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The following are
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years ago I went to a college that I
saw advertised on TV. At the time my
husband had recently passed away and
I was taking care of my three children.
One of the things about the college
was that they had day care on campus
. My youngest was 6 months old and they
said that she would be able to be in
the day care. I started attending classes
then they said that my daughter was
too young for the day care on campus.
I only went for about two months when
they told me this I decided to withdraw
from the school. I withdrew then moved
away I did not hear from them for about
12 years when I received a letter telling
me that I owe 25,000.000 dollars!! I
couldnt believe it as the original loan
was only about 4000.00 well to make
a long story short they started taking
my Federal Income Tax Refund. The situation
at the present time is that I am recently
unemployed and my son has been in the
hospital and is disabled I have huge
medical bills and I am seriously in
debt and am about ready to lose my house
and I dont even have any money for food.
I wish that I could have gotten my refund
this year for 2604.00 then I could have
gotten out of this financial nightmare.
The only way I will ever get out of
this debt is when I die.
a very emotional subject to me and my
wife. We deeply regret the day we signed
those student loans documents. We considered
the day we signed way our sanity, freedom
and economical future.
The professional schools (in our case
Optometry School) didn't considered
the economical future of the profession,
nor the fact that the optometric profession
is steadily been transformed from what
used to be a very profitable independent
profession, into a controlled-by-corporations
employment with fixed earning potential.
Corporations like Wal-Mart, Luxottica
(LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Sears
Optical), COSTCO, and many others are
depriving us with the earning potential
necessary to pay the enormous quantities
of student debs incurred by the earning
of a degree that now is just another
"Wal-Mart associate". The
most used recruitment gimmick used by
these corporations is the fact that
by getting employment with them you
can pay your students loans faster because
you will not be "burden" by
a private office overhead. The truth
is that business lenders are very hesitant
now in lending you money for a private
office first because of your enormous
amount student loan debs !
(and in the case of poor student
like my wife and I with no collaterals)
and second because of the unfair competition
by these corporations. This create a
vicious circle where you have to stay
working as an employee, earning a fix
salary for years with no potential growth,
with the added disadvantage that you
are considered a "professional
employee" thus not legally entitled
to any Labor Department protection (exempt,
or non minimum wage), thus potentially
vulnerable to dismissal at anytime without
any valid reasons. Many optometrists
work at these corporations with the
constant fear of dismissal (the famous
"30 day's cancellation of employment
or lease" optometrist's contract
clause). This creates finally a control
over the practice of your profession
by lay non-professional personnel that
damage you integrity and professionalism.
How my wife and I have been harm by
these student loans?
1- My wife abandoned the profession
4 years ago and returned to teaching
because the only job she could find
was as an employee doctor, with no benefits,
no vacations, and no incentives. 6 years
of "slavery", pushing eyeglasses
and contact lenses prescriptions regardless
of the health of the patients for the
profits of these corporations, the burden
of about $200,000.00 in student loans
(mostly unpaid accumulated interests
because we were never earning enough
money to pay the regular bills and feed
our kids). Two years ago she suffered
a debilitating nervous breakdown that
ended with her hospitalization in a
mental institution twice. Now she is
under medications, with a state 10%
disability, but working as a teacher
still. She is now almost in default
on her $200,000.00 Direct Loan consolidated
loan with no hopes in sight to ever
pay this back.
2- I have also a $200,000.00 Direct
Loan consolidated loan, also mostly
unpaid accumulated interests, plus a
"pseudo-student loan" serviced
by the American Education Services that
couldn't be consolidated. Last week
I had to make a payment of $670.00 in
late payments after they called to my
employer with threads. This payment
left me with just $40.00 in my pocket
for two weeks until my next paycheck.
I work as an employed optometrist with
a fix income for the last 10 years,
as the payment for "professional
services" is dictated by what these
corporations are paying. They haven't
increased the basic payments for optometric
professional services in that many years.
I haven't taken a vacation in 10 years.
The majority of my colleagues are working
all 7 days of the weeks and still are
incapable of living plus paying their
loans. We all live by deferments, forbearances,
economical hardship temporary forbearances
to survive, but at the sometimes we
see the exponentially increase o!
f our loans by accumulated interest.
