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Alabama

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

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Steve 

I attended a university in Alabama from 1983 until 1987 when I was forced to withdraw due to financial reasons-I found myself out of work. Until then I was working a full-time job, raising a new-born baby, and attending school full-time as well. I was going to school to make the life for my family better.

I had to move to move my family and I to Tennessee to live with my mother. We had to give up our home we had purchased.

I was unable to find employment in Tennessee and, as a result, had to file bankruptcy. I filed bankruptcy in 1988 on all of my debts which included my student loans. My attorney assured me that the student loans were discharged. I heard ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the Department of Education, Sallie Mae, or any agency about these loans after my bankruptcy.

I was not until 2005 that I received notification in the United States Mail that my student loans were in default and that I owed $22,340!! Amazing, since I only borrowed $7500! I looked at the billing statement from Progressive Financial Services out of Arizona and was astonished to discover that I had also been assessed and additional $4,470 in collection fees!!!

Prior to this, I had again, found myself out of work, but this time I was out of work for over nine months. I was trying to recover financially, when I received this statement from this collection agency. I , once again, found myself looking at the possibility of filing for protection under the bankruptcy law. I consulted with an attorney who advised me that this student loan may not be able to be discharged. I explained that if it was not covered under the prior bankruptcy why didn't the Department of Education or someone notify me of that?

I filed again for bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy was discharged and, again, I have received notification from this collection agency that they want their money-paid in full if possible or suitable payment. What is suitable? I only bring home a little over $1600 per month. Out of that I have to pay $401 in child support, $400 in rent (which is very cheap), and provide food, gas, clothing and medical insurance to my family. My official bankruptcy statement and my actual cash position has me going in the hole each month. I ACTUALL have to spend more than I make. The only way we make it is by me spending the night at work occasionally to save on gas expense or my wife will help our landlord and bring in a little extra cash (less than $50 per month).

Even though I thought the loan was discharged back in 1988, I would agree to repay the original debt and interest, but I do not think the added fees are fair. This is simply a way for some collection agencies to make money at the expense of the students who tried to make a better life for themselves.

I also think that the rules for discharging student loans in bankruptcy are virtually impossible to meet.

Something needs to be done to make this a fair, equitable, and just process for the student.

I, for one, will do all I can to make it so.

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Randy 

AS A SINGLE MOTHER I WENT BACK TO SCHOOL TO BE BETTER ABLE TO SUPPORT MY CHILDREN. AFTER A CAR WRECK THAT LEFT ME HOSPITALIZED FOR 6 MONTHS AND 6 MORE MON. TO RECOUP. I WENT INTO DEFAULT ON THE 27,000 I BORROWED. I HAD PAID BACK 12,000. I TRIED TO SEND SMALL AMOUNTS LIKE 75.00 A MONTH AND IT WAS SENT BACK BECAUSE THE LOAN CO. SAID I NEEDED TO MAKE PAYMENTS OF 600.00 MON. I COULDN'T DO THAT SO GARNISHMENT OF MY WAGES BEGAN. IT STILL WAS NOT ENOUGH BY LAW ( THEY COULD ONLY GET 10%) SO SALLIE MAE STARTED SELLING MY LOAN ABOUT EVERY 6 MONTHS TO A DIFFERENT LOAN CO (USA, PIONEER, ETC); EVERY TIME (6 SO FAR) MY LOAN WAS 'SOLD' THEY ADDED $6,000.00 AS A SERVICE CHARGE TO THE AMOUNT. I FOUND OUT AFTER THE 6TH TIME THAT SALLIE MAE WAS THE PARENT COMPANY OF ALL THESE COLLECTION COMPANIES. SO THEY WERE SELLING THE LOAN TO THEMSELVES AND CHARGING ME HUGE FEES; AND INTEREST IS COMPILING DAILY. I CAN'T GET THEM TO STOP SELLING MY LOAN. I BORROWED 27,000 , HAVE PAID 32,000 BACK AND AS TODATE I OWE 67,000. EVEN IF I DIE, THEY WILL BE ABLE TO ATTACH MY LIFE INSURANCE. THERE'S NO WAY OUT, NOT EVEN FOR MY CHILDREN. IT'S BEEN TEN YEARS AND IS GETTING WORSE! PLEASE HELP. A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT NEEDS TO BE FILED IT CAN'T BE LEGAL TO DO THIS TO PEOPLE. PLEASE HELP OR CONTACT ME WITH ANY INFO. THANK YOU.

