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Ohio

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

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Gale

original amount: $12,000
current being asked to pay $28,000
amount already repaid $17,000


I am willing to be interviewed by Student Loan Justice. I began my education at Ohio University, where I stayed for
a year and a half. I stayed out of school for a year, and slowly returned to school by first returning to our local Community College. Then I went on to the University of Akron, where I attempted to complete my education.
During my Junior year I was put into default on loans that I took out while at UA. I tried to explain to the loan company that I was still in
college, but they didn't care. This eventually affected my being able to graduate from UA, where my education was interrupted one semester before
I was to graduate. Years had passed and I didn't know how to fight the Big Business of Student Loans alone, and knew of no one that could help;
eventually they began to take my tax refunds. They took my 1995 & 1996 refunds. Then they began having some changing of hands moving my loans from company to company.Now they're at ECMC and these people have no regard for human decency. They have taken my 2004 refunds, they will not give me credit for the $17000 that was taken and paid back. Even on my credit report it shows that about $12000 - $13000 has been paid off, but since the company has changed hands and they didn't get the money, they won't acknowledge it, like I have 12-year-old receipts. The only legal receipt I have is my credit report. Then when they took my 2004 refund they still didn't adjust my balance. Now they're trying to get me to sign a form saying that I owe $28,000. I need some help to fight these inhumane practices. I have four kids now, and I'm not on welfare and don't receive any food stamps. What am I supposed to do? If there is anyone that can help Please, by all means call me.

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Sherry 

Well my story isn't much different from the hundreds of others that i have read.  I went back to school in 1992...graduated in 1997.  I had 3 children to support while attending school, so i took out the additional PLUS loans that were offered to me(and i might add-had someone advised me properly on these types of loans, i would of handled things a little differently).  I ended up with $23,000 Student Loan debt.  When i graduated, i had an AA degree in Social Services and i did get a job with the County Welfare Dept...but being a single mother and only earning $1100 a month, i could not afford to repay what they were asking me to pay at that time, which was $350 a month.  I offered to pay half that amount and was rejected.  So i kept my money. Well, when Welfare reform occurred in 1998 things really changed.  Due to budget cuts, and a drop in the welfare rolls, i was put in another position at my employment that i really could not do.  I left that job and !
 took another job that was only part-time.  Again i was contacted about repaying my loan.  I offered to pay what i could afford, and was again rejected.  I did not hear from them for another 3 yrs.  

I was contacted by DCS, and they offered to work with me to get into rehab.  I was almost done with my 12 months payment when i lost my job.  When i told them i had to stop the payments, it became a nightmare of phone calls and letters.  Now i am in default and have no way to repay this whopping $64,000 headache(that is what it is at as of this letter). I have not been able to find ANY employment that would ford me the opportunity to repay the outrageous amount they want, $655 a month! There has got to be something that we can do to stop this madness...and that is what it is!  How in world do they ever expect to get anything when they won't work with you? I at least tried!  That is all i can do.  If i would happen to win the lottery or be on a game show and win some money, i would gladly give it to them first!  Which i am sure they would swoop down and take it anyway!  Do these people realize what they have done?  I know they don't care.  But if they really want the money don't you think that they would change some of these laws to make it at least possible to help people take care of these outrageous loans?  I saw one letter that really got me to thinking as well.  If you by a car for 10,000 you don't end up paying 40,000 for it!  Why should these loans be any different?  Do the math people...you are paying almost 3 times as much in repayment?  Is that fair? No way.  I will die first.

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Kevin 

I graduated from Universal Business and Media School in NY in 1996.  I took out a loan with Citibank for $2600, after years of defaulting and income taxe being taken, I finally have been able to get my student loan down to $100, funny thing is that I was making actual payments on my loan knowing I only had $100 left to pay and in a Week I was going to send the payment and get out of this mess.  Well just today I recieved a letter from Pioneer Credit Recovery, Salli Mae Foundation.  Do you believe that after all these years and paying my student loan directly with the bank on the last payment they sent it to collections.  Well apparently Pioneer is wanting $388 to pay it off which I guess I have no choice but to do.  But in reading the letter, it states that at the time I recieve the letter intrest may have already accrued.  Now mind you I got the letter today 5/20/05 and the letter has a transaction date on it of 4/21/05 this means that the amount on the  letter that I owe is not the true amount.  So if I was a fool and paid the $388, I would suddenly recieve a letter a month later stating that I owe interest which means i'm paying over $400 on just $100 freedom.  And I'm sure when I call them they are not going to be able to take credit cards over the phone, which means more time wasted.  So if you think about it there really is no end to this loan.  They will keep finding a way to make you pay more.  Is there no death yet in Salli's future or my loan.  Oh well I'll keep you posted.


