Consumer Complaints & Reviews
I co-signed for a loan for my son who is out of school but has no job. The deferment period is over and Sallie Mae whets their money. I am a single parent, have school loans of my own. A few payments missed, they called me, I paid at least half and asked if any information was sent that can have a negative effect on my credit report. I was told no. Today I found out that they lied to me. My score is down 80 POINTS!!! EVERYONE KNOWS HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO BUILD A GOOD CREDIT SCORE!! I have heard horror stories about Sallie Mae but I am now having my own experience!!! It sucks to be between the realm of 'rich' and 'poor'. You do not qualify for assistance and you do not make enough to pay your own way so you have to resort to the likes of Sallie Mae!!!
I wish with all of my heart that I had never heard of Sallie Mae and never helped my child apply for a loan and co-signed these stupid loans. We could not get any loans anywhere else even with good credit. We are out of deferments with Sallie Mae. My child don't have a job right now. She is trying to find something. I don't understand what is going to happen. She has tried to make some kind of payment each month, but can't make their high payments. We have called and talked to Sallie Mae almost every month and never get straight answers. I couldn't make payments all the time when she was in school, and I am unable to help much now with my husband unable to work due to being injured at work. Am I going to lose everything I own over this? I am worried sick but don't know what to do and can't find anyone to help me. I found this site this time. Is there anyone out there that can at least direct me where to go for help?
I wish I had read these reviews prior to falling prey to this Legal Loan Shark of a company. I, like the rest of us that want to further the education of our children, had to pay for everything - no grants, no nothing. However, I been paying all four loans while my son was in school from the start, 4 years of it, that was over $1,000 a month every month for 4 years. Then he graduated, Whoopie. Can't find a job. I send each payment (2) separate accounts, two separate bill pay checks sent. I send extra. I get told that I am behind. I asked, "How could that be, I send more than the minimum required amounts each month." Ready for this explanation.
After my 7th call to these ignorant turds, hung up on, or "I'm sorry, sir, I can't hear you."
This Sallie Mae corporation is nothing more than a legal Loan shark that sucks the life out of every person that falls for their "Loans". Once they get you to sign on the dotted line, they got you and if I worked at this Pyramid Ponzi scam ** hole and spoke to the customers the way they do, I would have been fired. No wonder education is not within the reach of any American here. I hope Trump plucks your feathers and expose you for what you really are. Out for yourselves.
Sallie Mae is the worst loan company I have worked with, and I will regret my decision until the day I die. Sallie Mae promises new loan buyers the world, but once you sign the papers, their well-wishes become fangs filled with venom. When I first applied for a Sallie Mae loan, I was hooked by their low-interest rate (which, compared to the other loan providers, 6% was great). After signing the dotted line, that 6% became 9%. When I argued it, the customer service reps would either sit there in silence, laugh or just hang up on me.
Another issue is that they are not willing to work with you, at all / no matter what (especially post the forbearance stage). They want me to pay 797.13 a month on top of another loan that is from a different company... I can afford 1/2 of that, easily. BUT, rather than getting something instead of nothing, they declined every solution I had and just hung up on me. I begged and pleaded, but they would rather have my co-signer and I go into default than to work with me.
The customer service portion is a joke. One rep called me a liar when I told him I am borrowing money to pay my loans (really??). Another rep laughed at me when I told her of my issues, and she told me "Sucks to be you, kid." and hung up on me. Another rep said "I have better things to do than work with people like you." and hung up on me. These are three of the MANY calls I had with them, most of them either equal to worst than what I just said. They really make Comcast customer service look like angels.
Finally, I am in a situation where the money I make doesn't compare to the payments required. One rep, laughing while he said it, told me to find another place to buy-out my loans. I may just do that because I'm working myself to death for nothing. I wish the absolute worst to Sallie Mae, and I truly believe in karma. Companies like Sallie Mae are the reason why people are struggling to this day. I made the choice to go to college, I graduated top of my major, I work harder now than I ever did to survive. What goes around, comes around, Sallie Mae.
UPDATED ON 07/23/2016:After writing my previous review, I was contacted by Sallie Mae's Office of the Customer Advocate. In their message, they left me a phone number to call. I suddenly felt like my prayers were going to be answered, and that my payments would become more manageable. NOPE. Instead, when I called the number and I was immediately sent to a representative (whom I want to publicly name, because she was a class piece-of-work, BUT if I do, I feel that Sallie Mae will find another way to punish me). The representative introduced herself to me, apologized for my experience, and stated that she was going to listen to all my calls in hopes to fixing the issues that I had. She never once said "We will try to find a way to help you pay what you can", instead... just "fix the issues that I had".