3- We live with the constant fear of
the federal government indicting us
for defaulting these loans. The fear
of law obeying citizens having to be
call to federal court as a common criminal
for the only "crime" of been
poor, wishing to study a profession,
been "seduced" to borrow thousand
of dollars with the false/misrepresented
argument that by graduating your earning
potential will be enough to pay these
loans. We have a government that allows
non-professional corporations to practice
our profession by employing optometrist
under a fix income, and then the same
government has the potential to indicted
me federally for not "producing"
above this fix salary to pay the money
borrowed. My wife and I, as well as
hundred of colleagues feels betrayed,
cheated and deceived by a system that
encourage you to become a student loan
borrower, but will then tern a blind
eye to the economy, professional status,
bankruptcy laws that excluded us, and
the control of corporations over our
4- My wife and I can find a way to encourage
our kids to study a profession. How
could we? They are the one watching
us killing ourselves physically and
mentally to survive economically after
the sacrifice of studying 10 years and
eventually ended with a student loans
debt that we Machiavellicaly joke that
"only death will do us apart".
Why we must be treated by federal criminals?
Why the harsh punishment of having to
endure the humiliating experience of
your name published "by-law"
in a list produced by the Department
of Heath and Human Services like a common
thief if defaulting a HEAL loan?, Why
we are a discriminated class and forbidden
to list these loans on bankruptcy applications,
a right open to even the lowest and
most despicable individuals and corporations?
Why MY government constatly clear defaulted
foreign loans, but punish their own
tax paying citizens?
This is a situation that, based in our
economical forecast, will become worse,
as more and more health care professions,
that used to be independent, now are
confronted with the fact of every day
lower medical insurances compensations,
HMO's and corporations control over
salaries, fees and earning potentials,
the government blind eye and the increased
number of new graduates lured by the
false by-the- schools hope of a golden
pond after completing their degrees.
We are very aware of our responsibilities
as borrowers, and we had made every
effort to pay our incurred student loans
debs. But we were never had the opportunity
to did it. Now we are "cursed",
considered "untouchable" by
commercial lenders, our credit is ruined,
our profession succumbed and, above
all, we will someday be considered federal
student loans defaulted criminals (this
is a realistic assumption base in our
long-term forecast of our professional
We hate with passion the cursed day
we decided to study a profession and
applied for student loans. It was the
day we ruined our lives and future.
My wife paid it with her mental health,
my children are paying it by seeing
their parents not been able to provide
nor to have a common quality of life,
and I am trying desperately not to become
another "statistics" federal
criminal with the only crime of wanting
to study and not having blessed with
the "Midas touch".
debt has been hanging over my head ever
since I went to college in 1997.
I was borrowing a regular amount which
would have totaled about 30,000 dollars
when I graduated from school. I felt
that borrowing money, in a sense, was
actually a good thing. It would give
it value, and encourage me to be dilligent
in my studies and to get as much out
of the situation as possible.
My junior year, right before studying
abroad my mother had brain surgery.
Perhaps it's just an excuse, but I fell
into a depression. My mother was eventually
diagnosed with alzheimers disease, and
has just recently been put into a full
time care facility all at the age of
55. I grew ever anxious about how I
was going to pay my loans back, and
even how I was going to finish school.
I went back to campus, and could barely
get out of bed some days.
I had to send home some extra things
from my study abroad trip, and I had
to put those things on my credit card.
Only about $100.Having nowhere to go,
when payment came due, not to mention
my total state of parlysis, I didn't
make the payment. Which was the beginnig
of my bad credit.
My family didn't have any more money
to suppliment the small amount they
were even then, so I had to borrow it
all to finish school. With my damaged
credit from a single late payment on
a $100 dollar credit card bill, there
were no more loans avaliable to me at
a reasonable rate. I had to borrow loans
(Wells Fargo) at 10 and 15%! I was in
Boston right after 9-11, and there wasn't
a job to be found.
I was running out of time in my grace
period after graduation, and I needed
a job. Being a Japanese studies
major, I came back to Japan. With a
pile of a number of seemingly uncountable
debts to pay off, I was totally shell
shocked. My family actually needed somebody
to by my father's house in order to
afford putting my mother in a care facility,
so my family was the last place I could
turn to. At one point my father took
a life insurance policy out on me in
order to protect himself from being
responsible for paying my loans if something
should happen to me.