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Kim 

Originally borrowed: $26,000      
Total due (6/9/05): $66,745

After six months of unemployment, I accepted a position with an annual salary of $15,000 less than my previous earnings.  The salary decrease, coupled with the period of unemployment, depleted my savings and created financial stress.  Then, my student loans became due.  I was already struggling to maintain my financial obligations and that additional monthly payment led me to consider filing bankruptcy.   It was July 1997. 

A couple months later, I had no alternative but to file and met with an attorney who advised me to stop making payments on my debt, other than rent.  Although the Student Loans were not discharged by bankruptcy, he did not instruct me to make that monthly payment.  So, I did not.  In October 1997, I filed bankruptcy.  In September 1997, the Student Loans unknowingly defaulted. 

Since my attorney did not advise otherwise, I thought that I was not expected to make payments on the Student Loans during the "protection" period and that they would go into repayment after discharge. 

After bankruptcy was granted, I received a call regarding my student loans.  I explained that I had been in bankruptcy "protection" but that I was now in the position to begin repayment.  Too late!   My loans had defaulted and were in collection. 

The collection agency would not agree to a repayment schedule rather the agent demanded payment in full plus an additional $10,000 in penalties.  That's it--$36,000 RIGHT NOW!  Clearly, that was not a practical option.  I felt helpless and hopeless.  And I still do.  As a result, I tossed their unopened threatening letters in the trash and ignored their repeated telephone calls.

Over the years, I have tried to negotiate a reasonable repayment plan with no success.  I have sought legal help but have not found an attorney specializing in student loan debt. I have contacted my Congresswoman, written letters to the Secretary of Education and spent countless hours searching the Internet for a solution. I almost entered into a contractual agreement with a company promising their expertise in resolving student loan debt until I discovered their fraudulent activity.

This debt haunts me and I want to repay it, but this is INSANE.  I am being required to pay over $40,000 in interest and penalties.  I accept my irresponsibility for going into default; however the punishment seems excessive for the crime.



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Cass 

I went back to college after my first divorce, back in the mid 1980s, full-time, as a single mother of three.  For three years, I took out the little loans to pay the rest of my tuition with the full intention of one day paying back my debt for the chance to make a new life for me and my kids.  I didn't, however, take into account the nervous breakdown i had in my third year of school.  By the time I was able to concentrate enough to consider going back to school, my loans were defaulted, and the harassment began.  For five years my income taxes were seized, and since i lived at the poverty line and received the earned income credit for my kids, I would have received close to $5000 each year.  Now, they are telling me that they can garnish my social security disability checks for the loan that has grown to double the original size..and there is no way I can stop them.  I cant work.  That breakdown heralded the beginnings of years of depression and misery,!
  that ended up being manic depression.  I wanted to succeed.  I wanted to pay it back.  I wanted to prove to the world that I could make it.  But all I proved was that the world sucks.  Shoot, I get food stamps and assistance with my expensive medical needs.  I live off my disability each month and they want to take 15% of my pittance.  How am I supposed to live?


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Matt 

As a younger man (18-25), I had a very hard time making responsible choices.  I was always a good kid growing up -- getting good grades, playing sports, respecting my parents -- but I was a bit soft; a little lazy.  It's unfortunate that I was not more mature, because I will be paying for the mistakes of a 21 year-old buffoon for the rest of my life (which I realize is true for many people, not just student borrowers).