She told me to wait two days, and she would call me back. After waiting those two day, she contacted me. She immediately reminded me that I was being recorded and I must understand this (immediately igniting shivers of rage within me). She promptly followed that she found no proof to the experiences I had, and professionally called me a liar. She stated she only went back to "2015", to which I have been having these issues with Sallie Mae reps since 2014 (when I graduated). After telling her what I stated was still the truth, she just replied "Yup" and I began to hear an onslaught of "taptaptap" in the background (now documenting her behind).
Long story short, after going back and forth with her (and hearing an unending onslaught of "taptaptap" in the background), I bluntly asked her "Did Sallie Mae reach out to me to help me out OR did they seriously contact me JUST to clear their customer service's name?" She evaded the question and told me, instead, that ONCE AGAIN Sallie Mae will not help me lower my current payments. Sallie Mae's reasoning is as follows: Since I am "paying" my loans, I am therefore not considered "in financial difficulty", even though I frequently call them, begging to lower the monthly payments.
Sallie Mae's wants me is purposely not pay my loans (and call them before 15 day past-due date), then have Sallie Mae NOW take both my co-signer's and my financial information, run a financial report, and make a new payment pooling our incomes. When I disagreed with this, saying it was stupid, and said that I didn't want my brother now getting pulled down with me, her actual response was "Well, he shoulda knew what he was getting into once he signed the papers. That's what a co-signer is for, right? You can't make your payments, then he can. If you didn't want to put him at risk, you should never have used him." Really? REALLY??
What we knew when we agreed to signing up with Sallie Mae is that I was promised that I would end up paying the loans back at LOW INTEREST/PAYMENT (hence why we were brought to Sallie Mae in the first place... their LOW REPAYMENT PRICES), not the factor that I signed a blood document, seeded with lies, so that they would cripple my brother and I should I experience any struggles at a price tag THEY personally decided.
In the end, classic horrid customer service being horrid again, combined with ruthless business tactics. If I hit a miracle and I am actually able to pay off this upcoming month's loans, I will immediately start searching for someone to buy out my loans and save me from the hell Sallie Mae has put me through. Everything about this company is a corrupt from the ground up, and do not trust Navient, either. They are run by the same people and same principles of Sallie Mae (this stated from the ACS, StudentLoans.Gov, and NSLDS representatives I talked to on the phone, post that Sallie Mae phone call). To any/all potential Sallie Mae repliers, DON'T BOTHER MESSAGING ME. You will not get a response from me anymore, no matter what you say. I am completely done dealing with you/interacting with you. May this PLEASE be the last experience I ever have to have with them again.
First of all I never used the Sallie Mae loan because my ex-husband between 2009 and 2014 was in the military and I had went to University of Phoenix and Pikes Peak Community College. Sallie Mae charged me for schools that I didn't even go to. I gave them proof that my identity was stolen and they keep sending me more and more bill statements after stating that I never gone to these horrible schools that wasn't even accredited like Remington College or Everest. Don't ever apply there because some students don't even get jobs after they were promised that they would. They have no accreditation and have the highest rate of college dropouts. They pool your information and tell you you owe them even when you did not go. So Sallie Mae is a piece of useless loan that makes you pay when you didn't go and puts it on your credit. However they can go fly a kite because I am NOT PAYING FOR A SCHOOL I NEVER WENT TO and neither should you.
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While my son was in school, he was paying $200 a month toward his loan. Suddenly, they started sending him back a check for $200 a month. We called the phone number provided on the check to find out why. They were to return our call with an answer within 10 days. Nope. Meanwhile, this went on for five months. After speaking to numerous people at numerous numbers that they kept transferring us around to, NOT ONE person could explain why they were sending him $200 every month.
Meanwhile, his loan is NOT being paid and interest is accruing yet he is TRYING to pay down his loan. WE assumed it was because since he was in school full-time, he was in "forbearance" and they WOULDN'T take his payments! He was paying them from his bank, not through the automatic withdrawal because they wouldn't let him pay the $200 a month that way because he was in school! Since my son has attempted to pay ahead on this loan, they have more than once stopped taking payments and returned payments without any notification to him. I therefore can specifically say that Sallie Mae intentionally causes students to accumulate interest.
Sallie Mae is the worst loans for students you say look I have no job. I can't get a job. I have no money. Well you have to pay X amount of dollars for you to get a forbearance and it's 50 per loan. Well if I had that 50 per loan then I wouldn't need this... They don't care what kind of situation you have they want that money... and since you can't file bankruptcy on them they have you... But guess what if you get disabled or draw social security you don't have to pay it is forgiven so what the hell get disab... Then it's all forgiven and then go back to work lol... And the personal loans, signature loans those can be dismissed on bankruptcy so what the hell file easier to start your credit over then get them off your back.
