The following are testimonials submitted
to this site. To tell your story, please go here.
I couldn't believe my eyes...the stories I've
read about Student Loans and SallieMae. First off,
I sympathize with all of you. I used to work in the
collections dept at SallieMae. Let's put it this way,
I got fired from SallieMae because I knew too much and I
was using my knowledge to help those we have accounts for.
I am truly appalled at the way SallieMae handles their loans
and accounts. During my 4 months at SallieMae, it
was pure hell and full of BS. What SallieMae doesn't
tell any of their loan holders is, every time you put your
account either in Forbearance (putting a hold on your payments
for x amount of months) or Deferments, you will not pay
anything for a certain time frame but during those months,
interests is still being tacked on. They never tell
anyone this. They want you to believe your account
is on a temporary freeze with the perception that interest
is doing the same. Nope.
I've already helped one account holder in court. He
was a parent concerned about a bill he had received.
He couldn't figure out why he was still being billed after
paying over $25,000 to pay the account in full. I
was ever the lucky one. His call was directed to me
and when I asked him for proof, he faxed me everything he
had (ie, last billing statrment from SallieMae, cancelled
check Sallie Mae had cashed and bank statement shoiwng SallieMae
had withdrawn the money from his account). While he
faxed them to me, I checked the phone log all SallieMae
employees are supposed to keep regarding every phone call
regarding an account. I found an entry when the parent
called regarding the PIF amount (paid in full) and found
that it matched the amount on the cancelled check.
I couldn't figure out why he's still being billed or why
SallieMae didn't note the account as being paid in full/closed.
The check was cashed by SallieMae 2 months prior to him
calling me. I politely asked if I can put him on hold
while I consulted with my supervisor to find out what needs
to be done. All my supervisor could tell me was to
give this guy the "run around" and end the call.
I was getting pissed at this point. I'm sorry, my
parents raised me with moral beliefs and having to lie to
someone about their hard earned dollars was not one of them.
Knowing I was going for insubordination, I told my supervisor
if she wanted this guy to have the "run around",
she can do it herself. I went back to resume my conversation
with this guy, all I could tell him I wasn't getting anywhere
with my supervisor and that he may want to contact an attorney.
I even told him if he needed, I'd be more than happy to
help him. Before I logged out of his account, I noted
his phone number and put it in my purse for safe keeping.
This whole incident put a red flag in my head. When
I received another call that same day regarding a similar
incident but involved less money. A HUGE red banner
went up in my mind. I knew there was something fishy
going on with SallieMae...it's called FRAUD. It's
definitely highway robbery. Within a week, I was fired
for having too much knowledge. Yep...they were afraid
of me. Don't be afraid of me...better be afraid once
account holders find out what's really going on.
Needless to say, I contacted the parent (whom I had written
the phone number) to let him know my input on the situation.
He indeed had taken my advice and hired an attorney for
a lawsuit against SallieMae. He had asked if I'd be
willing to help him and would fly me in for the hearing.
I had no objections. To make a long story short, SallieMae
ended up having to pay this parent whatever the original
loan was and damages.
SallieMae doesn't care if your account goes into default
or you missed a payment or 2 because they're going to get
their money back regardless. All they want is to make
a profit off you and make your life a living hell.
Some of you have mentioned Pioneer Credit. I feel
so bad for you guys. These people are beyond leeches.
I've had to deal with them every single day while I was
with SallieMae. It's unbelieveable how they deal business.
I'd get a call from Pioneer informing me they have a borrower
on the phone wanting to put a forbearance on their account.
Forbearance is similiar to deferrment but you are only allowed
60 months total of forbearance time but can only be used
in 12 months increments. Whatever they tell you, never
go for the full 12 months...interests will be out the ass
once you do that. Always go for the lessor amount...amount
you think you'll be able to make payments again. They'll
even tell you you don't need to make payments during forbearance
time...heck, don't listen to them. My suggestion to
you, if you opt for forbearance, try to make some sort of
payment every month (any amount you can afford) and that
will be used towards your PIF amount. The PIF amount
is what you actually owe on your student loan. If
you don't know, call and tell them you want the 10-day PIF
amount. That will tell you what you'll owe if you
pay your loan off within a 10 day window. Once that
expires, call them back after 10 days and you'll have an
idea of how much interest is being tacked on every day.
