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

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Name Withheld

About 16 years ago I went to a college that I saw advertised on TV. At the time my husband had recently passed away and I was taking care of my three children. One of the things about the college was that they had day care on campus . My youngest was 6 months old and they said that she would be able to be in the day care. I started attending classes then they said that my daughter was too young for the day care on campus. I only went for about two months when they told me this I decided to withdraw from the school. I withdrew then moved away I did not hear from them for about 12 years when I received a letter telling me that I owe 25,000.000 dollars!! I couldnt believe it as the original loan was only about 4000.00 well to make a long story short they started taking my Federal Income Tax Refund. The situation at the present time is that I am recently unemployed and my son has been in the hospital and is disabled I have huge medical bills and I am seriously in debt and am about ready to lose my house and I dont even have any money for food. I wish that I could have gotten my refund this year for 2604.00 then I could have gotten out of this financial nightmare. The only way I will ever get out of this debt is when I die.

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Ozzie 

This is a very emotional subject to me and my wife. We deeply regret the day we signed those student loans documents. We considered the day we signed way our sanity, freedom and economical future.

The professional schools (in our case Optometry School) didn't considered the economical future of the profession, nor the fact that the optometric profession is steadily been transformed from what used to be a very profitable independent profession, into a controlled-by-corporations employment with fixed earning potential. Corporations like Wal-Mart, Luxottica (LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Sears Optical), COSTCO, and many others are depriving us with the earning potential necessary to pay the enormous quantities of student debs incurred by the earning of a degree that now is just another "Wal-Mart associate". The most used recruitment gimmick used by these corporations is the fact that by getting employment with them you can pay your students loans faster because you will not be "burden" by a private office overhead. The truth is that business lenders are very hesitant now in lending you money for a private office first because of your enormous amount student loan debs !
 (and in the case of poor student like my wife and I with no collaterals) and second because of the unfair competition by these corporations. This create a vicious circle where you have to stay working as an employee, earning a fix salary for years with no potential growth, with the added disadvantage that you are considered a "professional employee" thus not legally entitled to any Labor Department protection (exempt, or non minimum wage), thus potentially vulnerable to dismissal at anytime without any valid reasons. Many optometrists work at these corporations with the constant fear of dismissal (the famous "30 day's cancellation of employment or lease" optometrist's contract clause). This creates finally a control over the practice of your profession by lay non-professional personnel that damage you integrity and professionalism.

How my wife and I have been harm by these student loans?

1- My wife abandoned the profession 4 years ago and returned to teaching because the only job she could find was as an employee doctor, with no benefits, no vacations, and no incentives. 6 years of "slavery", pushing eyeglasses and contact lenses prescriptions regardless of the health of the patients for the profits of these corporations, the burden of about $200,000.00 in student loans (mostly unpaid accumulated interests because we were never earning enough money to pay the regular bills and feed our kids). Two years ago she suffered a debilitating nervous breakdown that ended with her hospitalization in a mental institution twice. Now she is under medications, with a state 10% disability, but working as a teacher still. She is now almost in default on her $200,000.00 Direct Loan consolidated loan with no hopes in sight to ever pay this back.
2- I have also a $200,000.00 Direct Loan consolidated loan, also mostly unpaid accumulated interests, plus a "pseudo-student loan" serviced by the American Education Services that couldn't be consolidated. Last week I had to make a payment of $670.00 in late payments after they called to my employer with threads. This payment left me with just $40.00 in my pocket for two weeks until my next paycheck. I work as an employed optometrist with a fix income for the last 10 years, as the payment for "professional services" is dictated by what these corporations are paying. They haven't increased the basic payments for optometric professional services in that many years. I haven't taken a vacation in 10 years. The majority of my colleagues are working all 7 days of the weeks and still are incapable of living plus paying their loans. We all live by deferments, forbearances, economical hardship temporary forbearances to survive, but at the sometimes we see the exponentially increase o!
 f our loans by accumulated interest.
3- We live with the constant fear of the federal government indicting us for defaulting these loans. The fear of law obeying citizens having to be call to federal court as a common criminal for the only "crime" of been poor, wishing to study a profession, been "seduced" to borrow thousand of dollars with the false/misrepresented argument that by graduating your earning potential will be enough to pay these loans. We have a government that allows non-professional corporations to practice our profession by employing optometrist under a fix income, and then the same government has the potential to indicted me federally for not "producing" above this fix salary to pay the money borrowed. My wife and I, as well as hundred of colleagues feels betrayed, cheated and deceived by a system that encourage you to become a student loan borrower, but will then tern a blind eye to the economy, professional status, bankruptcy laws that excluded us, and the control of corporations over our ea!
 rning potentials.
4- My wife and I can find a way to encourage our kids to study a profession. How could we? They are the one watching us killing ourselves physically and mentally to survive economically after the sacrifice of studying 10 years and eventually ended with a student loans debt that we Machiavellicaly joke that "only death will do us apart".