I was told, by my financial adviser, that Sallie Mae was the way to go when getting a student loan. It was not. First off, they divided it into 3 separate loans which one was for a ridiculously low amount... that I could've, literally, paid out of pocket... and each had a different interest rate. When it came time to pay, I wasn't allowed to pay more towards one, they divided it up for me and less than half of what I was paying went to the principle balance. A total joke. Customer service was absolutely horrendous and no help at all. I'd get transferred time and time again. Then when I left school, they demanded I pay the remaining amount in full. There was no way I could pay 10 grand out of pocket. They automatically put my loan into default. It took me 6 months to get them to agree to a payment plan. I could go on and on about how awful this company is. If anyone recommends that you go through them, just don't!
I applied to Sallie Mae based off of my college advisor (whom I wish I never listened to) when I was applying for College. I had to open a loan and my advisor kept "selling" Sallie Mae to me because ALL her students used it. Since I had less than a week to get my application thru so that I could get approved after I was accepted, I thought, what the heck, why not, seems like a well trusted company.
I contacted Sallie Mae and the representative persuaded me to choose a FIXED rate instead of a Variable for my loan. His reasoning was that since I have never opened a loan before, I should choose having a fixed rate. Fine, I did that. Well, my "fixed" rate ended up being a wonderful 11.75% rate! There was no going back. I was also convinced by him that this was a GREAT RATE!
I graduated 3 years ago. I've been paying on time, every month, well above my minimum monthly payment just to keep my head above water and keep this rate under control. It's been eating me up and I've seriously gone crazy and feel like I'm on the verge of becoming homeless! If I had chosen a variable rate, my interest rate would have been as low as 3 to 6%, not too bad comparing to what I'm stuck with now. And if it was a variable rate, I would have been able to make decent payments instead of these huge chunks that rip right through my bank account.
I contacted Sallie Mae to try to negotiate a better rate and they told me that I could either open their credit card and pay off the loan through that (with a rate that will only be 11.50 % instead), or I can have my account go to COLLECTIONS and ruin my credit so that they can work with providing me LOWER rate. Terrible service. I'm almost done paying this nightmare of a loan off.
But my advice to anyone thinking of using Sallie Mae is: Do your RESEARCH before opening up any loans with SM. Do not let any representative persuade you into accepting a high interest rate because of the simple reason that you are a student and do not have any loan experience therefore this is why you were approved with a higher rate. Remember: YOU are a STUDENT, you should not have any experiences with opening other loans, hence the reason for why you are opening a student loan. If you do decide to go with SM, make sure you make larger payments to keep your head above water and do not miss any payments!!
The website is horrendous. I spoke with agent some months ago to make sure all of the loans we pay for our kids are automatically withdrawn. I was ASSURED they all were good to go. So I get a notice we are late!!? Of course I go online to pay it. Problem 1: shows the past due loan (at about $84) and it was not on automated system. Ok, not the end of the world so I try to put it on automatic withdrawal (put in bank number routing number, etc.) but it won't take the payment because there is a past due loan (PS past due by 2 days!). OK, I can handle that. I go back and tell the website to make the payment but it's automated. I can't put in an amount and the amount it will let me pay is about $2 less than what it says we owe. No other options so I pay it.
Hmmm... website still shows we owe about $84. So I use the phone and run through their system (It's Saturday when most working people can call). So after going through several options (including if you'd like to speak with an agent press #__), I entered the information to make the payment by my bank. The automated response asked me to confirm that I wanted to make a payment of $82 (still an amount lower than they said we owed). I confirmed by hitting the digit 1 on the phone as directed. Then it said we could not make future payments which caught me off guard because they are saying it's past due.
As directed I entered 1 again. It recycled back to the same messages that I heard when I first called the number. So I went through the prompts again, but this time the automated response was, "So, to make sure, you want to pay $164." So I went through the prompts again, and when it gave the option to speak with an agent, I entered 1 to say yes. It immediately said agent assistance is only available on Monday-Friday (Tell me that up front)! So I hung up and went back online to see what it said on my account now. Nothing had changed. So I called back and went through the prompts again - everything was exactly the same until it got to the "So, to be sure, you want to make a payment of $228?" So I just hung up! I can see where this is going - NEVER and I mean NEVER has it been so hard to make a payment on something!!!