I entered Miami University (Ohio) in August of 1992 with the full intention of becoming a lawyer.  I bounced around from major to major for a while, finally choosing to earn my degree in English Literature.  My parents helped as much as they could, and with the help of student loans from the Direct Loan program, I made up the difference.  When I graduated from Miami in May of 1996, I left with a balance of $18,000.

I entered law school at The Illinois Institute of Technology in August of 1996, and charged all of my $32,000 tab to private and government loans.  As you are not permitted to work during the first year of law school (nor could you find much time to do so if you tried), there wasn't much hope of me contributing anything to the price tag.  My father gave me a $4,000 graduation present that was to go toward my undergrad debt.  While I regretted misusing the cash, I would never have made it to the end of the first year without that money.  I would have starved.  The $4,000 was gobbled by my law school experience.

By April of 1997, I realized I'd made an enormous mistake.  I decided I no longer wanted to be an attorney, saw no use for a law degree considering my interests and career aspirations, and thus, I dropped out.

I went home to collect myself and figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life.  The way I saw it, I had a B.A. in English Literature (there's not much of a demand for such a degree, unless you can find someone willing to pay big bucks for poem interpretation), a semester of law school that was completely worthless, and that was about it.  My job prospects were pretty meager.  I considered journalism for a while, and had a desire to pursue a position in the profession, but staring down $50,000 in loans, I figured I'd never make it, and would die penniless and alone.

At this point, I was completely out of control and desperate.  I had no idea what to do with my talents or my mind.  I had considered becoming a high school English teacher in the past, and I figured that even if I was riddled with debt, I'd be able to retire one day with a pretty good pension and health benefits.

I re-enrolled at Miami University to get a teacher's certificate and a Master of Arts in Teaching.  This is where my most serious and irresponsible decisions were made, and I have enormous shame and guilt for my immaturity and my inability to comprehend the seriousness of the decisions I was making.  The way my mind worked and with the way I misunderstood the power of a dollar, this was my thinking:  Once I finish my degree, I'll owe somewhere in the range of $100,000.  If I just live lean for ten years or so, and take $10,000 of my teacher salary and apply it to my loans each year, I will be free and clear in ten years.  Pathetic?  Yes.  Deluded?  No doubt.  But that's what I thought.  Hell, I figured if I picked up a part-time job on the weekends, or started my own business, I might even be able to pay it off in five years.  I just needed to live below my means.

What do I think should have happened instead of the disastrous decision that I made on my own?  First, I feel that lending that kind of money to kids is irresponsible.  I had no idea what I was doing.  As a teacher, I know that when I listen to my students talk about financing their own educations through student loans, they have no idea what they're doing.  Many of them are just like me.  Spoiled?  Definitely.  Financially and emotionally immature?  No doubt.  So why are we allowing them to borrow at this level?  I'm sure some eighteen year-olds are able to handle their financial lives, and are much more mature than I was.  That being said, a college degree is just not valuable enough to allow someone to sell his or her financial future to attain it.  It's irresponsible to allow it.

Second, interest rates should be nearly non-existent on these types of loans.  Certainly, what's being reported on this site regarding money borrowed through Sallie Mae should not be happening.  That people at the top of the food change are enriching themselves off of these lending programs to a ridiculous degree is reprehensible.

Finally, there needs to be some sort of forgiveness built into this system.  I could never argue for forgiveness or bankruptcy for myself and my situation, because I am so disgusted with my past decisions, my irresponsibility, and my immaturity to ever feel that I deserve to be let off the hook.  I feel that I deserve this lifetime punishment.  But surely many student borrowers find themselves in my situation even though they worked hard, worked through school, and tried to make the most responsible decisions they could while they borrowed.

What I've realized is that I'm trapped.  There's nothing I can do, and I've done it all to myself.  In August, I will have to begin paying approximately $500 each month to Direct Loans (I've been forbearing and dererring since I finished my M.A.T. in 2000), along with the other $180 I pay each month to private lenders for other student loans.  This $500 is the amount I have to pay through the Income Contingency program.  If I were to make the minimum, non-Income Contingent payment on my $104,000 Direct Loan debt in order to pay it off in 25 years, I'd be paying nearly half of what I bring home.