Although, I made an ok salary in Japan,
the money I lost in conversion, and
the incredible number of debtors I had
took out huge portions of my salary.
I couldn't afford to do anything. I
got a new job that paid better in a
different part of the country, but I
had to pay $600 up front for the furnishings
in the apartment as well as for a car.
I could not afford to pay the car insurance
either as I was sending home all of
my money to a million different debtors.
At one point I was involved in a car
accident (luckily not my fault, and
they had to pay for the damage), but
I was a public employee, had no insurance.
My office got incredibly angry at me,
telling me I was making more money than
most people in their office. All of
this because I was a slave to my debt,
and had to send all of my money home.
I went through a very tense year then.
I needed to make more money to pay off
my debts. I moved to tokyo with no job
prospects, but was extremely lucky to
find a job that was in my field and
paid fairly well. consolidating my loans
with ACS made payment more clear, and
Which would sound like a happy ending
to the story,but I still want to go
to graduate school. Even though I sent
home tens of thousands of dollars during
those first few years, almost all of
that money went to interest on the loans.
As I said in the intro, I have no problem
with being expected to pay the money
I borrowed, but all of that just went
to interest payments. I still have close
to $50,000 in debt. I am in a huge rush,
so I make monthly payments of over $1500
in hopes that in a few years I will
be debt free, just to borrow maybe $150,000
to go to graduate school. With my credit
situation, however, I'll probably only
be able to get high interest loans for
that, and will probably have to save
the cash upfront if I ever want to consider
graduate education in the US. That means
graduate school is possibly 8 years
away, 3 at least. Because of education
Something is wrong with the American
education system. I realize that if
the government paid for all levels of
education, like in Sweden and in part
the UK, that people from all over the
world might come to the US and feed
off the system without paying taxes
to support the system, but it is just
as rediculous to put a penalty on education
like this. My life is only somewhat
settled downn now after incredible stress
almost exclusively from education loans.
Many people I know have parents who
were independantly wealthy who paid
for their children's education. There
is no reason for the American education
system to be this way. Through some
form of personal, private, and government
funding, people should not be going
into the work force with a major handicap.
I am living and teaching in the Marshall
Islands. My last state of residence
was in Kansas, where I was teaching
full time at a college.
I left my husband during the last 3
months of my senior year in college
and took out my first student loan for
$1500 so that I could afford rent, food,
gas, and the basics for myself and my
son. Though my ex-husband had
been ordered to pay child support, he
I had the opportunity to attend graduate
school. It had always been my
goal, and I hated to give it all up
due to a divorce and an inability to
obtain child support assistance from
my ex-husband. So, for graduate
school I took out loans to cover out-of-state
tuition costs, books, research supplies,
and childcare. But, I also worked
3 jobs in order to take care of my son
and afford to attend school. I
thought that a few hard years would
pay off, when after school I might obtain
a decent position.
I borrowed somewhere around $30,000
in student loans. By the time
I actually obtained a full time position
in my field, I teach biology at the
community college level, the interest
on my loans had grown, and my payback
amount was up to $70,000. My monthly
payments in order to pay off anything
on the interest would have been over
$500 at that time. Continuing
as a single parent, and based on my
limited income, that was an impossibility.
So, I made income contingient payback
amounts of about $200 per month.
In order to off-set that amount, I also
worked a second job. However,
the interest amount and total payback
amounts continued to clime to insane
levels. When it reached over $100,000
on a $30,000 loan, that is when I finally
decided this was ridiculous and quit
I have no problem in paying back the
amount that I originally borrowed, but
on this track, I will pay loans the
rest of my life, and show absolutely
no dent in the principal amount.
Many civilized countries offer free
education to their peoples. And,
I do agree that people should try to
pay back what they borrowed if they
can afford it. However, the federal
government should allow people to pay
back exactly what they borrowed and
not 2, and 3, and 4 times the original
People who become educated can ultimately
earn more money, make purchases, and
pay taxes. The government and
the nation should grow by those means.
for my son to grow up and move out before
going back. If I had know this
would happen to me, I would have remained
an uneducated slob.
