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Tennessee

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

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Robert 

My loan started out at under $45,000. The payoff now is over a quarter of a million dollars. My loans has been passed around six to seven times. I will have to get that info. I know that student loan express now has it. But the ones I can remember are Wachovia & Nations. They cant seem to able to tell me the straight scoop on my interest rate. When I look online and call its 5.25%. When I get my statement it is 8.25%. I will add to this. HELP! Currently on deferment.

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Tracy Lynn

I saw a commercial for a school in Nashville in 1989 that offered computer and paralegal classes. It seemed like a great place, smaller classes, I could attend at night a few days a week and still keep my day job in addition to raising a baby on my own. I just wanted to better myself and my childs life by having an education. I signed up and the office people gave me only one choice of loan to apply for. I did not know for years that there were MANY places to apply for student aid. So in attending this place for approximately a year I signed two loan agreements from horton bank for 2625.00 a total of 5250.00. I became increasingly frustrated with the school because I wasn't really learning anything and the teachers kept quitting and revolving so much that I never knew who would be in class from day to day. some teachers didn't even show up sometimes and we sat in three hours of class doing nothing. I got fed up with what I felt it was a really phoney situa!
 tion and I signed myself out of school. They promised me in the financial aid office at the school that remainder of monies not used would be refunded to my lender.  

Maybe six months later, the FBI and the TBI (TN Bureau of Investigation) shut the school down, took out entire file cabinets of information and padlocked the doors. This schools name was Edmondson Junior College on Murfreesboro Road in Nashville, TN. Six employees were prosecuted for defrauding the Dept of Education by coaching students to falsify financial assistant applications, altering ability to benefit tests, and altering and destroying financial aid records in an attempt to cover up the fraudulent activity in addition to signing school loan checks for students no longer enrolled in the school. I could not prove I went to school, I could not transfer any credits to another school and they did not refund my unused portion of monies not used when I signed out of school. I really thought for several years I could fight this. Some people got their loans discharged because it closed down while they were attending or they had dropped out only 90 days prior. since it had been at least 6 months for me since leaving the school NOBODY would help me. I really thought I had a decent case because my education I received was worthless, nontransferable credits and they took the remainder of money not used from the loan. Well by 93 it went into default. I still felt like somebody should work with me on this situation but to no avail, nobody cared. Well in 96 they started harassing me at my job daily til I gave in and agreed to payments and a consolidation. Heck I still don't even know what consolidation is. The company I was working for closed down and sent our jobs overseas and to Mexico. So I was in a tremendous financial bind. I got my car repossessed after paying on it 3.5 years. I liked 6 months having it paid off! I was in extreme financial straits and the loan defaulted again in 97.They have been taking my income tax returns every year and at this point!

Right now as of 4-13-05 I have paid in between payments and income tax returns they took from me 11,695.14 Two weeks ago I got a call at work from someone who did not identify themselves first, nor tell me what company they were calling from, they simply stated they had an outstanding balance of 2,953.77 and they wanted to know how i intended to pay it back.I said can you fax me a copy of this? she said I do not have to fax you ANYTHING! very hateful and very mean tone. I said can you tell me how much my original loan was? she said I dont have to give you that information either. She proceeded to start screaming at me. I had to yell over her to explain the school closed I had a fraudulent education and she replied that was my own stupidity for attending an unaccredited school. The yelling went back and forth until she told me she would be garnishing my wages and hung up on me. I was so upset and mad during this conversation that it did not dawn on me that the woman didnt even bother to tell me who she was or what company she represented!! 

Well a week went by and this mysterious phone call (they block their number on the caller ID)was made to the book keeper at my job and she said she wanted to know how long I had been employed there. My boss by now was aware of the situation going on and he told the book keeper to get a name a number and company she was representing and that any information like that would not be given over the phone. She would have to fax it to our business to be read and filled out and she would fax it back. Well the woman did not want to give her name or the company but finally gave in and gave the info. Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc. Well they never faxed anything. This week they call and this time it was the screaming woman again in the beginning. A simply impossible woman to deal with. She stated not only were they going to garnish me they were going to take my income tax return again this year and that this would continue to happen to me for the rest of my life. Yes I said the rest of my life until I agreed to make VOLUNTARY payments. 