Of course, because my Income Contingent payments will never touch the principal (after all, I AM a teacher, and will never see significant pay increases that would significantly increase the amount I can pay each month), after 25 years of paying on this debt, the $100,000+ that I will still owe will be counted as income, and I will have to pay taxes on that.  I don't even know how that will work.  I'm sure it won't be pretty.

None of this is pretty.

I was depressed for nearly one year of my life when I first started my teaching career, and much of it stemmed from my debt.  Admittedly, it also stemmed from me finally waking up from the idealistic sleepwalk I lived in, where the world was an easy and happy place to live in, and where I would always breeze along as easily as I had when I was a high school honor student.  I finally realized that one has to work hard in the real world; that a dollar is not far as powerful as I had thought; that life was not a continuous series of easy streets.  That, I must chalk up to my immaturity and disconnection from reality.

I believe I will never be able to start my own family without further imprisoning myself in second, third, and fourth jobs.  I feel fortunate that I didn't follow the path that most who are posting here have followed, taking on children and a marriage with such a gargantuan debt.  But at the same time, I don't get to have a wife or children.  I believe that no woman would want to assume the burden that I bring into the relationship.  I believe that I could never afford children with the debt that I am carrying.

I have considered leaving the country, never to return.

I have considered changing my identity (I know, it sounds crazy.  But I was desperate).

I have, in my darkest moments, even considered offing myself.

But in the end, I know I'm just stuck with this for the rest of my life.  I've almost become resigned to it (though that's easy to do when I haven't begun paying back the bulk of my debt; we'll see how I feel in August).  I have no designs of ever owning a house (sometimes, I do daydream about this).  I usually don't even work during my summers off to earn extra money, as I figure it will just be more money I'll have to pay on a debt that will never go away.  I feel like I would be the debt-paying version of  Sisyphus, pushing the rock up hill only to see it roll back down.  The way I see it, if I'm not going to ever live the American Dream, I might as well spend my summers off enjoying myself as much as I can by taking long strolls through the park, sleeping in, and reading books my men and women much wiser than this indebted fool.

God knows I'll never pay this thing off.


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J.B. 

I would like to tell my story behind the mountain of loans I needed for my education.  I completed my bachelor's degree in foreign languages at Ohio State University & my master's degree in library science, being given the false impression that I would have no problem finding a job in a library.  I haven't found a job, even 2 years after receiving my MLS at Indiana University & although I am in deferment status as far as my loans are concerned, I don't know for how much longer I can continue to defer my loans since I know that there's a limit & I know that my interest is skyrocketing.  I had no idea that it would be 2 years after I received my MLS & I would still be without a job.  I had to file for bankruptcy because I couldn't make my monthly payments on my credit cards.  Tm sure that, because of my wretched financial situation & the fact that I can't drive due to health reasons, I'll still be struggling to find any employment.  Because of all of the interest that has accumulated on my loans during the deferment period, I'm going to have to work for the rest of my life (if I can find work) just to make my loan payments.  Retirement won't be in my future.  What Sallie Mae & other companies like this due to honest, hard-working, taxpaying Americans should be considered a criminal act but, since a lot of corrupt politicians take money from these criminals, I'm not very hopeful that anything will be done about their criminal activity.  I felt like the lowest form of life because I had to file for bankruptcy; I got a good education & I don't break the law but companies like Sallie Mae make loan borrowers feel like they've broken the law.  If anyone is a criminal, it's Sallie Mae (& other companies like this)! 

My loans have mounted to over $114,00, although my original amount in loans borrowed has been about $30,000.  I probably paid about $3,000, since I have been unable to find steady work.  I hope to find work soon because I would like to pay back my loans (although I know it'll take a very long time) but the job market is abysmal (in spite of what the government says).  It's extremely frustrating.  I'm happy to know that I'm not an anomaly, although it's sad that so many people have been swindled & harassed by Sallie Mae.  