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Paul 

I HAVE PREVIOUSILY CONTACTED YOU ABOUT DEFAULTED STUDENT LOANS. I LIVE IN ALABAMA. I BEEN FIGHTING THE DOE FOR YEARS. I HAVE RECENTLY BEEN WORKING WITH MY US SENATOR HERE TRYING TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER. I GOT A LETTER FROM THE DOE TODAY IN RESPONSE FROM A LETTER THAT MY SENATOR SENT TO THE DOE. THE DOE WAS JUST AS OPPRESSIVE AND DEFIANT AS EVER WHICH WAS NOT SURPRISING.  THE DOE DENIED IT WAS GARNISHING MY CHECK AT 25% EVEN THOUGH MY EMPLOYER TOLD ME IT WAS STUDENT LOANS NOT FROM ANOTHER SOURCE AS THE DOE SUGGESTED!!! THEY DENIED THAT THEY HAD DONE ANYTHING WRONG BY SENDING INCREASED GARNISHMENT PROPOSALS AND MY STUDENT LOAN FILES TO THE WRONG ADDRESS. THEY SAID I HAD TO MAKE SURE THE DOE HAD MY CORRECT ADDRESS. I HAD NOT MOVED-THERE WAS NO NEED TO SEND THE DOE A NEW ADDRESS!!! THE DOE AGAIN FLAT OUT REFUSES TO COMPROMISE ON INTEREST, COLLECTION COSTS, AND ETC WHICH WAS EXPECTED. THEY CLAIM THAT I CAN START A REPAYMENT PLAN WITH THE DOE. IF I UNDERSTAND THE REPAYMENT PLAN, THEY HAVE TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE DOE WHATEVER THAT IS!!! I DO NOT TRUST THE DOE!!! I AM AFRAID THAT ANY REPAYMENT PLAN WOULD HAVE  A LARGE DEBT PUT BACK ON MY CREDIT FILE-PLUS WEAKEN A LAWSUIT THAT I AM PLANNING ON FILING AGAINST THE DOE.  AS THE SITUATION EXISTS, I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU CAN EXPECT ANYTHING BUT AN OPPRESSIVE, UNCOMPROMISING, UNFORGIVING AND HOSTILE  RESPONSE FROM THE DOE. UNTIL THE LAW IS CHANGED AND/OR THE DOE IS DEFEATED IN COURT WITH HOPEFULLY A POPULAR BACKLASH AGAINST THE DOE-THE DOE WILL NOT CHANGE. I DO BELIEVE THAT AMENESTY IS STILL NEEDED FOR SOME PEOPLE. I ALSO HAVE AN OPINION ON WHAT SHOULD BE DONE POLITICALLY WITH THE DOE AND GOVERNMENT BACKED STUDENT LOANS, BUT I WILL SAVE THAT FOR ANOTHER DAY!!! I WILL BE SENDING MY SENATOR A RESPONSE TO THE LATEST DOE LETTER!!! THANKS!!!

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Christa

WELL I'VE BEEN READING SOME STORIES AND I SAY LET'S NOT BOO-HOO ABOUT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO US BUT WHAT THE HELL WE CAN DO TO THEM!!!!!!!!! 

IS THERE ANY WAY THAT WE CAN START PUTTING MEETINGS TOGETHER IN GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS, SO WE MIGHT MASS OUR EFFORTS?

I WANT TO SAY THAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT THE STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM KNEW WHAT IS WAS DOING. MEANING, I BELIEVED WHAT THEY TOLD ME. WHEN THE NASTY CONTRACTORS WOULD CALL, I LET THEM INTIMIDATE ME. WELL, AFTER PAYING THEM $4000.00 IN TWO MONTHS, THEN I LOST A LARGE CONTRACT CONCERNING MY BUSINESS AND NOTIFIED THEM BY SENDING THEM A COPY OF THE LETTER REGARDING THAT LOSS. THEY TURNED THAT CASE BACK TO THE DOE, WHICH TURNED IT OVER TO THE DOJ. THE DOJ LITIGATOR COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT THE DOE TOOK ME TO COURT AFTER HAVING MADE SUCH A PAYMENT.  THE CONTRACTOR TOLD THE DOE THAT I HAD PROMISSED $2000./MO WHICH WAS A LIE. I TOLD THE DOE TO CHECK MY TAX RETURNS, THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THAT KIND OF MONEY.  MY SUMMER HAD BEEN GOOD AND THE BUSINESS WAS SEASONAL.

