom to defer.. which is in itself costing me money but I can't start paying back what I don't have. 

I'm not pleased to read so many stories of well-intentioned students being gouged not only by colleges with high tuition, but by the loan sharks who encourage us to borrow, borrow, borrow.  In a small way I take comfort knowing I'm not alone.

Like so many others, I am very eager to help in any way I can.  The system is clearly broken.  The problem is nobody is talking about it, no media attention is given and obviously most of congress cares not about our plight.  This makes me so angry.

Other than win the lottery, what can we do?  I feel like I am a slave for the rest of my life, and my story isn't even among the worst here.

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Rebecca

I went back to school at the age of 43 because i had suffered a back injury from a rear end collision (not my fault).  I had previously worked in the medical industry as an EEG Tech. 

I cashed out my 401K with the standard 10% penalty and used the cash to subsidize Pell Grants. After the 401K money ran out, i used student loans to subsidize my income from part time jobs and grants.

I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration, Accounting from the University of Central Florida in Dec 2000.  However, due to the fact that i was by that time 47 years old with no real accounting experience i had a very difficult time finding gainful employment.

After about 15 months i found an Accounting job in Atlanta, Georgia.  The pay was very low and i had amassed about 10,000 in credit card and medical debt during my college experience.  I put my student loans in forbearance.

Five years later, I have paid off all of my credit card debt from college and found a job that pays better than my original accounting position. I can finally start paying my student loans back.

I consolidated when i got out of college at the going rate 8.25%. I was ineligible to re-consolidate at the lower rates. My original student loan debt was about $22,000.

My student loan debt has grown to approximately $39,000.  That is $340 a month for 20 years.  I will be 72 years old in 20 years.  I cashed in my 401K to help me get through college.  I am in trouble.  I don't know how i can put away money for retirement, pay my student loan, and live above the poverty level.

I think i might have been better off to just worked as a cashier at Home Depot for the rest of my life.

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Deborah

Telling this story is hard to do.  The guilt I feel over this loan
is overwhelming and emotions run very deep.  I am very worried
about what will happen to my son and how this debt is and will
impact his life.  I recently read the May 7, 2006 CBS news article titled "Sallie Mae's Success Too Costly?" and am compelled to
share my story.  (Please scroll all the way to the end.)

Here are the amounts.  Below that is the timeline of events.
Amount Sallie Mae has received from me to date:  $22,595.03
Amount they say I still owe:  $90,323
Amount I borrowed:  $35,702

12/1987 I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art.
5/1990 I graduated with my Masters Degree in Education.
9/1990 I started teaching in a rural school district of Missouri.
9/22/90 I consolidated all student loans with Sallie Mae ($35,702.55).
4/1991 I caught the chicken pox in my second month of pregnancy.
5/1991 My husband graduated from college.
10/25/1991   Our son was born a month early with pneumonia, underdeveloped lungs, and a deformed trachea due to my having
the chicken pox while pregnant. 
10/31/91    We were called to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
at 11:30pm because the doctors were having trouble reviving our son.
11/15/91    He had his first bronchoscopy - the doctors discovered
deformed bronchial tubes.
11/19/91    St. Louis Children's Hospital performed a bronchoscopy
and found out his trachea was deformed and closed like a camera
shutter when his head got turned to the left.
11/21/1991  He underwent life saving corrective surgery on his
trachea at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
12/6/1991   He was allowed to come home but we were told he would
not be able to enter any type of daycare situation due to his
fragile state of health. The doctors told us one of us would have
to quit our job and stay home with him for at least 6 months.  We
managed to live on one salary of $19,000 a year. 
6/1992     We moved to Florida to be near family since his health
was still in question.
9/1992     Due to the economy at the time in Florida, my husband
and I took the only jobs we could find (both jobs did not pay well).
1991-1993   Our son had continual hospital and doctor's visits due
to croup and cardiology and pulmonary monitoring.  Insurance did not
cover everything and we had more medical bills.  I used 2 years of hardship forbearance regarding my consolidated loan. 
1994     Consolidated Loan was sold to USA Funds. 23% collection
costs and interest was added.  My new owed total came to $46,666.05.  Repeated harrassing phone calls started. The people were so rude I became scared of the phone ringing and still get slightly nauseated
by the sound of a ringing phone.  One person told me to have a bake
sale and another told my husband that we were just lazy. I unfortunately did not document or record any of these phone calls.  Sometimes they called at work until the principal I worked for told
them not to call her phone number anymore.
1994    We sent whatever payments we could afford to USA Funds.
11/1995- present My wages have been garnished at 10% since. 
This does not even pay the interest on the total owed and therefore
the $35,702 that I borrowed to get my Bachelors Degree and then my Masters in Education and Elementary Ed. Certificate has now grown
to the amount of $90,323.  When garnishment began I was unaware that interest would accrue and that collection costs would continue to be added.  I had also never been sent a statement of account on the garnishment until I recently requested a copy.  I am astounded that
my original amount borrowed has tripled.  I have paid $22,595.03 to
Sallie Mae / USA Funds already.
1999- present I now teach in a rural school district of Georgia.
In summary:
Borrowed for college: $35,702
Principal defaulted:   $46,666
Interest: $27,627
Collection Costs: $16,030
Total: $90,323
My husband and I have always paid our son's hospital and doctor
bills not covered by insurance, our other bills, including rent,
and have good credit ratings according to our credit reports.
Before we could buy a house last year, I had to plead my case with
the bank and even though I work two jobs - school teacher and youth minister- I had to be second on the mortgage.