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Karl 

I borrowed about $30,000 to complete an MBA program.  Due to a divorce and subsequent expenses for child support, I was unable to make regular payments on the student loans.  Typical to what has been expressed by other people, there was no mechanism on the part of the student loan authority (Sallie Mae, USA Funds and then, after default, by the California Student Aid Commission) to do anything to ameliorate the situation.  They were simply content to let the loans slide into default, or "offer" to consolidate some of the loans (with default penalties attached, of course!).  They made no effort to collect the loans, yet after default, they attached another $10,000 in default fees, so now I was up to $40,000.  At 9% interest accruing every year, what started out as $30,000 is now up to around $100,000--talk about highway robbery!

I put these loans into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, which was the only way to pay a portion of the loans (and hold these rabid collection dogs in abeyance) while focusing on more pressing debts, such as child support arrears.  I am still completely shocked that there is no internal mechanism on the part of the loan authority to work out repayment arrangements short of bankruptcy.  The offers of "consolidation" or "forbearance" are poor substitutes (even false substitutes) for comprehensive repayment plans.  This federal program is poorly administered, hurts former students precisely when they are the least able to pay and is a national disgrace!  I would recommend to everyone listening to get yourself a good bankruptcy attorney (of which there are few), put your loans into a Ch. 13 plan, and through the Federal Bankruptcy Trustee, force a compromise of indebtedness (much as credit card companies are forced to take on bad debt).


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Ann 

I didn't want to go back to school.  God knows my test anxiety grew into a monster I could not beat back in the 1970's.  But now I was facing that monster once again when I went through my divorce. I had two small children and an ex-husband bent on making it hard for me to keep a job.  So I ventured out, battling my fears, undertaking this golieth.  The trials I went through, the work I put for, the fear I fought, the things I gave up---would fill a book and put the reader in a daze of amazement.  I succeeded due to the love of my children.  I wanted to let them know that if you work hard at everything life will get better. 

The quarter before I graduated I was diagnosed with cancer.  After I got through my fear---I decided to treat it as a lemon and show them how to make lemon-aide.  I applied for Grad school because I figured nobody would want to hire someone going through cancer treatments.  My mother was also diagnosed with cancer the year before.  She died during my last quarter of Grad school. 
     

I survived fifteen operations and thought my future looked pretty good but realized very quickly my loans were too confusing to figure out and know one wanted to help me understand what to do.  I felt ignorant and when I went for some advice through professional companies I was turned away,  "We don't do college loans".  If I went to the same bank every quarter and took out the same loan why did I have seven different lenders?  Why was my one percent loans being sold to other companies with higher interest?  My loan debt quickly mounted.  Why are they not considered in bankrupcy?  Why did all that hard work, determination, bravery and solitare leave me broke, buried in debt, an example of what not to do for my kids, undesireable to anyone looking for a spouse, and with a dread for things to come?  How can this happen.  I worked so hard---ignored my sadness, loneliness, tiredness, painfulness to arrive at a place worse off than I was???  I wanted to throw-up when I heard the president tell the people being laid-off that it was an opportunity to go back to school.  -----What a con.
     

I can't get an interview with the companies that does not require a degree because they don't believe I will stay with the job.  I can't get an interview with my profession because who wants a divorced counselor with bad credit and health problems.  Last year I thought my cancer was back, I found out it was emphasema---I never smoked, never dated smokers. Only contributing factor may be that I worked in the inner-city school (High polution).  This year I cannot get a mammogram even though I found a lump.  I have a job but no insurance--so I don't qualify for the breast cervical fund, no credit, and a hospital that gives away free mamagrams says they don't take people with a history of cancer.(??!!) This isn't the dreams I had for my future and the future of my children. Is the best I can hope for is to survive--to face a life of shame and debt??
     

I don't regret conquering that monster---I do regret this new monster I now face.