I AM NO LONGER INTIMIDATE BY THOSE "BA.....S". SCREW EM!! FIND A WAY TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESSES, YES PAY YOUR TAXES AND YOUR SS, YOU DON'T WANT THE IRS ON YOUR BACK.. AND ABOUT THEM TAKING YOUR SS MONEY, SO WHAT. THE
WAY SS IS GOING THERE'S PROBABLY NOT GOING TO BE ANY TO COLLECT ANYWAY.

 GO TO GOOGLE "STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINTS" IN THAT LISTING IS AN ATTORNEY OUT OF NEW YORK THAT IS LOOKING INTO ALLEGATIONS REGARDING SALLIE MAE, THEY ARE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLIC. TELL YOUR STORY THERE. I JUST FOUND THAT WEB SITE, FILLED OUT MY INFO, AND AM GOING TO CALL THEM INRE TO THEIR GOAL.

ALSO, CBS NEWS DID A STORY "SALLIE MAE'S SUCCESS TOO COSTLY?"  THAT WILL MAKE YOU SICK OR MOTIVATED, ONE OF THE TWO. GO TO SLM CORPORATION (SALLIE MAE) OR YOUR LENDERS WEBSITE THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST.

UNTIL MY LOANS WENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT SALLIE MAE AND PROBABLY OTHER SERVICERS OF LOANS HAS COMPUTER GENERATED INFO THAT YOU CAN REQUEST: PAYMENT HISTORY (DON'T FORGET TO ASK THEM ABOUT A DEFINITION FOR THE CODES THEY USE), RECORDS OF PHONE CALLS(THIS WILL TELL YOU ALSO OF CONTACTS THEY HAD MADE WITH YOUR ORIGINAL LENDER AND SCHOOL; ASK FOR COPIES, FRONT AND BACK OF CHECKS YOU WERE TO HAVE RECEIVED TELL THEM YOU WANT LEGIBLE COPIES. THE PROBLEM ABOUT THE CHECKS IS AT SOME POINT IN TIME THE CHECKS WERE SENT TO THE SCHOOL, ENDORSE BY RECIPIENT, THE SCHOOL DEPOSITED THEM INTO THEIR ACCOUNT, THEN WROTE CHECKS TO THE RECIPIENT LESS ANY SCHOOL ENROLLMENT COSTS. I RECENTLY CALLED MY COLLEGE REQUESTING A COPY OF CHECKS WRITTEN TO ME, BUT WAS TOLD OF A $400-$500 FEE FOR RESEARCH. THE REASON THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO ME IS I BELIEVE THAT ONE SCHOOL CHECK MADE TO ME HAD TO BE ENDORSED BACK TO THEM, HAVING LOST MY GSL FOR THE LOAN PERIOD.  YOUR LENDER OR GARANTOR SHOULD HAVE COPIES OF THE ORIGINAL LENDER CHECKS.

ASK THEM FOR EVERYTHING!!!!

PAYMENT HISTORY: WHEN I GOT MY PAYMENT HISTORIES, THEY BREAK THEM DOWN BY LOANS.  THERE IS NO RUNNING ACCOUNT OF INTEREST, THERE'S PAYMENTS FOR INTEREST, BUT NO RUNNING ACCOUNT OF IT. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN INTEREST IS CAPITALIZED, SOMETIMES EVERY TWO MONTHS I THOUGHT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE EVERY THREE. WHATEVER. MY LOANS WERE SUBSIDIZED, BUT WHEN I TRANSFERRED, THEY STARTED ASKING FOR REPAYMENT, OF COURSE WHEN YOU TELL THEM YOU TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER SCHOOL THEY DON'T BELIEVE YOU. SO THEY STARTED CHARGING INTEREST AND CAPITALIZING IT/. THE PAPER WORK FROM SALLIE MAE NEVER MADE ANY SENSE (NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOKED AT IT). SO WHEN I WENT TO PAY TWO OF MY LOANS IN FULL I HAD CALLED  FOR A PAYOUT AND WAS TOLD A FIGURE AND THAT PAYOUT WAS GOOD FOR ABOUT 25 DAYS, THE CHECK  POSTED IN FOUR DAYS FROM THE TIME I HAD CALLED, AND LOW AND BEHOLD ACCRUED INTEREST SHOWS UP. NOW I HAD SENT TWO CHECKS WITH A LETTER ON HOW THEY WERE TO BE POSTED. THEY POSTED THE SMALL CHECK FIRST THEN THE PAYOU!
 T CHECK WHICH PUT ME INTO A CREDIT BALANCE, ACCORDING TO THEIR RECORDS A CREDIT OF ABOUT $66. THIS WAS IN OCTOBER , BY DECEMBER THAT CREDIT BALANCE WENT TO $190, WHEN THEY FINALLY POSTED THAT CREDIT  TO MY OTHER OBLIGATIONS, INTEREST HAD ACCRUED ON THOSE AND CAPITALIZED. SO THEY DEFINITELY HAVE POSTING/COMPUTER PROBLEMS.