And, I am certain that most people are
just like me, they would like to pay
back what they owe, but feel powerless
and hopeless that it would ever happen.
I have toyed with the idea of giving
up my U.S. citizenship to simply start
a life permanently elsewhere.
Wouldn't the government like to work
out payment withdraws from individuals,
in affordable amounts, for the amounts
they borrowed; rather than to have thousands
like me who just give up in extreme
I can't believe that I worked so hard
in college, following the american dream,
only to feel that I will spend the rest
of my life as a deadbeat! It is
almost a crippling depression.
I spent all of my son's younger years
working 2-3 jobs to pay bills and provide
a decent life. I simply can not
work 2 and 3 jobs for the rest of my
life. And, I would like some time
with my son before he leaves home for
good. My solution, was to move
out of the country to work. However,
this is can not be a permanent solution
and it does not make my ever-growing
Thank you for providing a forum, and
I only take comfort in the horror that
thousands out their suffer my fate as
I am writing
on my husbands behalf- my husband took
out a student loan through Sallie Mae
back in 1993 while he was attending
a technical college (which to this date
we are STILL repaying). He actually
had two loans- the original amounts
were $1900.00 for one of them and $1313.00
for the second.
Around 1996-7 he was sent to Germany
with the army reserve unit he was in.
His first wife was suppose to be taking
care of all the bills- which she didn't,
when he came home he basically found
that his wife had cleaned him out. He
contacted Sallie Mae and explained what
happened but got no sympathy or willingness
to work with him.
In early 2000 we bought a house- and
part of the mortgage loan was to pay
off some outstanding bills we had- one
of them being Sallie Mae. We were required
to call and get payoff statements from
everyone. Once we got the statements
we had to turn them into the mortgage
loan agency, and we were then issued
checks to pay everyone off. So- we thought
we paid Sallie Mae off (I very vividly
recall the day that I talked to someone
at the Sallie Mae office- I asked her
to send a payoff statement and asked
what the TOTAL amount owed was, she
told me that Mr. Taylor owed a total
of $531.00 to pay off his account.)
They never sent a statement showing
that his account was paid off and that
he now had a 0 balance, even after several
Well a year later we get a letter from
Pioneer saying that he still owed over
We found and sent them a copy of the
statement they sent to us as well as
a copy of the check we sent to them
(which they claimed they never received-
until I showed them their stamp on the
back of it!!)
They said 'too bad you still owe the
money'. They claimed that my husband
had two accounts and they dont know
how we got a statement from them only
saying he owed $531.00. They also said
that because this was a federal loan
it was never going away- it is only
going to grow and grow and grow.
Well- as of last month we still owe$512.44
on one account and $826.76 on the other.
We fought them for several years but
we got no where. So we're stuck paying
a loan that was already paid off in
(At one point- my husband was laid off
from work we fell very far behind in
our bills- to the point of seeking bankruptcy-
but wouldn't you know it- we couldn't
claim bankruptcy because our debt was
OH- and to top it off- my husband was
called to active duty again a couple
of months ago and is covered under the
soldiers and sailors act. I sent Sallie
Mae a copy of his orders and a copy
of the act which is suppose to bring
our interest rate down to 6% for the
duration of his time in active duty
during war time. I received a letter
from them saying "...We cannot
grant your request because the provision
that you referenced does not apply to
the Federal Family Education Loan Program
thta is insured under Part B of Title
IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965,
as amended (20 U.S.C. Section 1701 et
seq)" It goes on for a full page
explaining why they cant grant this.
I would love for this company to pull
I was in
college in 1991 receiving Stafford and
SLMA Loans. Suddenly, in my 4th
semester, I get a sudden default notice
on one of my student loans. I
hadn't so much as gotten a bill that
payment was due. How could I? I was
in school!! I called immediately knowing
I had sent in all of my paperwork. It
simply had to be an error. The
same company had just given me money
a month earlier in the semester (as
far as I knew). After two months
and hundreds of phone calls, I couldn't
get to the bottom of it. One company
had sold their loans to another company
and they could no longer be contacted
as they were no longer in business.