If you're able to, take out a loan with your bank or other
financial institution to pay off your SallieMae loans.
This way, you'll be able to negotiate a monthly payment
amount with the bank. Sure, you'll have to deal with
higher interest than what SallieMae is offering but you
won't have to deal with SallieMae's BS or highway robbery
with daily interests. They'll (SallieMae) will tell
you its in the fine print on the loan application but realistically
it's not listed. My brother did just that and used
his bank loan to pay off his SallieMae loans. Guess
what? He's paying half the amount every month and
the pay off date is a lot shorter than what SallieMae was
offering him. If you consolidate your loans with SallieMae,
they will double the amount you owe. They need to
make their money somehow.
Don't deal with collection agencies (Pioneer for instance)
because they all charge you a fee for having to go through
them. Tell them you're not going to deal with them
and go to the SallieMae site for the phone number.
Deal with the ones that have your loans. You'd be
surprised with all the shit they do with SallieMae.
All they see is $$$$. They could care less about you
or your credit. They want your money and don't care
how they go about it to get it.
One more fact...just because you take out a student loan
(either private, HEAL or Stafford) they will all get bought
out by SallieMae. Your best bet is to get it else
where...banks, credit unions, pell grants. Majority
of the banks will not sell their loans to SallieMae.
My student loans have ballooned from $43000
from my original consolidation (actual loans were $36k but
had early trouble paying) to $80000 presently owed to Sallie
I have 2 major complaints about this whole situation.
The first is that capitalization of interest was never adequately
explained. I now pay interest on my interest and not
just the principal.
A bigger problem for me is the fixed interest rate of 9%.
When I consolidated my loans in 1996 the rate was fixed.
I've tried many times to discuss a rate reduction with Sallie
Mae and they say no way, there's nothing they can do and
quite frankly I think they just don't care. They'll
let me defer & defer again (and then capitalize the
interest) but they won't lower my rate. The max rate
of consolidation is now 8.25% but they won't lower my rate.
My only solution has been to back to school to get my masters
degree and use the excess of the Direct Loans I receive
to pay down on my 9% loan. My only saving grace is
that I've never put my husband on any of my student loans.
If I have trouble, default and go to collections, at least
he can stay straight.
That's the nut's & bolts of my nightmare. At least
I know now that I'm not alone.
When I took my loan there was a 5 year wait
before you could file BR. Then they changed it to
a 7 yr wait. Then they changed it to an absolute you
can not file BR unless you're dead, and even then they may
not allow it. So I have just given up. I live
in poverty and no longer care. I have gone through
all of the emotional depressions from this situation that
I am sure many of you have experienced. But have concluded
that we can not concern ourselves with parameters of life
over which we have zero control. The constitution
guarantees that we should have the right to file BR, but
the credits companies have a lobby to get the laws in their
favor even though they are technically illegal. If
someone had the funds to challenge this illegality they
could probably win, but no one that is in this situation
can afford to challenge the law. If they could afford
to do so then they would have the money to pay for their
loans. The only solution is to get enou!
gh people together to back a law suit by one or more
of these people to challenge the legality of the BR laws
all the way to the Supreme Court. The whole BR law
is illegal and based on a falshood that has been allowed
for years. The consitution guarantees the right to
wipe out your debts from time to time, but the BR law limits
that right in favor of the creditors. The right challenger
with assests to back up the challenge all the way will unravel
the whole system in favor of the citizens. In the
end it boils down to people not valuing their constitutional
right to vote. We have not had a representative government
since the 1960's and people have allowed looby groups
that do not represent the citizens to take their place.