THE REASON THAT MY LITIGATION WAS DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE IN  99 WAS NONE OF THE LITIGATION PAPERS MADE SENSE(FIGURES DID NOT ADD UP). THE DOJ REQUESTED DOE TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE AND THEY DID NOT RESPOND IN THE 30 DAYS GIVEN. TO THIS DAY THEY HAVE NOT RESPONDED. SINCE DOE COULD COME BACK ON THIS, I HAD  THURSDAY EVENING TELEPHONE MEETINGS W/DOE FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE 2 MONTHS. THEY WANTED TO KNOW WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE LITIGATION PAPERS. I TOLD THEM THAT IF THEY WERE TO SEND ME A LETTER THAT THEY WOULD NEVER TAKE ME BACK TO COURT I WOULD TELL THEM EVERYTHING, BECAUSE THERE WAS MORE WRONG THAN THE LITIGATION. THEY WOULD NOT SEND ME THAT LETTER AND WE ARE NOW AT AN EMPASS.

BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT THE ONE THING THAT THE DOE AND I AGREED ON WAS THAT THE INFORMATION THAT SALLIE MAE GIVES THEM IS WHAT THEY GO BY.

SALLIE MAE WILL NEVER LET YOU GET INTO PRINCIPLE, THEY WANT THAT INTEREST AND THEY WANT CAPITALIZED INTEREST, SO WHEN YOU GO INTO DEFAULT THEY GET PAID THE PRINCIPLE, CAPITAL INTEREST AND REG INTEREST.  THAT IS WHY THE CEO/PRESIDENT IS HAVING HIS OWN GOLF COURSE BUILT.

IT IS THE TAXPAYER THAT IS PAYING THOSE DEFAULTED LOANS--WHY ARE THEY NOT UP IN ARMS ABOUT THIS.

THE DOE APPARENTLY GOES BY PROMISSORY NOTES. IT APPEARS THAT THEY DON'T GO BY DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS, OR ACTUAL CHECKS DISPERSED? WHEN THEY SENT ME THE PACKET OF INFORMATION REGARDING MY ACCOUNTS THOSE WERE NOT IN THE PACKET.  IT'S SORTA OF FUNNY AND SAD AT THE SAME TIME BUT THE COPIES OF THE PROMISSORY NOTES WERE STREAKED BLACK AND "BEST COPY AVAILABLE STAMPED ON THEM". ALSO YOU CAN GET ALL

THE INFO THAT THE DOE HAS.

GO FIND MISTAKES IN THE PAPERWORK, PIN THEM DOWN

RECENTLY, IN TALKING TO THE OUMBUDSMANS OFFICE OF THE DOE, I FOUND THAT THE ONLY WAY THAT CHANGES CAN BE MADE IS BY CONGRESS. OH, BY THE WAY, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS, BUT ALL THE TAX DOLLARS THAT YOU PAY INTO THE GOVERNMENT THAT PUTS ALL THE "DEPARTMENTS" TOGETHER THAT YOU THINK ARE THERE FOR THE CITIZENS?  THEY ARE THERE FOR CONGRESS AND ARE DIRECTED BY CONGRESS. AND THE DIRECTIVES GO DOWN THE CHAIN, NOT UP THE CHAIN. A CITIZEN CAN NOT MAKE A COMPLAINT THAT WILL GO ANYWHERE.  YOU HAVE TO GET A HOLD OF YOUR SENATOR, BY THE WAY, IS NOT EASY. YOU NEED TO GET A MEETING WITH HIM OR HER. GOOD LUCK.