To add insult to injury, when they left a voicemail about the past due loan, they threatened my credit rating (which is well over 800) over a payment that was only 2 days late. Even then, they had previously told me verbally that all of my loans were on auto-pay. So I haven't even been checking on the amounts due - I just assume it's on auto-pay, which has been working fine for many months.
Why when I go on the website am I shown an amount to pay that is LESS THAN what I am being told is PAST DUE. Wouldn't that amount AT LEAST be the amount that is past due??? And then I cannot even change the amount to make it the amount due. If they are worried people will put in a lower amount then fine. But at least let people put in a higher amount especially when it is "past due."
Do they mean to tell me that they cannot create an online program that would allow me to enter what they are telling me I need to pay? I am no software whiz, but I could even make an Excel sheet that could do that. If their web page could do that they would have their money, and I wouldn't have spent precious weekend time dealing with this.
I know this review won't change anything. Student loans are almost a monopoly ("We don't care - we don't have to"). I wrote this review on this website, because although I may have missed seeing it I didn't see anywhere on their website to give feedback. Smart move on their part! I did give them 5 stars of payment options because that issue is good (debit, credit card, or checking account number for direct pull - supposedly), but the service is wretched!
I applied for 3 loans from Sallie Mae during nursing school using a co-signer. Throughout school, I made monthly payments which were more than the minimum requirement. So much so, my account was almost ALWAYS paid ahead. Sallie Mae even called me and asked if I wanted to "skip" a month's payment because I was so far ahead.
Fast forward to post graduation. Monthly payments jumped from well below $100 all the way to almost $1000 a month! I have been having a difficult time finding employment, but even so, I find that amount to be absolutely absurd for anyone, much less a new graduate! I have made numerous calls to Sallie Mae for assistance in getting my account into a forbearance.
SALLIE MAE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANYONE'S SITUATION. They are so incredibly unhelpful and inconsiderate. Yes. I did have a co-signer but that was 4 years ago. Things change and they are unable to assist me anymore. My account was never put into a forbearance and they continue to put my account into collections demanding a balance payment before I can even speak to customer service. They refuse to let me speak to anyone in customer service and continue to tell me the same things over and over again with absolutely no attempt to help resolve my issues.
It truly is disgusting that this company is still around. Their debt collections department are like the most disgusting vultures waiting around for the next unfortunate victim so they can attack them until they get their payment. A loyal customer does nothing for them. I have dealt with other loan companies and used to work at a bank and never have I experienced such incredibly appalling customer service or support from a company! After reading all of the other reviews, I do not understand how this company is still allowed to be in business. If I could give them a negative review I would. They don't even deserve the 1 star rating we're forced to give them.
Let me start by stating if a negative number was an option it would apply. I have had nothing but issues with Sallie Mae. This includes the monthly bill received and the people that they have staffing their phones. Currently I am paying the monthly interest on the loan which never adds up. The customer service team has difficulty getting the number to make sense. Since this loan was started I have called every month and never received the same response to my question. It is a joke that these people are in business. If I did not pay the interest my daughter would owe more than twice the amount of the original loan. Sallie Mae is unforgiven if you choose the wrong options for the loan and provide no advice. Just to get rid of them, I will borrow the money from my 401k to pay them off. PLEASE do not take out a loan with them.
I am a first generation college graduate and a proud public high school teacher with 15 years experience. Yet I do not qualify for teacher loan forgiveness. My work in a school with 80% poverty isn't honored because of some random legislative date? Why is it that only a borrower who took out his or her first FFELP or Direct loan after October 1, 1998 (or who had no outstanding balance on a prior FFELP or Direct loan at the time the borrower took out a new loan after October 1, 1998), qualifies for forgiveness under this program (My first degree was not in education)?
I also do not qualify for government service cancellation because my consolidated loan does not say "direct" in front of it! This is a hidden penalty for first generation college graduates like myself that did not have parents or mentors to advise me. Sallie Mae sold me a consolidation loan product "smart loan consolidation" after my masters in teaching. It has a 25 year term! I have worked diligently at a "qualifying school" (department of Ed. lingo for poor) for 13 years. I have faithfully paid student loans for 25 years and now I have 10 more to go despite the rhetoric our leader has espoused! Disgusted! I should have gone to law school so I could have fought the power that takes advantage of the hard working middle-class public servants who are deceived by corrupt legislators and greedy bankers. Change the laws and give me back the $250 per month so I can save for my retirement! Unjust hidden clauses impact lives!