Now the representative represent only the lobby groups.
The correct way is to disallow all lobby groups. The
only people who should be allowed to lobby the representative
are the people who can vote for them. No corporations!
If you can not vote then you can not lobby. Then the
lobby groups would have to lobby the citizens to get
them to lobby their represenatatives (if they agree with
the issue). But the representatives will thenm have
to become responsive to the citizens. And government
will be returned to "of, by and for the people".
The more civil liberties that we give up over time the less
likely that the government will ever return to a representative
government. Corporate representation is what has allowed
decisions that result in the mess we now have all over the
world. When you have a fear to speak up about your
views in the land that guarantees you that right you know
that you have a problem. Speak loud now or you may
loose that right forever. Have you heard any objective
news lately, or is it the same thing on every channel.
Where is the independence, why do they all say the exact
same thing. Why is there no challenge to questionable
acts, until they have built up enough steam to act like
they are taking a risk. Why is telling the truth a
risk in the land of the!
free and the home of the brave???
I graduated in 2003 with a Masters degree.
I work with people who are visually impaired as an independent
contractor with various school systems and agencies. I owe
over $100,000 in loans due to accruing interest. My job
only pays between $24,000-$30,000 annually. I have medical
bills from a surgical procedure that stings financially.
Sallie Mae wants to charge me $50.00 to put my loan in forebearence.
I also have loans from other private lenders as well as
Direct loans. It really hurts because I am having trouble
paying these and they keep calling and calling. I'm about
to the point where I don't care anymore about my credit
report. With my job I get paid under the table so they can't
garnish any wages. I DO declare my wages at the end of the
year so I'm paying my taxes. If I knew how hard it would
be to repay my loans I never would have gone to college.
I I have just read some of the stories that
came before the one I'm about to tell, and I must say that,
after reading some of those, Sallie Mae makes me sick!!!
I went to a technical training center that I saw advertised
in the phone book in an attempt to better myself.
When they told me that they were able to finance my training/education
through Sallie Mae, it sounded like a good idea, so I went
through with it. The total amount that I borrowed
was somewhere in the neighborhood of about $12,000.
Well, I found out (years later, because nobody at Sallie
Mae told me this up front) that, because the school was
not a college or university, that my student loan was an
unsubsidized student loan.
Long story short, the certifications that I earned proved
to be useless, and I now have a debt to pay back.
I have been paying approximately $175/mo payments on this
loan for about 4 or 5 years, and I believe that my balance
is still in the neighborhood of $11,000. You do the
I see the commercials, I get the letters in the mail, I
see the ads from all of the student loan companies offering
to refinance my loan because "Interest rates on student
loans are at an all-time low." Many of these
letters, etc. that I have received regarding this have been
from none other than Sallie Mae. I would like to do
this because, let's face it: life happens. I
have been forced to take a pay cut twice in the past year,
and, as I stated before, my certifications are enough to
get me a job that pays about $10/hour, which just isn't
enough. Meanwhile, I have been through several bouts
with Sallie Mae in an effort to reduce my payments or refinance
my loan, but, because it is an unsubsidized loan, they keep
telling me that I'm stuck with what I got and they don't
care if I like it or not. So, my options are to either
default on my loan, or keep my fingers crossed that I make
enough money from month to month to both pay Sallie Mae
AND eat at the same time.
Here is the kicker: There have been a few occurrences
where I was not able to make a payment to Sallie Mae for
a few months at a time. When this happens, they start
hounding me, as we all know. However, when they are
hounding both me and my mother (who co-signed on the loan
with me), not only do they call non-stop, but they are not
even polite, much less professional. They make threats,
use foul language, and call us by our first names while
insisting that we address them as Mr. or Mrs. So-And-So.