IN REGARD TO THOSE TWO LOANS THAT I OVER PAID, THE DOE SAYS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO SELL THE LOANS BACK TO SALLIE MAE FOR THE OVERPAYMENT TO BE RESOLVED.  BUT THEY HAVE 4,000.000 LOANS AND BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. THAT WAS NEVER RESOLVED.  

WE NEED TO GET ORGANIZED AND GET "OUR" LOBBY GROUP TOGETHER!!!!!!!

ANYONE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THEIR LOANS KNOWS THAT THERE ISN'T ENOUGH ROOM TO ADEQUATELY EXPRESS THE EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL AND LOSS OF THE AMERICAN DREAM AND KNOW THAT THERE IS NO WHERE TO TURN IN RESOLVING THESE ISSUES, UNLESS YOU DEAL WITH THE ENEMY OR HIRE YOUR OWN ATTORNEY. AND ALOT OF ATTORNEYS WON'T EVEN CONSIDER LOOKING AT IT. SO GO THE THAT WEBSITE AND LET'S SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO.

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Charlie

In 1999 I had no I idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life until I found out about the wonderful ife of Commercial Diving. (That's a joke) I started calling around to several different schools and talking with recruters who all where promising this great lifesyle where you can travel the world and make a couple hundred thousand per year. Sounds great dosen't it. So needless to say after hearing all of these great things I start the process of enrolling in school. While the process is starting up I find out that the cost of the school is around $16000. That was a real shocker, but I think to my self well if I am making good money should not be a problem to pay for the school.. So I go through the process of enrolling, and the school was so kind as to refer me to this wonderful finacial instition by the name of Sallie Mae or SLM Finacial or what ever they call themselves. My credit was not that good, but with this company being the kind and caring coorporation that they perceved themselves to be everything worked out and I got into school. Oh, forgot the part where I had to have my 84 year old grandmother co-sign for me. I finished the training program in the top of my class and was ready to venture off into the big wonderful world of diving. I obtained a job in South Lousiana with a well established company that said they had plenty of work. So I started to work with them and worked for 8 months before ever leaving dry ground. Well will I worked on Shore the wages where $9 dollars per hours. While I was working for the wonderful wage of $9 dollars per hour Sallie Mae was kind enough to defer my loans for six months. Well little did I know I was still being charged interest on my loans. After a while work started to pick up and so did the wages. After my firt 2 years of working I had made $67000 dollars between the two years. Work was very inconsistant and so where my payments to sallie mae. But they where always very understanding for somereason. After three years of
trying this work the money just was not there, but the Sallie Mae payments where. To bring it all to one sum. I borrowed $160000 dollars from these people and fours years to the date I owe them $260000. Go figure. I am trying to pay this as best I can, but hey if you don't have it you can't pay it. Everytime I turn around they are selling or transfering my loan to another part of SLM and my interest rate keeps going up. What am I to do? They call everyday threating to do this and that. The worst part is they call my grandmother who is 90 and threaten her. I have never met people who are as rude as the SLM people. I there anything that can be done about this? Please Help!!

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Edgar

When I was 19 I decided to attend a private school unaware of "financial aide" and how the process works. I was told that whatever my scholarships did not cover I could take out a student loan because majority of the students take out student loans. I was forced to take out a student loan at $21k the only problem was that it was not federal subsidized loan it is a private student loan.

Wells Fargo Financial is currently charging me 13.75% on a variable rate loan. My payments are enough for a new car. Between my mortgage and daycare I can not afford to pay extra on my student loan. I have paid $275 a month for the past 4 years with the balance only going down $1500!!! This is outrageous predatory lending. I was never did not disclose the interest rate nor did the financial aid office give me alternatives of loans. I was never educated on the process of credit and compounding interest works paying back $66,000 in total payback. I was told to sign the dotted line and I will get a check in the mail for $21000. At 19 sounded like it was too easy and the best thing in the world. Unfortunately there is not a company that refinances student loans so I am stuck! For now I get the monthly joy of opening my statement and seeing that only $50 of my $275 payment went towards principal. I wish my "financial aid" office would aid me by slapping the crap out of me and not let me do this to myself.

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Phillip

I am a former high school teacher who went on to earn a PhD in educational policy studies. After my MA and my PhD I owed $93,000. I currently owe about 90K. My loan payments are $600 dollars a month and are on a graduated scale. I am newly married, and we are about as broke as can be, despite the fact that we are both making decent money.

Thank you so much for starting this; it is nice to feel less alone...

 


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