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North Carolina

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My current student loan bill is for over $38,000.  I borrowed $1000 a year for 4 years of undergraduate school - a total of $4000.
The first problem came when I was told ALL of my student loans had been consolidated.  I was sending student waivers while I was attending graduate school to that agency.  However, only some had been consolidated and the others defaulted.
Pardon the pun, but to add insult to injury I became disabled in 2000 (by now the loans were all consolidated at a total of about 24K).  I have been sending paperwork back and forth to numerous collection agencies to have the loan waivered because of my disability.  None of the agencies would give me a number to contact the Dept of Ed directly and none of the numbers listed could or would help me. Everytime the loan was transfered to another collection agency the interested as amortized and a large fee was added. I've been told by employees of these agencies that the default was "all my own fault", I'm irresponsible.  Even when I went for six months with no income and over 2 years with $205 in welfare and $139 in food stamps in support each month I was told I was irresponsible for not paying.  It took 3 years to get SSDI.
This January I received a letter from the Dept of Ed that they would be taking any amount in my Social Security Disabilty check over $750 a month (which is only $26) - until my 38K dept is paid off.

I even had arguments about how much I paid.  All of my records and most of my belongings were lost when my mothers house burned down.  I was told I was irresponsible for not keeping those records.  One collector even said, "I ain't got no proper upbringing."
I am currently living in a camper with a great room built on.  My income is $776 a month in SSDI, $10 a month in food stamps, and medicaid.  I can't get vehicle or homeowners insurance with my defaulted student loans. I had to buy a "dwelling unit" because I can't afford rent or mortgage.  I moved to North Carolina from Pennylvania because I found a lot in a camping section that I could purchase.  I can't get a part-time job because of my credit report, and I can no longer do the kind of work that would hire me (waiting tables, etc.) If the loans are not waived or forgiven then I will owe more each year because the $26 they are taking isn't even enough to pay the interest so the balance will go up each year even if the don't add more large fees.



I live a nightmare most days and have actually been unable to obtain work to pay off the student loans. my inability to obtain work is due to the collection process that has actually harmed me.I have lost a partnership in a prominent practice, partnership with other smaller practices, and positions that require credit reviews. Presently I live from one pitiful $700/month paycheck (yes Seven hundred dollars). All since the late 1980's.


I am beginning to call my Senators/Congressmen to notify them and I plan to call them as often as Salle Mae's New Credit Collection Acquisition calls me. I am preparing to go call Investigative reporters for local and National Newspapers. Why don't you do the same. if the Media becomes involed and publizes the complete dis-regard for borrowers and Borrowers hardships form this present government it could make a difference. I am also notifying the ACLU. Borrowers rights have not only been violated but eliminated. Rainbow Coalition is also a strong advocate for mis-treatment and unjust treatment of people. If we ALL start screaming loudly and consistently while working on Class ACTION LAW SUIT, I BELIEVE WE WILL BE HEARD AND THINGS WILL CHANGE. Lets get seriously organized and then we can make changes...after all we are American Citizens and it suppose to be Government by the poeple and for the people.



I took out a small loan of 1500 dollars in 1995.  I ended up on chapter 13 in 1998.  I was told that included the student loan.  As soon as I got off of the program I started getting letters from sally mae wanting their money.  I sent paperwork where it was on my c-13.  Of course it didn't matter.  When I offered to pay the original amount owed, I was told that they would get their interest too by garnishing my pay sallie mae would not even take of the interest occured during my time of c-13. Now I am on a program of repay for 6 months at 52.00 then I have to start paying directly to sallie mae and with the interest that occurred during that time.  There is no way for the average person to win.  Even if you just pay as much as you can they keep adding more interest to the account.   Something has to be done! I now owe about 4 times more than it started out to be.  That's not much to some but when you live day to day,it is.