At the time, I had no other choice than
to take time off from school and pay
off the loan (which was around 1500
dollars for one semester). I paid
the loan and tried to enroll in school
again. I had problems getting
financial aid in time for that semester
because I had previously "defaulted"
on one of my student loans. I
explained the situation, told them the
loan was paid in full but nothing got
processed in time. So, when my
boyfriend got a job in Sweden, I joined
him there with plans to finish my degree
abroad and basically said to hell with
the entire situation. I offered
them payments of 150 dollars a month
in order to keep my credit record clean.
I could have filed a deferrment while
studying abroad but I didn't. They wouldn't
accept the money and it became too late
in the game to defer payments.
Who says NO to money?
My mom forwarded letters to me a few
years later and I contacted them once
again to negotiate payment. They
would only accept checks for payment.
Checks were phased out here in the mid
90's. Bank checks cost 35 dollars
apiece here. They wouldn't accept
Visa transfers ( as any bank in the
world would) so I offered to send them
quarterly payments in order to cut down
on the cost. They refused. I could
pay about 350 dollars a month at the
time. They wouldn't accept less
than 500. So, I thanked them for
their time and went on with my life.
They can't really come after you when
you live outside the country.
At the time, my debt had only accrued
about 1500 dollars in interest.
I initially owed 8000.
Fast forward to last month. I got another
letter in the mail and contacted them
once again. This time they were
willing to talk to me and I agreed to
pay 250 dollars a month. Only
to find out my debt is now 29,580 dollars!
We talked about loan rehabilitation
which sounds interesting to me.
In the initial conversation, he told
me if I paid in full, he would reduce
my loan to 19,200 dollars. I wouldn't
do it at the time thinking that if I
made payments for 12 months, they might
negotiate a lower balance in the end.
Who knows what will happen? I
was supposed to receive a contract that
after 9 months of payment, my loans
would be eligible for rehabilitation.
That has never shown up in the mail.
I do know that the deal is with Sallie
Mae so thank the gods I found this website
before I signed it. I will return
it, if it ever shows up with some witty
banter but it won't have my signature
Had they accepted 150 dollars a month
from me 10 years ago, they would now
be sitting with 18,000 dollars of my
money which is a pretty good profit
for loaning me 8,000. Right now,
they have 0 and they can't do anything
as long as I live outside the US.
I have tried to point that out to them
on numerous occasions but it just doesn't
sink in. They can't use the same
threatening tactics because they can't
garnish my wages and they can't take
my house. And they wouldn't take
the money I was willing to pay them
either!! It's insane!
I've read every story on this website
and some of them made me cry.
In many cases, your basic human rights
have been violated not to mention your
civil rights. Wanting to take
your own life and not doing it because
the hell would be passed on to your
children is nothing less than heroic.
There has got to be a way to file a
class action lawsuit and get legislation
changed. This just can't go on.
As a former
Sallie Mae employee, who was forced
out due to a downsizing (250 tenured
employees were eliminated at the corporate
level - including me) in 1997 (by Al
Lord when he took over the CEO position
(from Larry Hough - 60 minutes should
interview him) via a stockholder overtaking,
I can tell you that Al was only interested
in his own prosperity and that of his
"cronies". Every other
Sallie Mae employee (beneath corporate
officers) were very underpaid.
They actually did me a favor.
Once I got laid off, I realized what
people were "really making"
in the real world.
Sallie Mae lost a good employee due
to their own doing, but I gained alot
more salary by going elsewhere.
And student loan borrowers...you're
right. You're being taken, and
Sallie Mae uses unethical and unlawful
collection practices to get their money.
I know because I started off in their
"cures" department, before
becoming a financial professional in
the organization. They had me
doing everything and anything to hunt
down borrowers and harass them until
I could NOT get a job for 16 months!!!!
I lost my HOME. I had a stroke
due to the stress. I have asthma
and NINE other medical conditions, including
arthritis. I had to sell my bed
for a root canal. I LOST EVERYTHING.
I am 57 years old, and I have repeatedly
written to the lender that I have lost
everything, all my savings. How
can I possibly retire in peace if they
continue to hound me for payment.
I made my payments when I was working.