In every job that I have ever had, regardless of whether
or not it was a pleasant situation, I have always addressed
my customers as Mr. or Mrs. and insisted that they address
me with my first name as a show of respect. I believe that
the last phone call I received from a Sallie Mae representative
she told us, "If you don't return my call and pay us
our damn money, I'm going to do something VERY UNPLEASANT
TO WHOEVER READS THIS, THIS IS A BODILY THREAT AND THIS
IS WRONG!!! If I wasn't scared before this phone call,
I certainly was afterwards. I believe that I read
on this website somewhere that Sallie Mae has power that
would make a mobster envious. If this phone call isn't
living proof of this, I don't know what is. I have
read stories of people taking their own lives, filing multiple
bankruptcies, losing their homes and their families, among
other horrifying situations. I'm only 28 years old
and still have my whole life ahead of me. I do not
want my life to be ruined because somebody has a legal loophole
and will be able to hound me for the rest of my days for
money that I owe, PLUS MONEY THAT I DON'T OWE!!! If
there is anybody reading this who is in the position to
do something about this, PLEASE DO SOMETHING! THESE
PEOPLE MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO ABUSE THEIR POWER AT THE EXPENSE
OF OTHER PEOPLE!!!!!
I took out a couple of student loans when
I was in college several years ago. I was in desperate need,
so I being a young man thought it would be okay and that
I would be able to repay them fairly easily.
Directly after college, I was arrested for a crime whose
charges were subsequently dismissed. I spent six months
in jail, largely due to the fact that I was poor and couldn't
afford bail. During the time I was in jail, I couldn't communicate
with the student loan people. It was difficult to even communicate
with my family. What most Americans don't know about our
legal system is that pretty much all communication done
by the incarcerated is by collect call. This allows the
phone comapanies to charge the highest possible toll on
these calls. Toll free numbers and calling cards are blocked
by these services.
What we don't seem to take into account is that SOME incarcerated
people are innocent.
By the time I was released, the loans were due in full.
There was no arguing with the student loan people. I had
gone into default. I had survived wrongful incarceration
and displacement from any semblance of a home, but that
meant nothing. I owed them.
A couple years later I was arrested again. The first charge
(even though it was dismissed) made this second charge seem
believable. This time, being older, I wasn't going to allow
a dismissal. I fought the charge all the way through to
trial and used every peice of forensic technology available.
That and the fact that the prosecution got caught in a blatant
lie brought back a "not guilty" verdict.
It had only cost me three more years of my life.
I was now financially destitute and rebuilding a shattered
life at 34 years old. My student loans had gone from 13,000
dollars to 34,000. They were due as soon as I was found.
I've been trying to figure anything to do to remedy this.
Years have passed and I now owe over 40,000.
If a corporation makes a bad investment, we allow them bankruptcy
in the millions. The same goes for the upper middle class
over extending credit cards. Yet, for the poor who owe on
the usuary costs of a student loan, there is no alternative,
but to pay- and pay in full.
I have been informed over and over by the student loan people
that bankruptcy is not an option even though I average less
than 15,000 dollars a year before taxes. I owe them. End
I often wonder why there is no legislation in place to protect
the financially destitute and allow some form of bankruptcy
or loan reduction for us. My tale is not the average story.
But I wonder how unusual it really is.
I owe Sallie Mae over $3000.00. I have been
unable to pay them so far. They have resorted to calling
my father who lives 700 miles away from me and has no financial
obligation to Sallie Mae. They call him every day and me
4-6 times a day. I found out that Sallie Mae is in violation
of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But I don't know
what to do about it.
I don't have a major horror story to share
thanks to the school financial aid counselors at the Claremont
Graduate School who did a good job of explaining exactly
what I was getting into if I applied for more Stafford loans
to finance graduate school. They did this because before
the changes in the law that now allow the student borrower
to be pursued for their pound of flesh, the schools themselves
were the ones on the hook.
Schools became ineligible for any Federal Funding if the
default rate of students who had borrowed through them exceeded
a certain narrow margin. I'm not sure how carefully they
explain things now, but in 1991 I had to attend a financial
aid sponsored workshop on debt management and the details
of the Student Loan program before they would complete their
portion of the Student Loan Application.