I borrowed from Sallie Mae in 2001 to finish school.  The school I was attending recommended Sallie Mae as my lender.  I borrowed a little over $37,000.  I graduated in December of 2004 and as of May 2006 I currently owe almost $48,000 because of interest.  I haven't been able to get a job since I've graduated so my loans have been deferred twice.  The interest during deferment has brought my total to what it is now.  They did not try to work with me even though I was unemployed.  The biggest part is that I was given Private Signature Loans and I don't even know why.  That means I only have three more six month deferments before I have to start paying whether I am working or not.  I also have to come up with $150 every time I defer because that is how much it costs to defer.  I have written government officials as well as Sallie Mae, and their seems to be no one who can help me. 



I went back to college in 1990. I borrowed roughly 11,900 to complete my education. I have been contacted by USA Funds, Sallie-Mae, First Union National Bank and several collection agency, most recently Pioneer which is owned by Sallie-Mae. It seems my loan was sold here and bought there more times than I can count. I was laid off work twice and could not make payments. When I found work my paycheck was garnished. The payments went to USA Funds every week. The orignal letter from USA to my employer stated my balance was over $11,000. USA received over $7000.00 in a three-year period. I got laid off again. That was June 2005. I receieved yet another letter from a collection agency in October 2005 stating I was in default and owed $12,800 on my student loan. It seemed impossible until I went online and saw how that $7000 was applied. At the current penality, interest and collection fee rates I will be dead before I can ever repay it all. It is a non stop as!
 sualt unlike any I have ever experienced before. But we are not just dealing with big corporate America here; we are also dealing with the federal government. Who do you think is going to win that battle?



I started school late hoping for the opportunity to better my self.  I graduated in 1990 with a student loan of $12,000.00, after not be able to get a decent jobs I decided I needed more education so I enrolled in graduate school which I finished in 1995. I paid for graduate school out of pocket.  Over the course of the 16 years since I finish under graduate school I've paid back approximately $14,000.00 dollars but I still have a balance of over $20,000.00.  I realize my loan may come close to the amount other people owe but it doesn't appear as if I will ever pay the loan off.



I graduated in Dec, 2004 and the amount of my loan was $44,000. I have been ill for the last 2 years and the doctor has now released me to go back to work.  At  this time I am having a problem finding a job although I have an MBA.  I now owe Sallie Mae $66,000 after deferment.  I am fearful of the charges that will accrue if I don't get employment soon.  I have just sent in deferment papers for the second time and am waiting for approval.  I have gotten my last unemployment check and have no income at all.  What will happen to my loan is a constant fear.



In 1998, working as a toll both attendant with no future, I decided this was enough.  I would get a loan and attend college to improve myself, live a better life, and be able to contribute more to society.  In the academic world, I actually did quite well and even made the Deans List.  Then I lost my place to live and I had no money, no savings, knew no one that could help me.  Living in my old jeep turned out to be too difficult.  I just couldn't park it anywhere, no bathrooms, no place to clean up.  I finally dropped out of college.  My parents were kind enough to send me gas money to make it to their home but it was extremely bad timing as my father was dying and they too were broke.  After my father died (several months after I arrived), my mother lost her job.  

She didn't have rent money but a opportunity for a job in another State seemed possible.  She insisted I give it a try too.  She did find work, unfortunately I did not.  I lived in my jeep again for a very long time.  My health is failing, my vision and my teeth need work badly.  My mother after years was still sleeping on the floor of her apartment as she couldn't make enough to even buy a bed.  She was in debt over the medical bills that her husband had produced over the years of illness leading to his death.  Yes, I defaulted on my student loans.  Originally they were about $15,000 and now they are about $40,000.  For someone that is homeless, pennyless has no possessions (not even my jeep left)this is more than a fortune.  My mother is now situationed and wants to help me get back on my feet and have a life.  There is no way on this earth that I can ever pay back $40,000.  She hired an attorney and offered to help but we were told that there is no way to get out from underneath this burden in life.  