I have had countless problems getting a student loan through Sallie Mae. They have given me the same problem for 3 years now. The first was easy and got approved immediately. Past that, it has been nothing but jumping through hoops and them promising that it would not happen again. But, it does. They give the same exact reasons, approve it then have to go through all of it again the next semester. I have one semester left and they refuse to give me a loan, funny thing is that the reason I am getting a degree is to get a job, with that job I can pay back the loan. I don't understand how they don't realize this concept. They are rude EVERY single time I have had to do this. They have hung up on me, told me I have no clue what I am talking about and so on. If you are able to I highly recommend going through another financial institution.
Sallie Mae screwed up my daughter's loan and the university has demanded the tuition in full which we can't afford. Now, she is out of school and has to work to pay off the tuition. My husband and I are helping her pay off the tuition but it has been a couple of years now (this is the price we're paying for a quality education). Can we file a class action suit against Sallie Mae?
My son registered half time at his university. It was by graduate hours. The university applied his hours in writing and online. Dear Sallie Mae, the public can look it up. Sallie Mae continued to bill him. When called they insisted university said he had not registered for enough hours. However what the representative did not know is that we can see what was submitted. He did register for the required qualifying hours. He had to drop a class as a result and pay cash because he could not afford to pay Sallie Mae and the additional class. Meaning Sallie Mae is now liable for extra costs by him taking longer to complete his degree.
Sallie Mae was called multiple times. However the representatives failed to apply the fact that he was registered as a graduate student and not an undergrad so he was not applied hours correctly. The fact that a representative lied twice on the phone was really disappointing. Also, any consumer reading this beware... They will not always apply your electronic submissions and then charge interest on you. So if you submit electronically take a picture of your screen so you can show them the next billing cycle.
Sallie Mae are bullies and liars and scam artists. I have been trying for two years to get the status of my student loan figured out. I show it being paid in full or really close maybe a payment or two. They say I still owe 7 more years and I have already paid for 16 years on a 8k school loan. They have threatened me numerous times. I am in a forbearance right now trying to get this figured out. I have contacted attorneys that want $250.00 just for me to walk in their door and then another $200.00 to write Sallie Mae a letter. I have paid for my education and I don't feel I should have to pay for more than that.
I went to National Institutes of Technology back in 2006 for 16 months and got a diploma. Now this school has changed their name to Everest Institutes as well took the IT trade out nationwide. Getting nowhere with a diploma and certifications, thought with a college degree and more advanced types of certificates would be a two and one win is. Then 8 years later joined Hallmark College now called Hallmark University. I finished in February of 2015 and have not made a payment since have not getting nothing out of it. Come to find out by the time almost about to graduate (5 months left) till after, they only had one job in their database and could not keep a job recruiter at the school who could help people with finding any kind of IT career let alone even a job. This has filled me with great loss in my life and no hope. To all others beware of college scams.
I read all of the problems about every student who applied for a Sallie Mae loan. I didn't apply for a loan at all. I was in NY, deployed to Iraq several times, return to find a student loan was used by former AWOL soldier. He stole more than 1,789 soldier's names, SS#, and DOB. He applied and was denied when he added a name like mine with clear credit. Sallie Mae didn't care at all if I did or didn't apply. I was threaten several times, police investigator threaten me jail time for lying, and I was forced to retire from service. I'm at war with Sallie Mae collection companies that promise to clear my credit after a payment is made.
Remember, you have rights. They are hiding behind the phone as they threaten to take your IRS check, take your job, and they are coming to get your first born. Wrong, first I ask them, "Send me a validation letter with proof of identity." That's not going to happen. Well keep calling me then, I'm not paying for loan that I never applied for. If Samuel would be happy to pay for a loan he applied for should be responsible. I'm not going to make any payment because non-compliance from Navient Corp. You have the power to make a difference, send out letters to the three credit bureau with simple explanation of problem. Send out one every month with different date, make copies and file under loan. They will call you ask about the situation.
So far the Federal Commission has made an effort to speak to Sallie Mae which now they threaten to confiscate my pension. Now I'm headed to State Court to file for loan dismissal and removal. Which if so called Samuel don't show I will be free and cleared from insolent Sallie Mae. Be ready to see a change on how Sallie Mae dig deep for the many years of bad business.
When I got my 4 small student loans through Sallie Mae I used two family members of co-borrowers that didn't really want to put their names on a loan. Two years later I became a working member of society, and because I had family breathing down my neck about making payments on time, I looked into how to remove co-borrowers. I had to make 12 consecutive on-time payments among a list of many other things. After my 12th on time payment, I submitted my form to remove the co-borrower. To my shock I got a denial letter saying I did not make 12 consecutive on time payments. I spoke with the head supervisor who told me that even though my bill was due on the 17th and I paid early on the 16th, it was a Friday and I paid after 5PM. Because of that it got posted to their system that following Monday, the 18th and now I'm late. Just like that, on a technicality all my hard work for a year was gone. Time to start over. Very corrupt, unforgiving Company...
