The following are testimonials submitted to this site. To tell your story, please go here.
When I graduated from Brigham Young University, I had two subsidized loans and one unsubsidized loan. I consolidated with Sallie Mae and all together my loans were $26,000. Today, my loan amount has more than tripled. Although I graduated from a major university, I did not graduate in finance, and now that I'm older I realize that this consolidation company is a complete scam. I was planning to further my schooling and was not able to. During those years I experienced erroneous information from Sallie Mae. Many years ago, I lost my job and I asked them if I could make smaller payments and they said no and that it would not make a difference in my debt. They repeatedly told me to forbear, and they told me not to send in any payment until I was able to make the full payment schedule.
Additionally, they never explained how recapitalization worked and Sallie Mae never explained that my loans would all be converted into unsubsized loans. Sallie Mae now after years of trying to find out information about why my loans kept on skyrocketing so quickly, I finally discovered this fact about converting all of my loans into unsubsidized loans which in turn means more money for them. One agent told me that somewhere in fine print it says on your promissory note that the consolidation will convert all your loans into unsubsidized loans but this is not clear and I truly was never made aware of this fact and now realize that SALLIE MAE DOES NOT POINT THIS OUT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.
Sallie Mae also does not explain the principle of recapitalization. I have been deceived horribly as I imagine have many other innocent college graduates. Just recently I was going to fill out another application to reconsolidate with UHEAA because I could never make headway with Sallie Mae. They train their customer service to lie or they are all misinformed. On the last occassion I was filling out my new reconsolidation form and they wanted a break down of my loans. So I contacted Sallie Mae two weeks ago and they tried to convince me that I never had any loans that were unsubsidized. On the second call within the same day, finally, I was instructed by one of Sallie Mae's people to find proof and contact the originator of my loans which would be Zions bank, and send them proof of the fact that my loans were unsubsidized. Well I contacted Zions bank and they told me that Sallie Mae purchased my whole file from the bank and they were therefore lying and bluffing. I called them back a third time and the next agent admitted that this was true but that they don't have the file any more after so many years. I insisted they send me my file showing what was in it and finally this customer service agent agreed and did in fact mail me my original promissory note which as I already knew showed two subsidized loans and one unsubsidized loan.
My loans were totalling $26,000 and now
are $85,000. In 2003, I contacted the federal ombudsman office
and they said they would speak to Sallie Mae in regards to poor trained
customer service but offered me no remedy. I am now trying to
reconsolidate at a lower interest rate with UHEAA because at the 9%
rate that Sallie Mae has charged me all through these years has almost
buried me alive.
I have been meaningfully unemployed ever since my graduating day, when I was told that I was suddenly over-qualified to work in the state of Utah County, Utah, yet I have managed to make my payments regularly through various garage sales and husband income. We hit a rough patch about two years ago and I reconsolidated my loans, no problem, payments made. Then in September of this last year, my wallet was stolen and I subsequently called all of my creditors to notify about a temporary suspension of payments until all legalities had been taken care of. Then my husband lost his job. Since we are not members of the predominant religion in our state, we qualify for no assistance whatsoever. So I call Sallie Mae for hardship deferment, of which I qualify for 3 years now. So I call the only number I can find on my old payment book and get someone in India. They couldn't understand a thing I said. I needed to give them new checking account information as I had needed to close my account and I didn't want to miss any auto payments to Sallie Mae. Again They couldn't understand anything I was saying. I requested deferment forms and was told that Sallie Mae didn't offer deferments that I had to get a forbearance that they could set up automatically with that call. I said "what ever" I just didn't want to jeopardize my payment status and lose my low rate. I requested that a supervisor call me back and that I receive the arrangement and guarantee in writing. A whole month goes by and I get no reply.
Then I try to call Sallie Mae everyday
for two weeks and I can't even get a human on the phone. There
used to be an option on the automated system for requesting forms,
but that was nowhere on the line. I went to the website, AND
NOTHING! And I have yet to be able to gain access to my personal
account information to manage my account from their site. So last
month I was finally able to get someone on the phone and while they
showed that I did call, there were no phone records. I told
him that since there has been some colossal screw-up on their end,
I need to get on deferment status so I can get back to my payment
schedule. He told me that there would be no penalties, they
could back-date my status with the deferment, not to worry.
He would have to fax me the forms for the bank account change and
the def. papers, and if I could fax them back as soon as possible,
we would be good to go. I don't have access to a fax, so if
he could email them to me I could get it back to him immediately.
No problem, he says. GREAT, Sallie Mae is taken care of; or so I thought.
A week goes by and no email. No forms, no nothing. Finally,
I get two emails from them, and it is only the change of bank account
form. That was Dec 3, 2005. I haven't been able to talk
to a human being again since that date. Just NJ nasty-grams.
I am writing to u about my school loans I was attending ITT TECHNICAL they said we will see if u can pay salliemae the school i was attending was not what I thought it was So they lend me 14000 dollars but the school was giving grades yhat i think i did not earn I let salliemae about it but they said they have nothing to do aout that but about my student loans I get phone calls 3 times a day and try to say iam trying to pay them but it is hard every time i talk to them abd they want to charge me 50 dolllars everytime so now i dont even answer the phone any more i send what ever i can and there still not satified let me know what I can do about it.
I recieved a VERY informative phone call from a company that was offering to help me lower my interest rates on my federal student loans. When The Caller found out I had just one private loan through Sallie Mae, The Caller advised me to contact Student Loan Justice IMMEDIATELY. The Caller had inquired after the interest rate I'm paying on my Sallie Mae Loan, I had told her I was paying a 16.750% interest rate on just my $3,000 loan, and as of Sept. 6, 2006 I am in the process of paying $3,708. That is $708 more, I have to pay, than the initial insult. Sadly enough, it is ever so increasing. The Caller was disgusted and told me I was being "had" and that it is VERY important to contact 'Student Loan Justice'. Thanks to this Caller, who had informed me Sallie Mae was on 60 minutes for "screwing people over". I am now contacting and am seeking help, any help. I was unaware of this, and feel very violated, and embarrassed for having such a high interest rate.I always thought that this interest rate was so high, but I just figured it was supposed to be because it was a student loan.
Unfortunately, my College also failed to inform me of any of this and they are continuing business with them. That also upsets me because they are setting up THEIR BUSINESS to fail. It's embarassing to tell my family, and especially my "Husband to be" that my ONE student loan is so high. I feel I haven't even made a dent in paying off just the interest on one silly loan. I had also informed The Caller of threatening letters they send my and my brother (who generously co-signed on this loan). That I, often, have an outstanding balance that needs to be payed right away, and they tag on an extra $30 late fee. That should have been another red flag to me. If I have a co-signer on a loan, doesn't that HELP the interest rates?! Help me, I think I've been "had".
To tell your story, please go here.