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MM

My story is a little different-but still involving Sallie Mae. I am a teacher and have taught for 6 years. I decided to get my Masters degree, that is the only way to get a raise when you are a teacher. So I got my masters and used Sallie Mae. Before I even started school, I MADE sure, or atleat I thought I did that I could get my loan forgiven, using the teacher loan forgiveness program. My loan was about 7,500 and the government will forgive 5,000 of it if you have taught for 5 years in a low income school, and if you dont have any outstanding loan balance as of October 1998. That is where things got fuzzy the last part b/c I did have a loan for undergrad. before 1998. But I called Sallie Mae and researched but the language on the gov. web sites is confusing. So I depended on Sallie Mae for acurate information regarding the teacher loan forgiveness. BIG MISTAKE. Everytime I called they assured me I would qualify for the loan forgiveness, so I did not apply for any other grants, time after time was told I qualified.Time for Sallie Mae to pay up, and suddenly I dont qualify, because I had a loan which I paid off, by the way befpor oct. 1998-Now it is too late for me to get any other aid, as I am done with school. I understand that is part of teh law and I am ok with that however the people who work at sallie mae are suppose to be able to expalin the laws and terms, etc...even on the gov. web site about the loan forgiveness it tells you to contact your lender for more info. So now I am stuck with the whole loan. My issue is they have incompetent people answering serious questions with wrong information.  Maybe if Sallie Mae did not outsource the people who are answering their phones there would be a better line of communication with their clients. I contacted the Senator, and dept of ed. and they basically repeated the laws to me..By the way one of tehir reps. told me they have in their phone logs that they told me I qualified for the forgiveness, but when i wrote one of their big wigs and brought up the exact date the rep. told me Icalled and was told I qualified for the program, the "big wig" said there was no documentation that they ever said that....ok, so I made it all up-please

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John

I am writing this article because of a bad experience I am right now going through with my student loans. Due to a grade dispute, I recently withdrew from an online college (AIU-Online/American Intercontinental University). I knew my loans would be due and was prepared to make my payments. I have 3 loans. (2) Stafford Loans and a Sallie Mae.

The school's financial adviser had described all 3 loans to me as "low interest government loans, which I had qualified for and was very lucky to receive". Because of this they would be easy to pay back. I had the 2 Stafford loans at 6% and the Sallie Mae at 8.25% interest. She then said 2 of the loans were unsubsidized. I asked her what that meant. She said that meant they could fluctuate up or down. I asked her which 2? She said 1 Stafford and the Sallie Mae. I asked her what of the other Stafford Loan? She said it was locked in at a fixed rate of 6%. I then told her I could not afford a loan over 9% interests. She said the way the market is going that both loans, would be going down, to maybe as low as 31/2 or 4% interest but if by some chance they did start to rise I could stop and reschedule classes for a later time or wait for the next semester to see if they go back down, then I could just pick up where I left off continuing the education. The loans are paid to us in installments. Either way it was a great opportunity for me.