I spend days wondering if life is really worth it at all now.  All I wanted was an education and be able to contribute to my community.  My grandfather fought in a war to give his children and grand-kids a better life --- a better life in America.  He probably is turning over in his grave now when he sees what is happening to this fine country.  Millions without health care, homeless people everywhere, low wages, everything made in China and now Sallie Mae loans to students (unsecured loans, no credit checks to those that have no ability to ever pay back if misfortune strikes them). What is even worse is that they are making money on the misfortune of those that are trying to improve themselves and make our nation stronger.  It appears we have a weak government as they cannot do anything about this tragedy.



Our federal government bankrupts us with these student loans and blames us for taking them out, especially if we borrowed a large amount.  And we don't have to default to become bankrupt.

We can't afford to work to cover the tuition for law school, medical school, or a good private university.  Law schools require that you graduate in three years, four if you work.  I couldn't take that kind of pressure and deal with my mother's fatal illness.  I needed to get my law degree quickly so that I wouldn't have to quit before finishing.  She got sick while I was in law school.

After our government bankrupts us, our government takes advantage of our bankrupt status in court because we can't afford an attorney to plead our case.  Even a good case requires the attorney to do research that costs money that the bankrupt can't afford.  A brief will have to be filed and the attorney will have to go to court for us for a sizeable fee.  Most of us will need one or more experts who will also have to be paid.  That's why attorneys turn bankrupts down.  And bankruptcy attorneys are disgusted about it.

And our government leaves us bankrupt for life.  Our government is perfectly willing to take the money we need for medicine or psychiatric care if we're on Social Security.  Which means our government wants us to die more quickly if we need the government after retirement. 

To accomplish this sickly selfish power, the government had to make the elimination of bankruptcy retroactive in 1998--which meant our government reneged on its contracts and is not trustworthy.  One court said that we defaulters took the risk of default when we contracted with the government.  My understanding was that I took a 7 year risk if I became bankrupt--not a lifetime risk.  The courts that are at least trying to help the bankrupts have to look into a crystal ball to see what's going to happen in our lives.  Into each life some rain must fall.  And it's not quantifiable for student loan bankruptcy purposes.

This power over our entire lifetime is equivalent to how the mafia operates.  The mafia doesn't care if you're bankrupt and that they they helped get you that way.  The government is not being altruistic--it is charging interest over a lifetime period.  And yet we are not better off than our parents with this higher education.

The proposed legislation by Kennedy and Clinton does not address the bankrupt nor is Congress willing to debate the proposed legislation.  The proposed 25 year cut off is too long after you're already bankrupt.  And if you return to school after having a family, that leaks into your retirement years.  No period of being bankrupt is bearable.  It changes us and not for the better.  And the government is not morally superior.  Neither a borrower nor lender be.  We should not have to relearn that lesson.

I expected to graduate from law school earning no less than $50,000 per year.  I expected that salary to soar over time because of all the hype in the media (from television shows to magazine articles).  But few in my graduating class obtained jobs.  The jobs in the federal government that normally were given to students who don't go to Ivy League schools were instead taken up by those who went to Ivy League schools.  That triggered panic in me, along with my mother's impending death from an incurable form of hepatitis, so I delayed taking the bar.  It was not a poor calculation of my inability to pass it.  I didn't pass it when I did take it because of the unrelenting heavy pressure.  My mother stayed near death until this year when she did finally die a horrible death.  The liver handles over 500 functions of the human body and one by one they all fail because of her incurabledisease.  Experiments on my mother were only temporarily successful.

After 7 years, the private lender sued me but walked away without a fight.  That left the federal government.  They granted six forbearances before declaring a default.  They didn't have to call me for collection because I called and wrote them and kept up with them.  They never had to look for me.  It took them 11 years to garnish.  They refused settlement and garnished.  Now they have to stop garnishment because I'm out of a job because they dragged my employer into the bankruptcy court.

During settlement negotiations, both the state agency collecting and the federal government admitted that I could not afford the payments and that they would be a hardship, BUT IN COURT THEY LIED.  Settlement negotiations are not admissible in court.  On top of that, the government informed me on more than one occasion that the loan wasn't actually federal because one of the parties was not allowed to participate in a student loan trustee arrangement because of the type of lender they were.  The state agency that acted as the collector claimed that party was not a party even it was named in the contract.  NO ONE IS WATCHING THE WATCHER.