The horror in my story relates to Consolidation.
I currently have about $61,000 in Student Loan debt. It
began as $67,000, was down to almost $59,000, but I'm currently
in a 4-month forbearance period (my first since consolidating
my loans after Grad School) where I have not been paying
When I originally consolidated my loans which
had been borrowed from the Stafford Loan Program through
Merchants National Bank, the loan servicer was Educational
Financil Services, ultimately they ended up at Sallie Mae.
I was having no difficulties, but I was getting about 4
pieces of mail per day telling me the time to consolidate
to save money under the new provisions passed by congress
that would soon sunset was now. Four years ago or so when
this first circulated I was told I was ineligible for the
program, but here I was getting about 4 pieces of mail a
week trying to convince me to refinance/consolidate and
So after maybe 8 months of this, I caved and
called, figuring they'd tell me that because I had Stafford
loans the program didn't really apply to me. (The interest
rate part doesn't. All my Staffords were fixed rate. All
but one at 7%.) But I was told I was eligible, and if I
made the move and maintained my payments I'd save almost
$14,000. I could also refinance for the full 30-years which
would lower the required monthly payment. I'd been paying
$470 which was about $14 more than the required payment,
and was feeling a bit of a financial crunch thanks to gas
and rising consumer rates, and minimum payment requirements,
so I did the idiotic thing and refinanced.
The first month was fine. I got the paperwork,
I got the loan payment set up to auto pay, like I had before
with Sallie Mae, and then they pulled the rug out from under
me. They sold my loan to a new outfit, meanwhile I'm still
getting all these soliticiations from loan companies that
want my student loan consolidation busines all of which
reference a loan amount, so when I got the notices for the
new outfit I got them lumped in with the sales promos, and
didn't really pay any attention to them. Meanwhile the autopay
activated for the second month.
I was moving which meant putting deposits
down, etc. A few days later unbeknownest to me, money from
the autopay was wired back into my checking account. It
was a serendipitous/calamitous arrival. When I checked my
checking account balance I was pleased with the balance
because surprisingly I had enough cash to pay all the deposits
and line up moving into the apartment I'd checked out that
weekend. So I signed a conditional lease -- contingent on
payment of the deposit and transfer of utilities, wrote
the check and arranged for electric, cable, and phone when
I should have been asking why I had a surplus in checking.
A week later a loan payment book from the
new owner of my consolidated student loan arrived, and I
learned my mistake. Now I was up a creek with no paddle.
The funds for the loan payment were spent, and there was
no way to unspend them.
--Hence the forbearence, and forfeiture of
the .25% interest credit that I would have earned from the
new loan servicer in 36 months if I had a perfect payment
history with them. Maybe the forbearence might have needed
to happen anyway. My financial circumstances have shifted
somewhat, so I'm in the process of filing for Chapter 13
bankruptcy, but I didn't intend to get the student loans
out of alignment. It just ened up being an undesired fait
>From my perspective, the whole consolidation
thing is mostly just a way for profit corporations in the
Student Loan business to make fees they can claim as earnings
now,(and help boost earnings which boost the share price)
over interest revenue that is accounted for differently
in contribution margin thanks to risks and servicing obligations
related to the loan balance. (At least I think that's why
the bank I work at is so keen to grow off-balance sheet
income at a faster rate than incremental revenue. No future
expense or risk is linked to earned fee income which is
not the case with either deposit or loan accounts.)
My guess is over time I will pay about $5,000
for this screw-up. (If my income moves up it could be less,
because if I prepay more of the principal, it won't be so
My Daughter-in-law needed a co-signer for
her school loans. I did so. I have received letters from
the company that my daughter-in-law has not received, as
she states. They told me on Oct 30, 2006 that if I didn't
put a payment of $590 on my credit card right then that
it would be sent to collection. I did so. I than called
and talked to my daughter-in-law finding out that she had
sent a payment of $400. She also said that she had tried
to refinance with another company and could not because
she had been sent to collection the previous month. Now!
if it has been sent to collection, why are they still collecting?