She claimed that my income tax return and the garnishment would not go towards paying off my debt. This scared me to death. Well she continued yelling and so did I, until this really nice con man got on the phone and basically calmed me down. He almost had me talked into making payments of 50 a month and doing the rehab on my loan. I got him to fax me papers about it and he told me to call him back at 3:30 and he would walk thru the paper work with me on the phone word by word. At this time I had no idea they could garnish me without going to court. My boss was convinced this could not occur either. So he suggested they give me a copy of the garnishment order to read over before agreeing to sign these papers for the 50 a month payments. Well I called Pioneer back at 3:00 pm instead of the 3:30 pm appointment time. I once again get the screaming woman who says she is the man I spoke to earliers supervisor and that he was busy and she wasnt going to let me speak to him the rest of the day! I said fine. Tell Jeremy I called and heres my number and I am going to work with him on this situation. She said hes not calling you back you will have to deal with me. I said fine, send me a copy of the garnishment order you are intending to send to me and my boss so I can see its for real before I agree to sign this agreement. She said you will receive a copy soon and so will your boss. I said so you are going to garnish me and try to make me make payments plus take my income tax refund she said yes! This blew me away. We again started getting loud on the phone and I finally gave up in disgust and told her to tell Jeremy to return my call, and that I refused to talk to anyone who cannot treat me like a human being and hung up on her.

I called Sallie Mae last week and got my original files with my signature and my repayments that had been made so far and was blown away I'd already paid 11,695.14! I called a lady named Terry at USA funds where the loan came from and she was actually pretty nice. She said they were indeed taking my income tax refund again this year however they were unable to take it all. my refund this year is for 3052.00 and they are taking a little less than 2,400. I said why not take the entire amount owed and she said we can't do that. So her advice to me was for me to be patient and let them apply the 2400 to the outstanding balance and then write them a cashier check for the remaining 640.00 some odd dollars that will still be owed from the remaining amount of the refund I will receive that they cannot take. So, I filed electronically today. It will take 6 to 8 weeks for this to take place with the refund being taken and applied to my balance. In the meantime I await a garnishment proceeding to start any day now and probably take place the entire time until my income tax refund reaches them and I get to pay off the remaining balance. By the way I only make 7.00 an hour and I support a legally blind disabled teenager as well as look after an 86 year old aunt. I do not know if it is true or not but they say they are going to garnish 25% of my bring home pay. But my friends...daylight is in sight for me finally because of my income tax refund paying it off for me this year. it appears that a 5100 dollar loan will cost you 14,648.91. According to these papers I have my account accrues 59 cents per day interest so it may be a slightly higher figure by the time I actually get to the point of payoff! I could have went to the mafia and got a loan for less payback than this! Sallie Mae is a crook and its a shame and disgrace what they are doing to people!!! Please say a little prayer for me that this truly will end this hell I have lived through for so many years. Finally I can start to rebuild my credit!!


Thank you for this site, there are so many people out there suffering from this horrible situation it scares me to think of those who have really huge loans hanging over their head! I wonder what the suicide rate is for these kind of instances!!! Thank you for taking the time for reading this and bless you all.

 

Addendum:

Also note that it is now going on 2 years later and they still have not backed off. According to some of the creditors I have now paid in 17,000 and still will not give me a payoff figure. Just more run around. They are back to harrassing me daily at home. Every morning just like clockwork they call my house at 8:00 am sharp. They will call again at noon, and again at 7:00 pm. Three times a day without fail. I am now unemployed, taking care of an 88 year old with alzheimers and know without a doubt they will again take my income tax return when I file it. I am still without hope of ever seeing daylight again. I know now I can never return to school or educate myself to ever be anything other than a secretary or waitress in a series of low paying jobs. There is no end in sight.They are still hot on the trail of more more money and no payoff in the near future.



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Genevieve 

I received student loans from sallie mae begining in 2002 to attend culinary school. i owe them $43k and when it's all said and done i will have paid them over $80k. i have taken out 3 forbareances' and still can not make the $600 a month payment to them.


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Lori 

I graduated college in 1995 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  I married and got a job in the fall of 1996.  After a couple of years my husband and I moved out of a high crime area to the country.  When we moved I owed $37,000.  I was unable to obtain a job within a 5 county radius.  I was born with a birthdefect that left me hearing impaired and speech impairment.  After you get used to my speech most people don't have trouble understanding me.  But like my first teaching job they didn't think I could teach phonics.  During my first year of teaching I had to team teach with a "normal" teacher who had NO impairments.  Even though I had a good recommendation I was never given a chance. 