Why we must be treated by federal criminals? Why the harsh punishment of having to endure the humiliating experience of your name published "by-law" in a list produced by the Department of Heath and Human Services like a common thief if defaulting a HEAL loan?, Why we are a discriminated class and forbidden to list these loans on bankruptcy applications, a right open to even the lowest and most despicable individuals and corporations? Why MY government constatly clear defaulted foreign loans, but punish their own tax paying citizens?

This is a situation that, based in our economical forecast, will become worse, as more and more health care professions, that used to be independent, now are confronted with the fact of every day lower medical insurances compensations, HMO's and corporations control over salaries, fees and earning potentials, the government blind eye and the increased number of new graduates lured by the false by-the- schools hope of a golden pond after completing their degrees.

We are very aware of our responsibilities as borrowers, and we had made every effort to pay our incurred student loans debs. But we were never had the opportunity to did it. Now we are "cursed", considered "untouchable" by commercial lenders, our credit is ruined, our profession succumbed and, above all, we will someday be considered federal student loans defaulted criminals (this is a realistic assumption base in our long-term forecast of our professional earning potential).

We hate with passion the cursed day we decided to study a profession and applied for student loans. It was the day we ruined our lives and future.

My wife paid it with her mental health, my children are paying it by seeing their parents not been able to provide nor to have a common quality of life, and I am trying desperately not to become another "statistics" federal criminal with the only crime of wanting to study and not having blessed with the "Midas touch".

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Travis

My college debt has been hanging over my head ever since I went to college in 1997.

I was borrowing a regular amount which would have totaled about 30,000 dollars when I graduated from school. I felt that borrowing money, in a sense, was actually a good thing. It would give it value, and encourage me to be dilligent in my studies and to get as much out of the situation as possible.

My junior year, right before studying abroad my mother had brain surgery. Perhaps it's just an excuse, but I fell into a depression. My mother was eventually diagnosed with alzheimers disease, and has just recently been put into a full time care facility all at the age of 55. I grew ever anxious about how I was going to pay my loans back, and even how I was going to finish school. I went back to campus, and could barely get out of bed some days.

I had to send home some extra things from my study abroad trip, and I had to put those things on my credit card. Only about $100.Having nowhere to go, when payment came due, not to mention my total state of parlysis, I didn't make the payment. Which was the beginnig of my bad credit.

My family didn't have any more money to suppliment the small amount they were even then, so I had to borrow it all to finish school. With my damaged credit from a single late payment on a $100 dollar credit card bill, there were no more loans avaliable to me at a reasonable rate. I had to borrow loans (Wells Fargo) at 10 and 15%! I was in Boston right after 9-11, and there wasn't a job to be found.

I was running out of time in my grace period after graduation, and I needed a job.  Being a Japanese studies major, I came back to Japan. With a pile of a number of seemingly uncountable debts to pay off, I was totally shell shocked. My family actually needed somebody to by my father's house in order to afford putting my mother in a care facility, so my family was the last place I could turn to. At one point my father took a life insurance policy out on me in order to protect himself from being responsible for paying my loans if something should happen to me.