But I can't possibly catch up at this
point in my life considering my age/medical
condition. These loans were incurred
when I was 40 years old and in GREAT
shape! I LOST MY HOME, for Pete's
sake! I lived in a car.
I have a Master's Degree and have NOTHING!
Today, I still have no TV.
It makes me wonder, what do those from
New Orleans in my situation do?
OK, maybe not a LOT of them have student
loans, but you never know.
student loans for approximately $20,000
in the early 1990s as a single parent
returning to college fulltime.
When I remarried, my husband and I both
had student loans to pay. We tried
to keep the payments up, but after unexpected
health and employment problems we fell
behind. MANY phone calls were
made to try to negotiate partial payments
or lower payments with the student loan
folks to NO avail. Both of our
loans went into default and our credit
ratings crashed. After penalties
and interest were applied, our student
loan balances mushroomed to approximately
$70,000 (mine) and $22,000 (his).
We always intended to pay our loans,
and several years later when our financial
situation stabilized we consolidated
the loans with DOE. Since 2001,
we have been able to make monthly payments
of $375.00 (mine) and $156.00 (his),
for a combined total of $531.00 a month.
However, our student loan balances,
after FIVE YEARS of steady payments,
have made an almost imperceptible drop
to $69,976.83 and $17,570.04, respectively!
At this rate, we will be paying on these
loans for 25+ years. I count myself
lucky and thankful to be able to keep
up the high payments so far. But
we are now in our 50s and I fear the
future as we age and have health or
financial difficulties. As I stated
above, we always intended to pay the
loans. But don't we deserve a
break from the outrageous default penalty
and the interest? WE SHOULD BE
ALLOWED TO PAY THE ORIGINAL DEBT.
You may contact me for further information.
I have been associated with Sallie Mae,
I have been lied to, overcharged in
my interest rates (and they admit it
but will do nothing to change it) and
I have requested documents from them
that they will not supply to me.
Unfortunately, I consolidated my loans
with them. I was told that I could
drop my interest rate 3 points.
Instead, I am paying more interest that
I would have been paying if I had left
them alone. Recently I heard that
I could move my loan away from Sallie
Mae. When I tried to do so I was
informed that the movement date had
been closed as of March 31, 2006.
I began to investigate this. In
calling a couple of government agencies
such as the Federal Loan Consolidation
Center, I found out that Congress had
passed a bill that allowed people to
move there load away from Sallie Mae,
whether or not it had been consolidated
with them, from December 1 of 2005 till
June 30 of 2006. The Department
of Education decided that it would cancel
this Congressional Bill in March of
2006. I also questioned one of
the Supervisors at Sallie Mae and asked
her why Sallie Mae had not notified
its borrowers that they could move the
loan. I was told that Sallie Mae
had been too busy to notify the borrowers
about this. Under the law, which
seems to mean nothing to Sallie Mae,
a lender has a fiduciary responsibility
to notify the borrower of anything
that affects the terms of the loan.
When I told the Supervisor this, she
said that Sallie Mae just supposed that
other loan companies would contact the
borrower and let them know. My
question is twofold: Who gave
the Department of Education the right
to override Congress, and since when
is Sallie Mae above the law? Please
reply to this when you get a chance.
school, I was a straight A student and
was the first in my family to attend
college. I wanted to be a writer, and
my parents, who are quite poor, were
extremely proud of me. They even co-signed
on some of my loans when I was accepted
by a very expensive private university
not far from my hometown.
I want to take full responsibility for
the fact that my debt has gotten to
the point that it has--as a borrower,
I wasn't as responsible as I should
have been and failed to communicate
with my lenders regarding hardships
I was undergoing. However, I feel that
my experience in college did not prepare
me for the realities of living with
debt. I was unsure what to do when I
couldn't make a payment, and the phone
calls I was getting from the student
loan companies made me anxious and depressed.
I felt like a failure--in college, I
believed that the debt I was taking
out would be managable with the increased
income my degree was going to grant
me. After graduation, it took me months
to find a job and when I did, it wasn't
exactly the calliber I'd been dreaming
of. I worked in pizza places and grocery
stores while my debt ballooned. I was
extremely depressed and refrained from
thinking about my debt at all, if I
could help it. After a while, it made
its way onto my credit report, which
disqualified me from many higher paying
I find it ironic and horrible that I
went to college to learn to be a writer
but now work in sales so that I can
retroactively finance the education
that taught me to follow my dreams.