I have a daughter who is mentally challenged, 2 sons living, and a son who died last year with a heart defect, and my husband was in a car accident 4 years ago.  This accident left him unable to work and unable to drive because he is on morphine 3 times a day along with his other medications.  He had surgery 3 years ago that was unsuccessful.  Because of his condition he doesn't sleep like I do.  He is at the mercy of his medication which makes him unable to function.   

We live on his long term disabilty because he has yet to get his SSI.  We do not receive any government assistance.  I have a garden every year and can about 500 quarts of vegetables every summer.  We raise our own meat. 

My loans are on deferrment and I now owe $60,000.  I have called and written Sallae Mae with our circumstances.  I have also contacted or state representatives, and written a letter to President and Mrs. Bush.  I don't know what else to do.  We are not able to pay this.  We barely make enough to get us from month to month.  We do not have credit cards.  Our only debt is our home, which is less than my student loans, my loans, and my husbands medical bills, because insurance doesn't pay everything. 

We can use some help.  What am I suppose to do?   


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Witheld

Student loans consolidation needs truth in lending.  It is amazing that loans such as mine with over 100,000 can be handled without the borrower really knowing the exact interest rate or what loans the consolidater will actually use in the consolidation.

I tried to consolidate all my loans with sallie mae. knowing that when you consolidate numerous loans they average the interest rate up to the nearest 1/8th point. I calculated my average and paid one loan down just to under the threshold of the 1/8th bump.  In other words, I averaged my loans to just .01 percent below the nearest 1/8th. I would encourage everyone to do this if at all possible. 1/8th percent does not sound like much but with high amounts of loans over the years it could add up to a couple of thousand. Anyway, I listed all the loans with Sallie mae for consolidation and waited. When the consolidation went through i was surprised, they left out several of my loans. When i called and asked why, the response was they were not sure.  On tape they even agreed that they should have all been consolidated. The solution to them was to consolidate the loans that were left out as add-ons. The problem with adding loans to an existing consolidation is that once again you are subject to the lenders rounding up to the next 1/8th point. Since I was wary of sallie mae by this point I consolidated the loans sallie mae neglected with another lender.  My guess is that whenever multiple loans are submitted to sallie Mae and the 1/8th percent bump is very negligible, they remove a loan or two not only to get the 1/8th point just once but also to get you to add the loan in later so that they can bump you up an additional 1/8th. If this is their practice i hope someone starts a class action lawsuit. What student lenders can learn from this is that you can consolidate with two or more different lenders.  Why would someone want to do this?  The reason is that is you have one loan with a considerably higher interest rate and think you can pay it off earlier, then consolidate it seperately, and pay down the principle of the higher interest rate loan first. This will keep your other consolidated loan at a lower average interest rate and save you money. Never add on any loan to an existing consolidation either, since in doing so you will only raise the entire portfolio of loans the extra 1/8th point.   

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Peter

A short synopsis:

I am 46 yrs old. I borrowed about $17,000 throughout the 1980's.

I have a condition well documented called panic disorder. That condition started before it was even in (then) the DSM-III sic 1981.

This condition was virtually incapacitating until the SSRI drugs became available.

I struggled through scholl, and aquired enough credits to gainn meaningful employement by 1990, at 30 yrs old. I have yet to complete my degree,but am very close.

I worked as a Chemical Lab technician & eventually gained enough experience to gain the title of chemist.

Throughout 1990 until the present(2006), The Student loan has gone from 17000 priciple to $ 40,000 principal through deferments.

Since then, even though I paid when I was finanacially capable, that debt has swelled at present to $ 109,000 after default, as they proceed to sell off the loan from one agency to another.

I wrote the Student Loan people a very through letter ragarding my past and sent it certified mail to insure reception.

At no time during this period was it ever aknowleded that I was attempting to communicate with the Student loan people. I juts kept getting form letters telling me I owed yada and the debt getting progressively worse each time I heard from them or the collection agency they passed the loan off to.

I finally threw up my hands in dispair and said the heck with it. Let them garnish the 10 % maximum in the State of TN.

Now I recieve a letter telling me they are going to take 15 % . My gross income is ~ $32.000 a year.

I feel they have stolen my future. I don't feel I can have childern, buy a house, or even hope my social security or 401k, if I build one, is going to be safe in the future.

