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