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Loretta 

I got a student loan back in the early 90's and I did this out of need because I was living on welfare from the state and I was a single parent of 2 children li.  ving inner city of Dayton, Oh.  Trying to maintain a car a rental home and get an education to better myself.  I had a girlfriend who told me about loans and it was almost too easy to get it.  There was no counseling within the school to help us understand all the possible senarios that could occur in regard to getting this money.  I grew up poor and I was struggling already.  I started my education at Sinclair community college and got my associates of arts degree and spent the time waiting on the nursing program.  I ended up switching over to Wright state university and attended there for awhile and went back to Sinclair.  I got into the nursing program and completed my first year and I ended up leaving school because I ran into a problem with my car and an accident that later on crippled me financially and at that time I had already had the student loan and I needed to file bankruptcy in order to get a judical lien off my drivers license in order to continue my life and manitain my goals.  Well I had missed the old law on filing on student loans by one year and the government had changed it too where I couldn't file on the student loan.  That was sad given all I had to face but filing to get my DL back was the only asset I had and I needed it.  Well I spent the next several years trying to pay and defer it off.  It just grew in size and now I owe about 25,000 in student loan.  The original amount was so much less...maybe 15,000 but no one will tell you that.  The collection agencies past me around and treat me badly and have no real answers for me.  I now basically hide from the financial world by keeping everything out of my name.  It's like I'm a ghost.  I lost 6000.00 in tax returns about 3 years ago when the government allowed them to take it.  I know file the injured spouse with my husband to protect our finances.  I will have to return to work in a couple of years but it won't help much because my paycheck will be garnished.  I had my childrens social security checks in the bank one month and they took that which I thought was totally wrong but I couldn't fight it.  Now I don't do direct deposit no more because you can be tracked.  If I could change my social security number or my identity financially speaking I would.  WELL THAT IS MY STORY....I hope I can be of help to others...I know some are in worse shape than me.  I have good health and I thank God for that.  Thank you and feel free to contact me and I do need help.  

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Patty 

I am currently enrolled in a university, and have taken out about $5200.00 so far, and I am starting to get frightened, reading all of these stories. Back in the 1988-89 school year I attended college for a while, but, was unable to finish because I had 3 children at home and I had to go to work full time. I then faced a default on a loan that was for $2600.00, but due to being a single mother of 3, I was unable to make enough extra money to pay on this loan. Then, the government proceeded to take all of my taxes, and I ended up paying over double what I had borrowed. They even tried to say that my loan was still in default for $670.00 more, but they said they would delete that debt because it was fees, charged to me since I had paid off the loan, and if I hadn't spoke up, they probably would have taken the money from my other loans. Paying twice the amount or more to these organizations just blow me away, how are people supposed to get an education?

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T.M.

I don't know were to begin because its been twenty years 2/86. They have lied to me, taken my income tax refunds, and sold my loan to Sallie May who has doubled it.

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Holly

Since I'm a single mother of one, I decided I needed to get a better education so I could give me a son a better life. I decided to enroll in an online university AIU (American Intercontinental University) based out of Hoffman Estates, IL. I should have known better, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. They were very pushy and I went ahead with it. I should have got a clue when they started called me and emailing me constantly to get my funding done. And lo, and behold, they put me in touch with the Sallie Mae Signature loan. I have excellent credit, I hope to keep it that way and I got a very high interest rate. Everything was done electronically, if I could do it all again. I would have been better off to refinance my home. I got very little money from Federal Student Aid, so I had to finance almost all of my education. The federal subsized and unsubsidized loans interest is reasonable about 5.4 percent. However, the loan servicer has been changed 3 times since I started paying. No sooner do I start paying one servicer, I get a notice of a new servicer and a late payment notice. I have had to call the Federal Student Loan hotline to find out who to pay. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. But the rest of the amount was a Sallie Mae signature loan. BIG MISTAKE! It's like having a credit card you will never pay off! The principal never seems to decrease. Original loan amounts: $10,200. Current Interest rate: 18.125 percent. Total Amount to be repaid: $37,231.06. Keep in mind, this is only if the interest rates don't increase. The rates on my credit cards are lower. I'm about ready to sell my house and go back to renting, just so I can save myself about $27,000. I will find a way to get this money off my back sooner, than later. Interesting that Sallie Mae is one of the only lenders which is also allowed to operate a collection agency. It sickens me that this kind of lending goes on in this country. Word  of advise, Keep copies of everything when dealing with student loans.
It might save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Last I checked Sallie Mae had 73 entries credited to them at www.ripoffreport.com. I think that says it all. 

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Cubba

My student loans are beginning to enter repayment within the next couple of weeks as I have recently graduated (May). I am suffering from an extremely high amount of student loan debt. My total loan debt is in excess of $150,000. Of that amount $108,000 is owed to private lenders (Sallie Mae & American Education Services).