Apparently I applied to college. Was denied a student loan and even with a cosigner I was still denied. I was making payments to the college then one day I found out I was approved for a Sallie Mae loan that I never applied for or applied to. It was a $4000. I defaulted on the loan and now after talking to several people they refuse to settle. Took over $1700 and now that I'm unemployed and disabled they are still unwilling to help. Won't settle unless I pay $3500. I talked to people about student loan forgiveness. Said I qualified for the program and Sallie Mae denied that as well. Worst company ever to deal with!!
I opened a fixed rate loan with an interest of 12%! At the time, I was told it was a great rate and advised not to do a variable rate (which I should have done based on the rates today) and have been paying around 900.00 per month just to keep my head above water so that my principal can stop rising so high. I called to see if maybe I can have some sort of relief and hopefully renegotiate my unfair rate, and the rep wouldn't budge and said they only renegotiate rates if my account went to collections. My other loan withs Great Lakes is a fixed 4% interest rate. How can two loans I signed for have two completely different rates? Sallie Mae doesn't even deserve ONE STAR! DON'T GO THROUGH THEM!!!
I have a $32,000 loan with Sallie Mae. I make dirt money (20k a year), recently graduated, and fell into the trap of the student loans. I called Sallie Mae to try and work with them and let them know that I cannot make the payments. My mother, who also has bills, so graciously co signed for me when I first took this loan out. Now instead of lowering my monthly payments from 600 to say 400, they refused and told me that "my mother makes enough to pay the bill." Sallie Mae is expecting me to pay this loan in less than 4 years... That's like taking a loan out for a Ferrari and paying it off in 5 years. IMPOSSIBLE.
Sallie Mae will not work with me. They are horrible people to borrow from. I will never recommend Sallie Mae to anyone. Not to mention, the person I spoke with was extremely rude and made my mother feel as though she wasn't doing anything to help. Once again, Sallie Mae is awful and I hope they get what they deserve one day... Lawsuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits.
I'm not working, on public assistance (food stamps and medical card) and I sent them all my documentation and they still want me to make my payments. I have regularly sent in "forgiveness" forms and deferment forms. If you are a potential college student, NEVER do student loans. They are worse than the mafia.
I can't sleep because am owing Sallie Mae known as Navient. They threaten me every here and there calling me multiple times. I pleaded that I am going to school full time and all they could tell me is that there is nothing they can do about it and if I don't pay it, they're going to sue me to court. I need someone to help me please. I am so confused and lost I don't know what to do.
I borrowed money for tuition at a Rancho School for my troubled teen 10 years ago. The interest is "only" 7.5%. The way the interest is calculated daily and added back on I will be dead before this loan is paid off. In early years I was paying double the required amount, have always paid on time and always more than the required amount. Even now it says NO PAYMENT DUE. The interest calculated is usually at least a third of my payment that I make EARLY. I HATE this organization and how they treat people. I do not deserve to be paying 20 years or more on a 20,000 loan that's what appears to be a reasonable interest rate.
My Citibank school loan I also had has been paid off long ago. They even had lowered my interest rate when the economy took a dump before 2010. I still owe almost 9,000 and I've been paying for almost 10 years. I keep thinking I can figure out how to make this go down. The only way is to move it to a credit card. It will be paid off faster on a regular credit card at a much higher rate of interest. Every time I look at this thing I want to SCREAM AND CRY. I'm so so ANGRY signing up for a government sponsored loan that I would be treated fairly and with respect and not a usury-type of loan.
Sallie Mae mistakenly "revised" the addresses to a few of their unreachable Puerto Rican clients so that I'm now receiving their mail. Why? Although our names may resemble one another ("Huertas"), it's apparently too difficult for Sallie Mae account reps to compare SS#s or birth dates to certify account changes with any accuracy. So now I'm receiving privileged financial information of other borrowers because of my last name. So much for security; so much for privacy. How shockingly irresponsible, Sallie Mae.