Although, I made an ok salary in Japan, the money I lost in conversion, and the incredible number of debtors I had took out huge portions of my salary. I couldn't afford to do anything. I got a new job that paid better in a different part of the country, but I had to pay $600 up front for the furnishings in the apartment as well as for a car. I could not afford to pay the car insurance either as I was sending home all of my money to a million different debtors. At one point I was involved in a car accident (luckily not my fault, and they had to pay for the damage), but I was a public employee, had no insurance. My office got incredibly angry at me, telling me I was making more money than most people in their office. All of this because I was a slave to my debt, and had to send all of my money home.

I went through a very tense year then. I needed to make more money to pay off my debts. I moved to tokyo with no job prospects, but was extremely lucky to find a job that was in my field and paid fairly well. consolidating my loans with ACS made payment more clear, and possible.

Which would sound like a happy ending to the story,but I still want to go to graduate school. Even though I sent home tens of thousands of dollars during those first few years, almost all of that money went to interest on the loans. As I said in the intro, I have no problem with being expected to pay the money I borrowed, but all of that just went to interest payments. I still have close to $50,000 in debt. I am in a huge rush, so I make monthly payments of over $1500 in hopes that in a few years I will be debt free, just to borrow maybe $150,000 to go to graduate school. With my credit situation, however, I'll probably only be able to get high interest loans for that, and will probably have to save the cash upfront if I ever want to consider graduate education in the US. That means graduate school is possibly 8 years away, 3 at least. Because of education debt.

Something is wrong with the American education system. I realize that if the government paid for all levels of education, like in Sweden and in part the UK, that people from all over the world might come to the US and feed off the system without paying taxes to support the system, but it is just as rediculous to put a penalty on education like this. My life is only somewhat settled downn now after incredible stress almost exclusively from education loans. Many people I know have parents who were independantly wealthy who paid for their children's education. There is no reason for the American education system to be this way. Through some form of personal, private, and government funding, people should not be going into the work force with a major handicap.


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Frank

Presently, I am living and teaching in the Marshall Islands.  My last state of residence was in Kansas, where I was teaching full time at a college.

I left my husband during the last 3 months of my senior year in college and took out my first student loan for $1500 so that I could afford rent, food, gas, and the basics for myself and my son.  Though my ex-husband had been ordered to pay child support, he did not.

I had the opportunity to attend graduate school.  It had always been my goal, and I hated to give it all up due to a divorce and an inability to obtain child support assistance from my ex-husband.  So, for graduate school I took out loans to cover out-of-state tuition costs, books, research supplies, and childcare.  But, I also worked 3 jobs in order to take care of my son and afford to attend school.  I thought that a few hard years would pay off, when after school I might obtain a decent position.

I borrowed somewhere around $30,000 in student loans.  By the time I actually obtained a full time position in my field, I teach biology at the community college level, the interest on my loans had grown, and my payback amount was up to $70,000.  My monthly payments in order to pay off anything on the interest would have been over $500 at that time.  Continuing as a single parent, and based on my limited income, that was an impossibility.  So, I made income contingient payback amounts of about $200 per month.  In order to off-set that amount, I also worked a second job.  However, the interest amount and total payback amounts continued to clime to insane levels.  When it reached over $100,000 on a $30,000 loan, that is when I finally decided this was ridiculous and quit making payments.

I have no problem in paying back the amount that I originally borrowed, but on this track, I will pay loans the rest of my life, and show absolutely no dent in the principal amount.  Many civilized countries offer free education to their peoples.  And, I do agree that people should try to pay back what they borrowed if they can afford it.  However, the federal government should allow people to pay back exactly what they borrowed and not 2, and 3, and 4 times the original amount.

People who become educated can ultimately earn more money, make purchases, and pay taxes.  The government and the nation should grow by those means.   for my son to grow up and move out before going back.  If I had know this would happen to me, I would have remained an uneducated slob.

And, I am certain that most people are just like me, they would like to pay back what they owe, but feel powerless and hopeless that it would ever happen.  I have toyed with the idea of giving up my U.S. citizenship to simply start a life permanently elsewhere. 