I am employed as a public educator making roughly $38,000/year. My income cannot keep up with this extreme amount of debt.

I am a first generation college graduate and didn't have a full grasp on
financial aid however; Sallie Mae still approved me for near $66,000
over the course of my undergraduate and graduate studies even though my
major(s) were considered in the decision of the loan approval
process(without co-signers too).

Of course my actions could be deemed "financially irresponsible"
although I would classify it as "financially ignorant". However, I
strongly feel that the private lenders were the irresponsible ones by
allowing an unemployed, future lower-income profession student take
out nearly $100,000 without even a co-signer at 22-23 years old. They knew what I would be making annually however, they still approved me for all this money!!!

I am well-versed with my repayment options however, no repayment option that any of the lenders offer are economically feasible for me. I strongly feel that my case is very unique and needs special attention. Forbearance, deferment, etc. are not viable solutions for my situation. Furthermore, bankruptcy is not an option according to some lawyers because this is not "financial hardship". If this is not "financial hardship" I'm not sure what is.

Where are things going to end up for future "ignorant" student who follow my path? Secondarily, I strongly feel that some type of legislation needs to be enacted to protect unwise students who are focused so much on getting their education that they take all steps necessary to ensure finances do not get in the way.

I have no problem paying back my loans however, having to pay 55% of my gross monthly income towards the loan for the next 30 years is not realistic.

I really don't know what avenue to pursue. When I spoke to a bankruptcy lawyer in Feb. he completely shut me out because the debts dealt with student loans. I am requesting your advice/opinion on the course of action you recommend I take. I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.


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S. Musgrave

First, I'm willing to be interviewed by Student Loan Justice or by any press.

Some of my story is available under the user HAVEAVOICE:

http://psychobillydem.blogspot.com/2006/12/akron-thug-er-dorm-life.html

I went to college late in life. I was about 44 when I started and I went because I thought it was the way to fulfill I dream I had before serving my country.

When I started college I was already disabled and I had no family so I had to seek help in any form I could find it. A lot of that help came from the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation after I had already started classes. I had no G.I. Bill money remaining because I had used that up years before in trade schooling. B.V.R. agreed to help because my disabilities were such that I would not be able to work a job and go to classes concurrently. However- I had to get loans for housing because I did not have sufficient income or AGAIN, family, with which to live while going to college. Jump forward four years.

In 2003, I was suspended from college and never informed WHY. This was the University of Akron for anyone wondering what institute pulls these kind of underhanded tricks. As I stated, I was disabled and had no family so when I got suspended I was literally thrown out onto the streets. This was in November and I ended up in my car for several days until a church decided to help me with a small motel room. This part of the story gets involved with an agency called Ohio Legal Rights Service which protects those who are disabled. That agency was able to make the university see the violation of law it had committed and agreed to help me get an apartment off campus. I chose to move to a city south of Akron. I continued my education by computer to communicate with two unknown professors using anonymous emails. By March, 2004 I had completed the degree. I had expected the college would assist me in finding a job. It did not. I was informed that colleges are under no obligation to help graduates get a job. In the meantime my disabilities became worse, including two life-threatening illnesses which required emergency surgery. I then applied for SSD and for V.A. pension because I was flat out had no income. I was finally awarded pension after I was found to be "permanently and totally disabled" by the Veterans Administration. My PCP then signed the form for student loan dismissal, which I submitted after being constantly harassed by Great Lakes Student Loan Company in Wisconsin. I sent that form with proof of my disabilities. That did no good. I am being harassed to this day because they claim that I received a loan disbursement AFTER I sent the dismissal form in to them. Since I had been ill and I had no one to advise me I was unaware that there was a certain date this form was to be sent. The day I posted this I received another notice from Great Lakes. I have found from experience that it does NO good to call this company or to try to reason with them. They are staffed by a bunch of kids who are trained not to listen to ANYthing except a discussion of repayment terms. This is the loan shark aspect of these operations. Its made that way because the fat CEO's at the top don't know anything about real life or suffering.