Why did the attorneys and state guarantee agency get furious with me when I told them that by garnishing, it would take them 8 years to pay the lawyers for the bankruptcy case (there were two)?  Because they never did the math.  And after paying the attorneys, whatever they collect won't cover the $40,000 that was borrowed.  Obviously it's a failed policy that leads to government waste.  Yet trying to save attorneys fees is the reason they went for administrative wage garnishment.  Maybe every defaulter should revolt by declaring bankruptcy and working their own cases.  We'd get accurate default rates that way.  The government relies on us rolling over with a whimper.

The judge in my case said they'd collected no money from me because I worked the system.  WHAT SYSTEM?  Did he say that because I failed enough in my career to fly under the radar?  I'm in a mental jail because I'm permanently bankrupt.  We need a revolution.  WHY AREN'T WE MARCHING?

Sallie Mae claims that there are only a handful of us defaulters, so we should be disregarded.  If you don't declare a default until 7 years after the default, then you can make it look that way.  Not only that, the state agency came to court with computer records that conflicted and were inaccurate.  Some of the records even showed payment by me that I didn't make.  What's worst, they broke the law and didn't make the loan until a year after the request.  They lied in court and said the records of when the loan was actually made were lost or destroyed so they couldn't actually tell.  The bank could tell but the bank sends you back to the state guarantee agency.  It's racketeering but I have no money to prove it because I'm bankrupt.  We're back to the frustrations that lead to the Boston Tea Party.

I believe that if we could get enough people in power to concentrate on this problem then we could solve it.  Until then, I remain bankrupt for life.  By the way, I believe I owe about $150,000 on the $40,000, but the guarantee agency went to bankruptcy court and lied about how much it was--that's why they needed alternative computer records.  They manipulated rules of evidence to get the discrepancy overlooked.  They also lied about who currently owned the loan so that I had the wrong party in court.  They defied a court order to hide the truth.  Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Margaret Mead said:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.




I entered University of Indianapolis in 1988 at the age of 22. At the time I was considered a nontraditional student. I qualified for financial assistance and student loans. Upon graduating in 1993 the repayment clock started. Six months later I was not in a financial state to start repaying my loan. Therefore I place it in forbearance. That process continued off and on until recently. I am now repaying my loan at a much higher rate, due to interest. I am a single mother of three sons which all have physical health challanges. Repaying this loan has caused much hardship, but there seems to be no way out. According to Sallie Mae website my original balance was $24,529.26. Due to the capitalized interest added my total balance is now $37,308.36. I decided to have the monthly payments of $386.86 to be drafted from my checking account, so the harrassing phone calls would stop. I also wanted to tackle this financial obligation, once and for all.

My oldest son attends a community college. I have told him and my 16 year old son about the difficulties with repaying loans. I will do whatever to prevent them from falling victim to this unfair system. I would appreciate any feedback, information, assistance, etc. I am truly struggling to make payments. Are you aware of any forgiveness programs? I have worked at a health department for a total of eight years.




I am disabled. And my doctor who helped me get my medical disability is now not wanting to file the paper work a fourth or fifth time to Sallie Mae. This doctor's office has told me that I need to get my current doctor assistances.

I think I borrowed about $20,000 and currently I owe $50,000. The amount has been increasing. Sallie Mae sent my claim forms back for stupid items:

like the doctor's name not being totally to their standards,

when my disability starting date and when the doctor saw me date did not suit them,

saying that I was disabled was not enough, my doctor had to submit a very lengthy statement on my condition,

and then I would be told something is incorrect and to resubmit again.

My doctor fax copy and sent copy to Sallie Mae form the corrections needed,

only to get misplaced by Sallie Mae.

I am so upset. I think someone should do something about the abuse of Sallie Mae. I contacted Senator and he wanted me to resubmit again the forms.

I have copies and so does the doctor's office of the forms submitted to Sallie Mae.


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