Wouldn't the government like to work out payment withdraws from individuals, in affordable amounts, for the amounts they borrowed; rather than to have thousands like me who just give up in extreme hopelessness.

I can't believe that I worked so hard in college, following the american dream, only to feel that I will spend the rest of my life as a deadbeat!  It is almost a crippling depression.  I spent all of my son's younger years working 2-3 jobs to pay bills and provide a decent life.  I simply can not work 2 and 3 jobs for the rest of my life.  And, I would like some time with my son before he leaves home for good.  My solution, was to move out of the country to work.  However, this is can not be a permanent solution and it does not make my ever-growing debt vanish.

Thank you for providing a forum, and I only take comfort in the horror that thousands out their suffer my fate as well.

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Michelle

I am writing on my husbands behalf- my husband took out a student loan through Sallie Mae back in 1993 while he was attending a technical college (which to this date we are STILL repaying). He actually had two loans- the original amounts were $1900.00 for one of them and $1313.00 for the second.
Around 1996-7 he was sent to Germany with the army reserve unit he was in. His first wife was suppose to be taking care of all the bills- which she didn't, when he came home he basically found that his wife had cleaned him out. He contacted Sallie Mae and explained what happened but got no sympathy or willingness to work with him.
In early 2000 we bought a house- and part of the mortgage loan was to pay off some outstanding bills we had- one of them being Sallie Mae. We were required to call and get payoff statements from everyone. Once we got the statements we had to turn them into the mortgage loan agency, and we were then issued checks to pay everyone off. So- we thought we paid Sallie Mae off (I very vividly recall the day that I talked to someone at the Sallie Mae office- I asked her to send a payoff statement and asked what the TOTAL amount owed was, she told me that Mr. Taylor owed a total of $531.00 to pay off his account.)
They never sent a statement showing that his account was paid off and that he now had a 0 balance, even after several requests.
Well a year later we get a letter from Pioneer saying that he still owed over $1000.00. 
We found and sent them a copy of the statement they sent to us as well as a copy of the check we sent to them (which they claimed they never received- until I showed them their stamp on the back of it!!)
They said 'too bad you still owe the money'. They claimed that my husband had two accounts and they dont know how we got a statement from them only saying he owed $531.00. They also said that because this was a federal loan it was never going away- it is only going to grow and grow and grow.
Well- as of last month we still owe$512.44 on one account and $826.76 on the other.
We fought them for several years but we got no where. So we're stuck paying a loan that was already paid off in 2000.
(At one point- my husband was laid off from work we fell very far behind in our bills- to the point of seeking bankruptcy- but wouldn't you know it- we couldn't claim bankruptcy because our debt was mostly federal!!)
OH- and to top it off- my husband was called to active duty again a couple of months ago and is covered under the soldiers and sailors act. I sent Sallie Mae a copy of his orders and a copy of the act which is suppose to bring our interest rate down to 6% for the duration of his time in active duty during war time. I received a letter from them saying "...We cannot grant your request because the provision that you referenced does not apply to the Federal Family Education Loan Program thta is insured under Part B of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. Section 1701 et seq)" It goes on for a full page explaining why they cant grant this.
I would love for this company to pull an 'Enron'.

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Janie

I was in college in 1991 receiving Stafford and SLMA Loans.  Suddenly, in my 4th semester, I get a sudden default notice on one of my student loans.  I hadn't so much as gotten a bill that payment was due. How could I? I was in school!! I called immediately knowing I had sent in all of my paperwork. It simply had to be an error.  The same company had just given me money a month earlier in the semester (as far as I knew).  After two months and hundreds of phone calls, I couldn't get to the bottom of it.  One company had sold their loans to another company and they could no longer be contacted as they were no longer in business.  At the time, I had no other choice than to take time off from school and pay off the loan (which was around 1500 dollars for one semester).  I paid the loan and tried to enroll in school again.  I had problems getting financial aid in time for that semester because I had previously "defaulted" on one of my student loans.  I explained the situation, told them the loan was paid in full but nothing got processed in time.  So, when my boyfriend got a job in Sweden, I joined him there with plans to finish my degree abroad and basically said to hell with the entire situation.  I offered them payments of 150 dollars a month in order to keep my credit record clean.  I could have filed a deferrment while studying abroad but I didn't. They wouldn't accept the money and it became too late in the game to defer payments.  Who says NO to money? 