I have since been rated as unemployable after suffering a heart attack in May, 2006. I had stents put in my arteries and I was instructed by my cardiologist to avoid stress. I suffer PTSD, depression, anxiety, migraine headaches among a few of the major illnesses. Do you think this matters to Sallie Mae and Great Lakes? Not a bit. These are the worse bunch of bastards I've ever encountered in my life. There has to a way to get someone to listen.

In closing I want to post also about another case I'm aware of that I think is pure cruelty. That case is Lockhart v. U.S., 04-881.

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Kelly

My story is the same...came from a blue-collar family who couldn't afford to send me to college--if I wanted to go , then I had to pay for it myself. I went to a private college (which cost me a boat load of $$$) and looking back on it now, I could have gotten a cheaper education at a public university--it's stange to hear myself say that...speaking in terms of economy when it comes to education..nonetheless I rec'd a BA in English (not a money maker) then went off to pursue a MFA in Creative Writing (again not to best thing to major in if you don't come from money) all the while knowing that I wanted to teach at the college level when I was done. I racked up $80,000 in debt for 6 years of education. Was it worth it? Well in terms of wordly experience yes...but if I had only known then what I know now. I did realize my dream of teaching college English, but the trouble with teaching English at the college level is that you make $30,000 a year! (Brings forth a variety of other issues....) I taught for 10 years, meanwhile since Sallie Mae wasn't going to accpet any $$ from me unless it was what they wanted me to pay---after my six months grace period it seems that the numbers were getting out of control--I soon was not able to even make interest payments and they wouldn't accept anything unless it was the presrcibed amount. My loans have been in deferent and forbearance for 10 YEARS! I now owe $137,000! AND I HAD TO QUIT TEACHING SO THAT I COULD PAY BACK MY LOANS SOME DAY--HOW FAIR IS THAT! One of the "customer service" people suggested I relocate to a better area of the country so that I could find a better job--how pathetic is that??

So--because of my debt I will not get married (besides who wants to marry someone that far in debt--and I can't have children because I can't afford to feed them. I was able to buy a house at an exhrobtiant interest rate and luckily for me my house is worth $40,000 more than my mortgage, so when the real estate market improves, I'm going to sell my house and start chunking down my loans. It's sad because I really love my little house--but I have to get this student loan monkey off my back! I am forced to live well below my means which means I will not be able to afford to live in the suburb where I live now, rather I will have to live in not so good of a neighborhood. So was it worth it?! Absolutely not!!! So, what am I doing about it? I will be going back to school to get an MBA and I'm going out of pocket this time--I wonder if there was a way to get some of this interest cut back? I have no quarrel with paying what I borrowed ($80,000) but paying $60,000 in interest is ridiculous--why are these people allowed to make $$$ off our education?! They've already have made us slaves to credit card interest rates...they must be stopped. I fear that education will become just for the "ruling class" the way it used to be!! What to do???

 

 

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Madalyn

I was going to school at Sanford Brown Institute of Cleveland, and i had took out a loan with SllieMae. I had got academically dismiss from school. Because i was sick and then my son at that time who was five got sick. And by me going to school full time, and working at a job part time making minmum wage was hard to come by. By me being sick I had missed days of classes. Then my son got sick. It just got harder for me to finish school. Escally w/out having any one to bag me up was very hard. Now with no degree i still work at my low minmum wage job. And now SallieMae keeps harrassing me w/ phone calls and sending me letters in the mail. I owe SallieMae 2556.07, and my federal loans are 14,000.00. And I am currently explained ti SallieMae that I am paying on the money Sanford Brown said that I owe them 7,200.00. Which i give them on the 23rd of each month. SallieMae is not willimg to work with me to pay my payments back. I only make about 600.00 a month. and i also have another son that is two years old. They don't care nor understand the feeling.

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Tracy

I originally owed a little over 7000 and i put my student loan on hold, forebearance i guess is what they call it. Then i started to pay a little, couldnt afford much, now im paying pioneer credit recovery services since this is who sallie mae turned me over to for a 1 year period,now i owe 15000. Ill never get this debt paid off and they keep raising it, i think its about time we stand up and fight this. thanks for listening Tracey Strong.

 




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