My Complaint; When I finally received my statements the 2 Stafford Loans were as described but the Sallie Mae was at 18% interest and fluctuating. Since I do not understand banking terms very well I took it to a local credit union and asked their loan officer to explain it to me. She could not. She said she didn't quite understand it and asked me to go talk with a friend of hers that specializes in student loans for the Federal Government. She is a financial aid adviser at a local private college. Upon showing it to her, she turned it over to her boss. He then told me that Sallie Mae is not a Government entity, but a Private banking institution and that I had been deceived. Many people believe that because of the name Sallie Mae, like a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, that the Federal Government sponsors it. It is not, and if I were you, I would try to get this straightened out with the school. If that doesn't work then you should file a complaint with the Attorney Generals office. I thanked him and have been working excessively trying to get this matter resolved ever since.

AIU is denying everything as if they never tried to sell me the loans. They are denying ever speaking to me about the loans although I spent considerable time with their advisers on the phone prior to entering the school. Their answer, you signed a Promissory Note, and a Truth in Lending Agreement, now you have to pay it. Thus far, a signed promissory note or agreement has yet to be found on the Sallie Mae. I called Sallie Mae. They give me the same answer so I asked them for a copy of my promissory note. They said they were going to put one in the mail. That has been 3 weeks ago. I have still not seen one where I have signed it. I have received an E-mail from both places of an unsigned promissory note with no signature but just my basic information typed in which is supposed to be a copy, which anyone could have typed. They all have this information.

Since then, I have spent many sleepless nights web-searching both the school and the bank. I have read hundreds of sad and horrific stories from people's families where a family member had committed suicide. Others, losing everything they owned from the lure of more money that a college degree could provide. There have been numerous complaints filed against AIU and Sallie Mae for all types of illegal practices. One involves kickbacks from private banks to schools in cash if they can meet a quota to sell so many of their loans. I have also found that Sallie Mae being the largest loan supplier, four times larger than the nearest competitor, is also the largest provider of kickbacks to these schools. Sallie Mae uses a loophole called the School As Lender program sanctioned by Congress. It is legal. Basically, the School As Lender program allows Sallie Mae to pay universities money to help administer the Sallie Mae loans. In return the universities try to sell the Sallie Mae loan to prospective students. I asked AIU if they participated in such a program? They flatly said no.

There are a lot of things that have complicated this situation even more, and makes it harder for me to get to the truth.

1. FAFSA is the government department that determines if you qualify for a government loan. Like most government programs, they want all of your personal information to process your qualifications but they do not give you the results. FAFSA only says I am eligible for Federal Aid. All I received was a code that said my Extended Family Contribution (EFC) was 7101, whatever that means. I can not get any more answers from FAFSA. They will not tell me what types of loans I did actually qualify for such as a Stafford or Pell Grant, etc. They said the university financial aid office would do this. Therefore I was sold 3 low interest government backed loans that I was lucky to have qualified for, for lower income people, although one was really private. I had just gotten over an extended illness and was unemployed at the time of the loans.

2. I asked the school, since I qualified for low interest, low income loans. Why would I sign a paper for a loan of 18% and why would you attempt to sell me such a loan knowing my financial situation, extended illness, and unemployment status, and also after I had told you specifically that I could not afford a loan over 9%? I have 3 statements. If you lay them side by side, they say 6%, 6%, and then one 18%. Their Reply: You signed the note, you have to pay it.

3. I told Sallie Mae that I would be willing to pay the loan at the previously agreed upon 8.25%. But I will not make one single payment on an 18% loan that was brought about by fraud and deceit and misrepresented to me. They responded that since the loan was private and not federal it fell under the auspices of the 1965 Higher Education Act and I have no choice but to pay. Although I was led to believe it was Federal.

4. The way I had decided not to receive a loan over 9% was with the help of the financial aid adviser at the school. She sent me to the Sallie Mae website to use their calculator. This would give me an idea of how much my loan would be and what my payments would cost to see what I could afford. You can still do this. Sallie Mae list's no other fees that could possibly be connected with the loan on this sight.