My mom forwarded letters to me a few years later and I contacted them once again to negotiate payment.  They would only accept checks for payment.  Checks were phased out here in the mid 90's.  Bank checks cost 35 dollars apiece here.  They wouldn't accept Visa transfers ( as any bank in the world would) so I offered to send them quarterly payments in order to cut down on the cost. They refused.  I could pay about 350 dollars a month at the time.  They wouldn't accept less than 500.  So, I thanked them for their time and went on with my life. They can't really come after you when you live outside the country.  At the time, my debt had only accrued about 1500 dollars in interest.  I initially owed 8000.

Fast forward to last month. I got another letter in the mail and contacted them once again.  This time they were willing to talk to me and I agreed to pay 250 dollars a month.  Only to find out my debt is now 29,580 dollars!  We talked about loan rehabilitation which sounds interesting to me.  In the initial conversation, he told me if I paid in full, he would reduce my loan to 19,200 dollars.  I wouldn't do it at the time thinking that if I made payments for 12 months, they might negotiate a lower balance in the end.  Who knows what will happen?  I was supposed to receive a contract that after 9 months of payment, my loans would be eligible for rehabilitation.  That has never shown up in the mail.  I do know that the deal is with Sallie Mae so thank the gods I found this website before I signed it.  I will return it, if it ever shows up with some witty banter but it won't have my signature on it. 

Had they accepted 150 dollars a month from me 10 years ago, they would now be sitting with 18,000 dollars of my money which is a pretty good profit for loaning me 8,000.  Right now, they have 0 and they can't do anything as long as I live outside the US.  I have tried to point that out to them on numerous occasions but it just doesn't sink in.  They can't use the same threatening tactics because they can't garnish my wages and they can't take my house.  And they wouldn't take the money I was willing to pay them either!!  It's insane!

I've read every story on this website and some of them made me cry.  In many cases, your basic human rights have been violated not to mention your civil rights.  Wanting to take your own life and not doing it because the hell would be passed on to your children is nothing less than heroic. 

There has got to be a way to file a class action lawsuit and get legislation changed.  This just can't go on. 

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Name Withheld

As a former Sallie Mae employee, who was forced out due to a downsizing (250 tenured employees were eliminated at the corporate level - including me) in 1997 (by Al Lord when he took over the CEO position (from Larry Hough - 60 minutes should interview him) via a stockholder overtaking, I can tell you that Al was only interested in his own prosperity and that of his "cronies".  Every other Sallie Mae employee (beneath corporate officers) were very underpaid.  They actually did me a favor.  Once I got laid off, I realized what people were "really making" in the real world.

Sallie Mae lost a good employee due to their own doing, but I gained alot more salary by going elsewhere.

And student loan borrowers...you're right.  You're being taken, and Sallie Mae uses unethical and unlawful collection practices to get their money.  I know because I started off in their "cures" department, before becoming a financial professional in the organization.  They had me doing everything and anything to hunt down borrowers and harass them until they paid.

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Carol

After 9/11, I could NOT get a job for 16 months!!!!   I lost my HOME.  I had a stroke due to the stress.  I have asthma and NINE other medical conditions, including arthritis.  I had to sell my bed for a root canal.  I LOST EVERYTHING.

I am 57 years old, and I have repeatedly written to the lender that I have lost everything, all my savings.  How can I possibly retire in peace if they continue to hound me for payment. 

I made my payments when I was working.  But I can't possibly catch up at this point in my life considering my age/medical condition.  These loans were incurred when I was 40 years old and in GREAT shape!  I LOST MY HOME, for Pete's sake!  I lived in a car.  I have a Master's Degree and have NOTHING! 