I think there is no question when it comes to Sallie Mae/Navient or whatever new name they come up with to rebrand themselves, it's a nightmare. The loans I took out at 19 are going to haunt me for the rest of my life. They use predatory lending tactics that are inescapable. Coming from a very low-income family, it's difficult to understand the full amount of damage these loans will make. Needless to say, we borrowed money that on paper no other bank would have approved when looking at our income, we then couldn't pay it (surprise). They then kept pushing different forbearance options on us as the loans continued to grow. When we ran out of time on that and tried to negotiate payments nothing was acceptable. They finally offered me payment plan with a 1% interest rate, but I was denied because "I didn't make enough money". Hilarious.
I don't qualify for a lower payment because I don't make enough money, yet lending me money with outrageous interests rates didn't require a minimum income. Finally I get on this payment plan, was informed it was going to last 12 months then I would have to renew. At 10 months, I called to inquire about my options with in-school deferment. Was told that I had 11 months left on 4 of my loans and 13 months on 1 and that I could use it and then reapply for the payment plan. I called again at 11 months to get more information and be sure to move forward, now my payment plan was extended 3 months because the first 3 months were qualifying and didn't actually get counted towards the payment plan, so I said okay fine.
Still inquired about the last of my in-school deferment, was informed it was totally feasible and to submit the paperwork via fax or email. I do this, then get a rejection email saying I can't because I am on a payment plan, I call and speak to someone who informs me they don't know why I received that email because nothing was even processed yet. She then informed me that my best bet was to finish the payment plan out (next 3 months) and then apply for the deferment because then I wouldn't have to wait a year to reapply for the payment program. I said "oh, well thanks for that great information, I wasn't informed there would be a wait period after. Please void my application and I will do this all in 3 months."
She confirmed my time remaining and it was just as everyone else had said 11 months for 4, 13 months for 1. I log into the site a few days later and see that 3 of my 5 loans are now in a in-school deferment, but it's showing a deferment from April 2015 to February 2016, considering it's January 2016 and I had just started school for the first time in 3 years and have been on a payment plan for the last year, that couldn't be right.
I call to clear things up and this rep now informs me that I actually have no more deferment time remaining on these 3 loans, that the months have been used in this last deferment period. I explain my payment plan and that I wasn't in school and have just recently requested a deferment and she insists that I have been on this deferment the last 10 months. I continue to explain to her that is no way in hell the situation and she finally grasps it and puts my account into "research". Great.
Moving forward, I call about a week later because my automatic payment didn't come out and start talking with a new rep to ensure that I'm not suddenly in an in-school deferment. He tells me I'm not and that I need to set up payments for the next two months. I'm now clearly confused because my last 12 payments came out of my account fine. We talk things out and I tell him about my in-school deferment that I would like to start at the end of the payment plan as security. (I intended to continue making payments, but wanted a cushion in case a tough month come along.) He tells me he would really recommend on stay on the payment plan because it's a great deal, but that when the two months is up I can get the deferment and use my last 11 months.
At this point I'm just annoyed with the fact that nobody I talk to ever has the same answer so I follow up again a few days later. This time I'm informed by the rep that my loans are tricky because I can only utilize in-school deferment 4 months after my disbursement date. It's now been ten years so I'm not eligible. I say okay well why did the last 6 reps not explain that also? If that's the case how was I eligible for an in-school deferment 3 years ago which was 7 years since disbursement? He said it must have fallen through the cracks and urges me to apply to extend my payment plan.
At this point I'm more frustrated with the inconsistencies and lying that I refuse. I find it hilarious they have no problem calling you multiple times a day when they need you to pay, but nobody can give you the correct answer when it comes to your needs. I dealt with reps yelling at me telling me that I better get another job to pay my loans because it's my responsibility and that I should move home with my parents so I could pay them. (Yes, I should get a 3rd job you are right! I should also move across the country to live with my mother who is staying with a family member, you are right on Navient!)
If you are still reading this I'm very sorry, but I will also now share my other frustration. Around this same time that I signed up for my payment plan my 6th loan had been charged off, somehow it was 30 days ahead of the other loans. At this point they were threatening garnishment which I heavily considered because it would have still been far less than what they wanted me to pay but opted for the payment plan. My rep at the time said put $1,000 down and then pay $100/mo, you will get a 0.01% interest rate. I asked if I could receive this in writing, she said they don't send letters because it's charged off and I had 24 hours to decided. I didn't have $1,000 so it didn't seem like an option.
She then sends garnishment paperwork to my job (looking back I actually think it was just employment verification, but it scared me enough to panic into settling). My employer agrees to advance me the money and let me pay it back over the next weeks. I pay the 1,000 and the payment plans begins and after 90 days I will receive the 0.01% interest rate.