5. My Statement: It reads, The Current Index is 8.25%. The current margin is 9.85% therefore my current interest rate is 18.125%. I also have what is called an Accrued Unpaid Interest of $860.53 that began the day I received the loan. It has never stopped growing. Is this an extra interest payment being added to my already high 18.125% interest? So now I have 2 interest payments to make to Sallie Mae.

6. My Loan: Loan Balance $5,996.38. Accrued Unpaid Interest $860.53. Total Amount Financed $6, 826.91. Finance Charge $13,096.21. Number of payments 179 months at $110.70 a month for a total cost of $19,923.82. (NOTE) This is for this loan. I still have the 2 Stafford Loans to pay.

7. The Promissory note describing the 2 Stafford Loans is on 1 page each. The Sallie Mae Promissory Note includes 10 pages of confusing fine print that I had the financial aid adviser explain to me in English because I did not understand the first word of it. The main objective was a loan not over 9%. That is what I thought I had achieved.

8. I have since been told by Sallie Mae my loan can go as high as 21%. I have been reading reports and complaints of people having to pay as much as 28% interest. Sallie Mae has told me they have different rates, that it is determined by the laws of each individual state. They are able to sell my loan to another banking institution in another state with a higher interest rate without my knowledge.

9. Public, Private Non-Profit, Private For-Profit: Before initial enrollment I did the stats and projections for the student drop-out rates in colleges. All of the stats I could find were done on Public Schools and Private Non-Profit Schools. I had never heard of a Private For-Profit school. There is no accurate data whatsoever to show the actual graduation rate of Private For- Profit schools. Any school that tells you they have a 80-90% graduation rate is lying. There are many different ways to compute this, the school of course is going to show you the best. According to Department Of Education, and the Digest of Education Statistics only about 50% of all students end up graduating from Public and Private Non-Profit Schools who have attempted a 4-year degree. That is about a 50% dropout rate. Statistics show if you are attempting to go back to school after the age of 25, your chances of graduating becomes more difficult. You have a 12% chance of graduating!
if you are over 25 years old. If you are in your 40's, as my case, the chances of graduating drops to below 7%. For Private For-Profit schools, the stats are even lower. In other words, over 9 out of every 10 older students over the age of 40 years old will eventually dropout of school and will be stuck repaying on school loans. This itself for any type of loan would be very, very, very, high risk.

10. Go to your bank and attempt to get a $2,500 loan for anything. First even if you bank there, you still have to prove you can pay back the loan, or put up some type of collateral to cover the loan. There is no such collateral to provide for a student loan. You can be broke, unemployed, on disability, on social security, no home, no car, no nothing and still receive a loan for education. The only guarantee is you will graduate and then and only then be able to pay the bank back if you succeed to get a good paying job. The bank knows the government will compensate them for their losses, their collection fees, etc. This is your tax money. Some students have loans over $100,000 dollars.

11. An easier way to put this is go to your bank, and try to get a loan of any kind with nothing to back you up. You won't get one period. Especially a signature loan of any value.

12. Why should a bank, or financial institution have the right to try to collect on a loan that the chances of being paid back, statistics show is less than 7% as in my case? They never should have made such a loan?

13. Why should a bank, or financial institution have the right to hurt a person's credit when they are the one's that made a bad loan to start with?

14. Why should a bank or financial institution have the right to hurt your credit, go through the collections process, make harassing phone calls during all hours of the day or night, and send out letters of harassment for collection when no collateral was put up to start with and it was a very, very, very, high risk loan? Do they get to bust our knee caps too, is it government sanctioned also?

So far I have contacted the Department of Education, The Federal Trade Commission, and the Attorney Generals office to file complaints. All at this time are still being investigated

Since investigating this practice I have learned 60 minutes just did a special on it. There has also been a report on CNN. There are several websites that people have reported this and other problems to on both AIU and Sallie Mae. Some Sites to read some horrific stories and place your own story or complaint. 1. studentloanjustice.org 2. ripoffreport.com 3. community.lawyers.com 4. consumeraffairs.com.

It is interesting to note that on ripoffreport.com of all the thousands of Schools and Universities in the United States over half of the complaints belong to 2 schools. These 2 schools are AIU-Online aka: American Intercontinental University and The University of Phoenix that I always receive pop-up ads from. There are hundreds of complaints on the site against these 2 schools. (NOTE) I have no connection with the Phoenix school. I am just listing the facts.