Today, I still have no TV.

It makes me wonder, what do those from New Orleans in my situation do?  OK, maybe not a LOT of them have student loans, but you never know.

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Carol

I received student loans for approximately $20,000 in the early 1990s as a single parent returning to college fulltime.  When I remarried, my husband and I both had student loans to pay.  We tried to keep the payments up, but after unexpected health and employment problems we fell behind.  MANY phone calls were made to try to negotiate partial payments or lower payments with the student loan folks to NO avail.  Both of our loans went into default and our credit ratings crashed.  After penalties and interest were applied, our student loan balances mushroomed to approximately $70,000 (mine) and $22,000 (his).  We always intended to pay our loans, and several years later when our financial situation stabilized we consolidated the loans with DOE.  Since 2001, we have been able to make monthly payments of $375.00 (mine) and $156.00 (his), for a combined total of $531.00 a month.  However, our student loan balances, after FIVE YEARS of steady payments, have made an almost imperceptible drop to $69,976.83 and $17,570.04, respectively!  At this rate, we will be paying on these loans for 25+ years.  I count myself lucky and thankful to be able to keep up the high payments so far.  But we are now in our 50s and I fear the future as we age and have health or financial difficulties.  As I stated above, we always intended to pay the loans.  But don't we deserve a break from the outrageous default penalty and the interest?  WE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PAY THE ORIGINAL DEBT.  You may contact me for further information.            

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Fletcher

Since I have been associated with Sallie Mae, I have been lied to, overcharged in my interest rates (and they admit it but will do nothing to change it) and I have requested documents from them that they will not supply to me.  Unfortunately, I consolidated my loans with them.  I was told that I could drop my interest rate 3 points.  Instead, I am paying more interest that I would have been paying if I had left them alone.  Recently I heard that I could move my loan away from Sallie Mae.  When I tried to do so I was informed that the movement date had been closed as of March 31, 2006.  I began to investigate this.  In calling a couple of government agencies such as the Federal Loan Consolidation Center, I found out that Congress had passed a bill that allowed people to move there load away from Sallie Mae, whether or not it had been consolidated with them, from December 1 of 2005 till June 30 of 2006.  The Department of Education decided that it would cancel this Congressional Bill in March of 2006.  I also questioned one of the Supervisors at Sallie Mae and asked her why Sallie Mae had not notified its borrowers that they could move the loan.  I was told that Sallie Mae had been too busy to notify the borrowers about this.  Under the law, which seems to mean nothing to Sallie Mae, a lender has a fiduciary responsibility to notify the borrower of anything that affects the terms of the loan.  When I told the Supervisor this, she said that Sallie Mae just supposed that other loan companies would contact the borrower and let them know.  My question is twofold:  Who gave the Department of Education the right to override Congress, and since when is Sallie Mae above the law?  Please reply to this when you get a chance.
 

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Jenny

In high school, I was a straight A student and was the first in my family to attend college. I wanted to be a writer, and my parents, who are quite poor, were extremely proud of me. They even co-signed on some of my loans when I was accepted by a very expensive private university not far from my hometown.

I want to take full responsibility for the fact that my debt has gotten to the point that it has--as a borrower, I wasn't as responsible as I should have been and failed to communicate with my lenders regarding hardships I was undergoing. However, I feel that my experience in college did not prepare me for the realities of living with debt. I was unsure what to do when I couldn't make a payment, and the phone calls I was getting from the student loan companies made me anxious and depressed. I felt like a failure--in college, I believed that the debt I was taking out would be managable with the increased income my degree was going to grant me. After graduation, it took me months to find a job and when I did, it wasn't exactly the calliber I'd been dreaming of. I worked in pizza places and grocery stores while my debt ballooned. I was extremely depressed and refrained from thinking about my debt at all, if I could help it. After a while, it made its way onto my credit report, which disqualified me from many higher paying jobs.