At this poin, I ask myself why I even try ? I could seek permanent disabilty and likely qualify if I was of that rame of mind.


I don't want to do that.I borrowed money & to the best of my abilty wish to honor that debt, not dodge it. \

But as I watch this progession ($17,000 principle to a legit $ 40,000 or so with deferments ballooned to $110,000 and counting), I have little hope for the future.

What really makes me angry is knowing this is happening to alot of people
like myself & much worse , who go to work, do their best, pay taxes et.al
and watch the Student Loan people break their backs.

Is there a worse kind of debt to be in than this ? This is our public servants looking out for it's citizens while they run a Trillion dollar deficit, spend money on a questionable war etc, etc ?

What is the point of working at all ?

I apologize for the emotional components of this letter and hope the data in it helps.

 

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Witheld

I am a medical school student who took out his first loans just four months ago. I went to college for 5 years without taking out a penny from the government for my education. About two months after starting medical school, I got a from stating that I had to start repaying my loans because it had been six months since I left college. Naturally, I was outraged because I was in school and and had not taken out a penny for college. The rude customer service rep at Great Lakes didn't care...even after I told her I had only been a borrower for two months.

I'd borrow the money from someone else, but the governent is the only game in town.


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Judy

I have a master's degree in Social Work which I financed with student loans. I figured if I have a master's degree I can surely pay the loan pmt. right? Well, I graduated in 1998, with a student loan of approximately $50,000. I have paid on it for approx. 6 years; around $4500 a year at least for the last 4 years I paid on it, the max you can pay and it all went to interest. I am now in deferrment as I had to leave my job to care for an sick,elderly parent. The payoff is now over $52,000 and my monthly payments will be around $450.00 which is about 25% of my take home pay. I am a Certified Social Worker, we don't do it for the money, but it would be nice to be able to pay your bills. I think the government should be paying me for my service to mankind instead of me having to work and worry like a dog how I am going to make ends meet. The best part of it is that Sallie Mae told me if I consolidate my loans (about 5 years ago) that they could lock in my interest rate and if I paid it by EFT or automatic draft from my bank, they would cut the 8.25% rate down to just 8%.

I have not been able to get anyone that would acknowledge it and I finally just gave up with my parent being sick and having to leave my life, job, etc. to move back to TN. The bottom line is they lied to me. I could not refinance my loan when others were getting low interest rates because of consolidating my loans. Talk about "truth in lending." It seems like I am financing the owner of Sallie Mae's opulent lifestyle. I do hope someone starts a class action law suit, because this is just wrong. What kind of country do we live in that actually rewards capitalistic behavior lenders like Sallie Mae demonstrate? My deferrent will be over in about 4 months and I do not know how I will make the payment. SERIOUSLY. By the way, if I should live long enough to have paid it off, I will have paid around $125,000 for my education. And what if I do live, will I have to pay it even when I retire? My goodness! I can see it now, my home being taken away to pay off my student loans! They just can't begin to tell you all this stuff when you are signing your life away at the financial aid office, because no one can imagine the nightmare it creates.


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Witheld

The worst feeling in the world is getting bullied around. That is exactly what I feel like when I think of Sallie Mae. I can write a 500 page book on how it all went wrong with Sallie Mae and there unfair practices. I do not want to bore you though, so I will make this short. Basically, I have received about 85 letters from Sallie Mae explaining that there is a problem with my social security number. I called the number on the letter and they asked me to fax them a copy of my social security number. I did that several, several times. This has been going on since the spring of 2004. It is now almost February of 2007 and I am still getting these letters in the mail. Seriously, who has the time and energy to fight another battle with Sallie Mae? I know I cant. There will never be enough hours in the day to deal with Sallie Mae.

They have no problems sending me letters that I owe them money several times a month, but when it comes to helping me with something so I better assist them, I have a better chance of speaking with the president of the united states than I do with Sallie Mae. I know everyone is preaching that something needs to be done, and it really does. I appreciate all the work some people are doing in solving this issue, but by the time it is resolved our credit history will either be ruined because of Sallie Mae or we would have passed away from this wonderful country and its lending services such as Sallie Mae. I will be more than willing to be interviewed, anything to get our points across yet again. Although being on 60minutes and nationally televised did not help, I am not sure what will. Anyone that would like to do something about this, or has any advice on what to do, please feel free to email me. I will contact you back immediately. Thank You


 



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