There was no job placement program at
my university, and there was no debt
counseling. I was 18 years old when
I took out my first loan, and I would
do anything to be able to go back and
go to community college instead. I currently
owe more than $30,000 to Sallie Mae
and other private companies.
I feel duped and ashamed.
these stories made me realize how relativley
lucky I have been. I took out
about $22000 in student loans and I
remember, clear as day the loan officers
exact words: "Don't worry about
it, with these loans you'll be able
to get an education that will get you
a good job that will more than allow
you to pay these loans back."
Needless to say, that didn't happen.
I worked retail for years; used up all
my deferments. Had the following
conversation verbatim with some collection
CA: "So, you're willing to start
a payment plan."
ME:" Yup, I can pay you between
$40 -$50 a month"
CA:"Don't insult our intelligence.
We need a minimum of $180 a month from
you just to covedr interest."
ME:"Well, now you're insulting
my intelligence, cause there's no way
in hell I can send you that much."
CA:"Then you'd be better of sending
ME:"Fine, but remember, it was
I then hung up and ignored them for
the next 15 years; simply ripping up
their letters and ignoring the pleadings
on my answering machine - One guy called
90 business days in a row; when he stopped
I almost called back to see if he was
ok!. I lost my credit cards (which
may have been a blessing in disguise),
and my friends had to put up with me
screening my calls, but I never had
trouble finding a place to rent, and
as for cars I simply saved up and bought
junkers with cash. Yes, they siezed
my tax refund every year, but it was
never more than $500 so I didn't mind
About 7 years ago, I finally got out
of retail and got a decent job, and
a few years after that I got married.
A little over two years ago, my loan
got sold to DCS, and I decided to make
payments, but I was going to do it on
I called them after hours and left a
simple message on the agents voicemail:
"I will be paying you $30 a month,a
s that's all I can afford. Don't bother
hounding me for more, cause you won't
They tried calling my work, and I told
them to never call me there again.
And they have complied- I kind of wish
they hadn't because if they ever call
me at work again, I can sue them for
more than I owe them. They have
seldom bothered friends or family, but
since they have my number, why would
I simply ignore their letters and messages
on my voice mail, and send a repeated
request every month for legal documentation
of my $30 a month payment plan- which
they agree to every time they cash one
of those money orders (even though they
claim otherwise, I've had several informal
conversations with legal folks that
say that acceptance of my money orders
constitutes acceptance of a payment
And, fingers crossed, it appears to
have worked. I have documents
from them that list my status as "On
payment plan". They threatened
to garnish my wages, and before I could
even send the rebuttal letter, I got
a letter saying "I did not meet
the qualifications for garnishment",
and this year, after two years of payments,
I even got my income tax check.
Now, my only worry is that we will someday
have to default on my wife's loan -
her credit allowed us to purchase our
first reliable automobile(granted, in
her name), and may someday allow us
to purchase a home (again in her name-
her running joke is I don't dare cheat
on her cause she'll get everything).
She understands that payment on her
loan is a luxury, but we will keep doing
it as long as possible. As for my loan,
well they can just take my $30 a month
She recently consolidatded her loan,
but not through Sallie Mae- at least
not on the surface (I'm going to have
to do some digging and make sure that
the folks she consalidate through have
nothing to do with them). It will mean
paying over 100% in interest- a $32,000
loan will cost us $78,000. We'll
pay as long as we can or until the American
financial system collpases (which isn't
too far off, I think) or until we die.
I've flown beneath the radar somehow,
it seems- I don't dare let you contact
me right now for fear of rising above
it again. I wish you luck in destroying
these predatory lenders before they
can destroy any more lives.
Oh and if anyone tries my method listed
above, please post your success here.
I had a
heart attack at age 19. It took
almost 1 year for me to be able to remember
what school I went to. I now am
on Social Security. I did finish
school with an associates degree but
I wanted to get a bacholors degree.
My social security is not enough to
cover my monthly expenses and my student
loan payment. This is not fair,
student loans should be forgiven in
situations like this. Please,
if anyone can help contact me.