I find it ironic and horrible that I went to college to learn to be a writer but now work in sales so that I can retroactively finance the education that taught me to follow my dreams.

There was no job placement program at my university, and there was no debt counseling. I was 18 years old when I took out my first loan, and I would do anything to be able to go back and go to community college instead. I currently owe more than $30,000 to Sallie Mae and other private companies.
I feel duped and ashamed.

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Name Withheld

Wow, reading these stories made me realize how relativley lucky I have been.  I took out about $22000 in student loans and I remember, clear as day the loan officers exact words: "Don't worry about it, with these loans you'll be able to get an education that will get you a good job that will more than allow you to pay these loans back."

Needless to say, that didn't happen.  I worked retail for years; used up all my deferments.  Had the following conversation verbatim with some collection agent:

CA: "So, you're willing to start a payment plan."
ME:" Yup, I can pay you between $40 -$50 a month"
CA:"Don't insult our intelligence.  We need a minimum of $180 a month from you just to covedr interest."
ME:"Well, now you're insulting my intelligence, cause there's no way in hell I can send you that much."
CA:"Then you'd be better of sending us nothing."
ME:"Fine, but remember, it was your idea."

I then hung up and ignored them for the next 15 years; simply ripping up their letters and ignoring the pleadings on my answering machine - One guy called 90 business days in a row; when he stopped I almost called back to see if he was ok!.  I lost my credit cards (which may have been a blessing in disguise), and my friends had to put up with me screening my calls, but I never had trouble finding a place to rent, and as for cars I simply saved up and bought junkers with cash.  Yes, they siezed my tax refund every year, but it was never more than $500 so I didn't mind too much.

About 7 years ago, I finally got out of retail and got a decent job, and a few years after that I got married.  A little over two years ago, my loan got sold to DCS, and I decided to make payments, but I was going to do it on my terms.

I called them after hours and left a simple message on the agents voicemail: "I will be paying you $30 a month,a s that's all I can afford. Don't bother hounding me for more, cause you won't get any."

They tried calling my work, and I told them to never call me there again.  And they have complied- I kind of wish they hadn't because if they ever call me at work again, I can sue them for more than I owe them.  They have seldom bothered friends or family, but since they have my number, why would they?

I simply ignore their letters and messages on my voice mail, and send a repeated request every month for legal documentation of my $30 a month payment plan- which they agree to every time they cash one of those money orders (even though they claim otherwise, I've had several informal conversations with legal folks that say that acceptance of my money orders constitutes acceptance of a payment plan).

And, fingers crossed, it appears to have worked.  I have documents from them that list my status as "On payment plan".  They threatened to garnish my wages, and before I could even send the rebuttal letter, I got a letter saying "I did not meet the qualifications for garnishment", and this year, after two years of payments, I even got my income tax check.

Now, my only worry is that we will someday have to default on my wife's loan - her credit allowed us to purchase our first reliable automobile(granted, in her name), and may someday allow us to purchase a home (again in her name- her running joke is I don't dare cheat on her cause she'll get everything).  She understands that payment on her loan is a luxury, but we will keep doing it as long as possible. As for my loan, well they can just take my $30 a month forever.

She recently consolidatded her loan, but not through Sallie Mae- at least not on the surface (I'm going to have to do some digging and make sure that the folks she consalidate through have nothing to do with them). It will mean paying over 100% in interest- a $32,000 loan will cost us $78,000.  We'll pay as long as we can or until the American financial system collpases (which isn't too far off, I think) or until we die.

I've flown beneath the radar somehow, it seems- I don't dare let you contact me right now for fear of rising above it again.  I wish you luck in destroying these predatory lenders before they can destroy any more lives.

Oh and if anyone tries my method listed above, please post your success here.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kim

I had a heart attack at age 19.  It took almost 1 year for me to be able to remember what school I went to.  I now am on Social Security.  I did finish school with an associates degree but I wanted to get a bacholors degree. My social security is not enough to cover my monthly expenses and my student loan payment.  This is not fair, student loans should be forgiven in situations like this.  Please, if anyone can help contact me.




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