About 7 months later, I am looking at my statement and see that the loan is just growing. I didn't expect it to go down much but I didn't expect it to grow with a practically 0% interest rate. I call and am then told, there is no way they agreed to that, "the payment you are making is way too small to qualify for that." I then continue to explain this was really the agreement, the arrogant rep tells me I'm not paying enough and that if I pay $150/mo I would qualify (the $50 difference seemed like BS, but I agreed). Fast forward 4 months and I still didn't see a change in the interest rate, called and this rep was very helpful and fixed it on the spot.
All and all, nobody should ever ever ever ever ever borrow from them. There is nothing I regret more in life. I'm also well aware that I borrowed the money and I'm frustrated that at 19 I didn't know better. I'm also frustrated that my loan amount has more than doubled and there is absolutely no way out. This is a corrupt company who lies, cheats, steals and manipulates their customers. Save yourself.
I co-signed a student loan for my son which I had been making monthly payments. In April while going through old paperwork he found one of the loan checks, which had never been cashed. This check was never credited back to his account. Account balance lower than check amount. Stopped making payments 6/15. SallieMae/Navient started extremely aggressive calls to me at all time of day. Never contacting my son. Sent certified letter with copy of the uncashed check and received letters saying "I had co-signed the loan and was responsible for this amount".
SallieMae/Navient have destroyed my credit. I have been paying on a loan balance which has always been incorrect paying interests on this balance. SallieMae/Navient owes me money at this point. Account has been turned over to GC Services Limited Partnership, Houston, TX for collection. Their position has been the same. Aggressive calling at all times of day. Certified letter was also sent to them to no avail.
The level of incompetence here is nearly impossible to express in words, but I'll try. August of last year, I received a notice from Sallie Mae (SM) that they were discontinuing a relationship with a company that processed their loan payments, and a new remittance address was provided. I called SM to discuss, and the representative suggested setting up an automated ACH payment that would withdraw the loan payment from my bank account each month. It sounded like a good idea, so I provided my bank account info.
In September, I received several automated voice mails that my payment for the month was past due. I called SM to discuss and was told that once it's set up "sometimes it requires an additional month for the automated ACH payment to work." In the meantime, I should send them a check as I had in the past. I was then assured that the following month the ACH payment would go through.
In October, I received several more automated voice mails that my account was past due for the month, so I called SM. I told them to forget about the ACH payments; I would just pay as I had been with a check from my online bank account. In January, I was balancing my checkbook for the year, and discovered 2 automated ACH payments to SM for November & December (in addition to my checks) and realized that double payments had been made. In an attempt to be proactive, I called SM and explained the situation to the representative, and said "I would like to skip the payments for the next 2 months". She said it was OK and she would "turn off" the automated ACH.
This past weekend, I again received several automated voicemails that my account was past due. I called today and explained the situation in detail to the representative. He confirmed that I had called in August to set up the automated ACH and simply said "I don't know why it didn't work." He then proceeded to put me on hold for 15 minutes to "discuss it with my manager." He then said they had applied the extra payments to the principal amount of the loan and there was nothing they could do about it; I still owed the payment for this month. WTF? If the level of incompetence of this government sponsored agency is typical, we are truly doomed as a nation. As a result of this experience, I called a bank that had offered to consolidate my student loans. Although I'll probably pay a slightly higher interest, it will be worth it for the peace of mind.
Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.
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Sallie Mae is one of the largest and most reputable student loan companies offering both undergraduate and graduate student loans. They have been in business for over 40 years and have helped more than 30 million students and their families save, plan and pay for college.
- Services: Private education loans for undergraduates, graduate students and children in private K-12 schools. Banking products include money market accounts, high yield savings accounts and CDs. The Upromise by Sallie Mae earns members cash back on everyday purchases.
- Smart Option Student Loan: This unique program offers an undergraduate school student loan solution with competitive interest rates, a choice of repayment options and rewards for on-time loan payments while in school. There are 3 repayment options and variable or fixed interest rate loans.
- Three repayment options: Sallie Mae offers 3 different repayment options: a Deferred Repayment Option where the student makes no payments during school or pays as much as he or she prefers, a Fixed Repayment Option or an Interest Repayment Option where students make interest payments while in school so it doesn't accrue over time.
- Payment rewards: The interest repayment option rewards the borrower for paying interest while in school. This benefit may save over 20 percent on total loan costs when compared with the deferred repayment option. On-time payments earn a 2 percent benefit paid into the student’s Upromise account.
- Loan education and information: The Sallie Mae portal has useful budgeting, money management and loan resources to help student and their families with their finances.
- Best for Students who don't qualify for scholarships, families of students needing help with private school K through 12 tuition payments, undergraduates and graduate students.
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