There are numerous complaints against Sallie Mae aka: SLM Corporation on all of these sites also. According to a report in CBS News since 2002, the company has paid Congressman and Political Action Committees nearly 3 million dollars including more than $200,000 to House Majority Leader John Boehner and his PAC. The collusion between Sallie Mae and the Federal Government seems to be a win, win situation for both institutions, but not such a good situation for students. Sallie Mae has lobbied consistently and successfully in the government circle. Each time legislation has been brought up to help students the bill is quickly killed by Sallie Mae's powerful lobby.

The collusion between Sallie Mae and the Federal Government has put thousands if not millions of people in debt in this country. It has made Sallie Mae one of the most profitable companies in the world, and has left people committing suicide, losing everything they own, going homicidal, and giving all of them bad credit, and putting them and their families forever in a sea of debt. Something needs to change. I don't know if it's the laws themselves, or the way they are handled. Why the complication?

When I was given my loan. Why didn't they just say? Mr. Liles, here is a loan offer from Sallie Mae. It is 18% interest. We know you can't afford anything over 9% interests, so let's look somewhere else. This never happened.

Working together, AIU and Sallie Mae make a good team conning people and misrepresenting the facts committing fraud and possibly even racketeering against unknowing prospective students.

If anyone can help me with this situation, I am willing to sue the %#@& out of either party. I am already receiving notices on how they are going to start by killing my credit. This is going to destroy me and put hardship on every financial decision I will have to make with my family from providing my kid's with a decent school lunch, involving them in any extra curricular activities or sports, wondering how I can buy a used or new vehicle with a shot credit report and even payments at the pump. Thank You.

PS. To Prospective Students,
Please do not go to AIU, The University of Phoenix, or get a loan thru a Sallie Mae sponsored bank or any other private bank without first reading the complaints at the sights listed above Do not get a private loan period, unless everything is laid out on 1 or 2 pages in understandable English, in terms you understand, and don't count on the advice of a financial aid adviser of a Private For-Profit School like AIU. The term Private For-Profit status of any school should speak for itself and the way they do their business. Thanks,

 

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Brenda

I went to cosemotology school in 2002-03 of December to January. As I work for the government I return in January. I only attended 3 weeks of this cschool. but they are sharging me the entire amount of the student laon i borrowed. Wasn't I suppose to pay just for that 3 weeks as you are given a grace period of 60 days I think to leave if you no onger want to stay at that school? They call me all the time and at present I am not working to pay anything on this loan. I thought all I would owe was for the books and the time period that I stayed in the class, but Direct Loans are sticking to saying I owe them the entire amount. I need an investigation as I am unable to pay for a school that I did not receive a degree or job from.

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James

I borrowed a total of $123,000 for my M.A. and Ph.D. I entered a field in academia that is very low-paying (humanities), so between my mortgage and other credit card debt, I had very little extra money to spare to reduce the principal on this student loan. I was encouraged to consolidate my student loan debt, which I did...at 8.25% interest. I then entered the income contingent repayment plan. The interest on my loan (being negatively amortized) continued to capitalize...and the total balance on the loan now stands at $151,000. The interest that accrues on the loan monthly is over $1,100 dollars. I have been working two full-time jobs for two years to reduce debt, but I cannot battle the interest even with two incomes as a single person...the interest accrual alone amounts to approximately 1/4 of my take-home pay monthly. My loan payments have just increased to $2,000 per month now because I made more money in 2006 from working the two jobs...and despite numerous pleas to Direct Loans and the U.S. Department of Education for some sort of relief, I cannot make any headway whatsoever and have become just about as despondent as a human being can be. I have every intention of repaying the principal of my loan...but I am frustrated and angry and depressed that NO OPTIONS are available to me whatsoever to reduce my interest rate, to file bankruptcy on the accumulated interest...and learning that self-serving Republicans have conspired to manipulate student loan debt for personal gain and profit has depressed me all the more. My entire life has been reduced to work...with no time for friends, family, leisure...and the lack of options available to persons in my situation who overborrowed just to survive during school in their irresponsible twenties is unbearable. Please help...I wish I had money to contribute to your PAC, but I am barely surviving.






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