Also, my statement never shows what is owed and what has
been paid from the beginnging. Nothing adds up on the statement
they send. They must be doing something illigal! The last
time I called them, they again wanted a credit card payment.
When I ask for a print out of everything she refused and
wanted me to take her work. I told her I was reporting them
to the Texas Attorney General to be investigated for fraude.
She hung up on me. Another thing they do, I get emails on
opportunities for schooling as well as mail from schools.
I am not the student and they have obviously sold my address
to schools. As I stated my daughter-in-law in Texas is the
student. They need to be shut down and investigated. Why
won't they give an accounting of the account. Even my doctor
and my dentist do that?
I was 17 years old when I went to college.
No one on either side of my family had ever graduated from
college. I was brought up in a conservative, sheltered religious
home and community. I did not fully understand the relationship
between a good education and a good job. My family always
struggled financially and my only way out was college. The
only way I could go was to borrow. There was no money from
outside sources. So, I did. 4 1/2 yrs later I owed around
19,000. I was 22 yrs old with a degree from an unaccredited
college with no idea of what that fully meant. I spent the
next few years alternately being unemployed, under employed,
and deferring or forebearing my loans. I defaulted a few
years ago due to the choice between having food and a house
to live in and paying Sallie Mae. A company (I think it
was Pioneer) contacted me about getting into a recovery
(?) type program. I agreed. For a year, $200+ a month payments
were deducted from my bank account until the process was
over. Once I was back on good terms w/Sallie Mae, I got
info about my new payments.
I am now 37 years old and the amount of my loan has doubled
to over 40,000. I pay almost $400 a month to Sallie Mae
and the loan amount continues to INCREASE monthly. I have
worked as a parochial school teacher both pre-k & secondary,
as a public school substitute teacher, a public school special
education assistant, and public youth librarian. To get
a master's in my field would not only cost more money, but
I would probably have to take 2 to 3 years of prior education
since the college I attended wasn't fully certified. I was
fortunate to find this job that does not require an advanced
degree. Many libraries do. I would like to live closer to
other family, but the jobs there require an MLS. I have
worked with special needs and at risk kids since I graduated
yet the loan company & government could care less. I
was 17 years old when I took out these loans and I didn't
know any better. These loans are a burden and there is no
relief in sight. Having these loans paid off would!
be the most wonderful thing I could ever imagine. There
is no relief and no way out.
I signed two promissary notes for about $8,000.
Graduated in 1982. In 1986 I filed bankruptacy because of
lost employment and relocation expenses upon finding a new
job. I did not receive one notice or denial to the bankruptacy.
I filed myself. The next occasion I received notice was
about 1991. The notice basically was an offer to reduce
my loan before in went into default status. What? Since
then I have responded to their notices with " I do
not owe this or any amount", questioned them about
where in my promissary notes I waived bankruptcy or any
notice to me that I understood that bankruptacy was not
going to be allowed. No response to any of my questions.
Instead,I have been continually treated as a guilty person
having to prove I was innocent. I finally stopped responding
to their collection attacks. Just last week I had my wages
garnished. They have previously threatened they would but
I could not and still don't know how else I can defend myself.
My wife has medical needs and now this wage garnishment
really is a nasty suprise. The amount they say I owe is
in excess of 28,000. At 15% wage garnishment It will take
6.66 years minimum. I am 62 years old. Does anyone relate
to involuntary servitude? How about due process? On what
authority do these people act? How about the definition
of terrorist (go look it up in Websters).Tyranny anyone?
Bankruptacy has always existed in civilized societies. Are
we no longer a civilized society? What does the Bible or
other religious concepts say about helping the poor or helping
when someone has a reversal in life. Sorry, I digress, these
people are not interested in those ideas. Maybe it is because
money is monster food!