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Texas

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

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David 

I don't have all the facts and figures about my situation but here's a synopsis. I graduated from chiropractic school (1989) and defaulted on my federal student loans (for the same reasons that others have had to default) that totaled approximately $40,000 (in 1989) and now total $320,000 (based on a collection agency's claim in 2005).  I can't renew my license to make a living (much less make payments (they wanted $800 per month in 1996) on the loans) and have experienced feelings of hopelessness, despair, no self-esteem, depression, suicide, etc., etc.
 

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George 

To make my story short I'll try to be brief.
I'm a disabled veteran rated at 100% service connected for several ailments. My doctor from the VA helped me apply for loan discharge under the disability act. Of course the dept. of education denied the request because they disagreed with my doctor's opinion.

I'm a registered nurse by trade. I live in Texas. My nursing license came up for renewal recently. It was denied when I tried to renew it. The Texas State Board of Nursing denied my renewal request citing my defaulted student loans as being the reason for denial. Of course when I contacted them about my loan forgiveness request and showed them the documentation from my doctor, their reply was simply: have Texas Guaranteed release your license for renewal. Even though the Texas Board of Nursing is the licensing agency, they can't renew my license unless another agency that has nothing to do with my nursing license releases it for renewal? Give me a break!

So, now that my loan forgiveness request has been denied, my livelihood has also been denied. They want us to pay them back but they want us to work at Mcdonald's to do it. That way they can keep collecting higher interest and collection payments.

This has to stop. There has to be a fair way to do this. The current legislation only singles out those that have professional or occupational licenses. What about all of the other defaulted loans whose borrowers aren't required to have a professional license? Are they going to pass laws  that deny anyone with a defaulted student loan any type of job? I know that sounds absurd but so is the current legislation.

They demand us to pay them back, and then take away our ability to pay by denying us our livelihood.

Are their any legislators out there who are listening?


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Kathryn 

I can only tell you part of my story, because my loans have been passed around so much that I have no idea how my interest accrued or what the costs are. Due to a failed business and serious clinical depression, I had to declare bankruptcy in 2002. I defaulted on my student loans, and now, after a couple of years of repaying, I am "rehabilitated".  The lapse in paying back these loans was no more than a year.  My Sallie Mae bill went from 42,000 to 58,000.  I just rehabilitated another loan (by the way, these loans should be rehabilitated with 12 straight payments, but somehow, they "forget" to send them off to another purchaser).  Following the purchase of this loan by a bank, I received a "paid in full" note.  The current amount I owe on this note is more than $10,000(remember I have been repaying for about 2 years now). The amount of my original promissory note? Less than $4100.  WOW, huh?

I won't bore you with the tales of my other student loans.  All told, I expect to repay them all by the age of 70, based on the payment schedule. Well, that's one way of keeping me from retiring and collecting Social Security.  (These debts were incurred when I was 35 years old, by the way.)

My, my...you would think these student loans would not be given to loan sharks, but...

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Rick 

Well like everyone else here I'm stuck paying huge payments with high interest all because of a dishonest salesman. I am 47 years old and decided that I needed some computer certifications for my job. A fast talking salesman sold me on a school that does nothing to help you get certifications but offers Sallie Mae financing. He said you'll never pay over 6% interest and payments are only $20. Well shortly after signing the documents I had severe heart problems and ended up having open heart surgery. Unfortunately I never went for any of the certifications because of my health. The school wouldn't refund my money and about that time Sallie Mae kicked in with $89 payments. Of course calling them was useless I've gotten better answers from a brick wall. Then at the first of this year interest was going up...I got on their website to lock my rate in, well the website didn't work. So I called and waited on the phone until I get the usual incompetent customer service rep on the phone who assured me that I had been  locked in...well I hadn't. Now my payments are over $100 a month and the original $3500 I borrowed is now over $8000. At this rate I'll never pay it off, I'd been better off to borrow money from a loan shark. At least if I didn't pay a loan shark he'd put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery. Now I've found this site and realize I'm not the only one getting screwed by these guys. It's a sad, sad world.


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Kathryn 

I was an elementary school teacher when I decided to go to law school. I had gone through college on a full scholarship -- not to the college of my choice, but I didn't want to incur debt, so I accepted. With my background and drive, I wasn't concerned about taking out loans.My motivation stemmed from the reality that I was a single mom trying to make things better for my daughter and me.

When I finished law school, I got a job, but was laid off after 3 years. I opened my own practice, but after about 2 years, I slipped into a deep depression. Of course, I didn't realize this until someone grabbed me by the hand and told me I needed to speak to a therapist.  By then, I no longer had the ability to take on new cases.  I never neglected my clients, but I ended up taking cases with little or no financial value.

I lapsed into great debt.  I received no child support, even though I pursued it through legal channels. I put my daughter through college on my own, but I couldn't take care of my debts.  I defaulted on my student loans and declared bankruptcy.

Because of the bankruptcy and default, $10,000 was added to my outstanding loans.  I cannot buy a house.  I have no credit reputation. I have a very small 401k.  I won't be able to pay off this loan until I'm 70 years old.  Pretty bleak, huh?


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R.T. 

I've been fighting "alleged" defaulted student loans for years.  I've had an attorney on retainer and even flew down to Atlanta, GA in person to try and settle the matter with the Dept. of Education (DOE) and their Ombudsman.  I have very detailed records, for example, cancelled checks proving payments were made.  The DOE and their hired-gun collection agencies have never been able to provide any substantive back-up documentation to support their allegations, they have ignored my documents and their records never tie from one document to another.  Meanwhile, the DOE continues to steam roll along confiscating my tax returns to the point where I will have actually overpaid for the loans.  The only way I see to stop the DOE's ignorance is to sue them in Federal court, which will likely carry hefty legal fees.  While I realize there are many defaulted student loans, there are also a great number of loans that are not defaulted but for the DOE's screwed-up records management, or lack thereof.  Perhaps a civil suit is another measure.  In any case, something needs to happen in order to send a wake-up call to the DOE.  

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Witheld 

Returning to school to complete a BA and MA in my forties seemed a good idea at the time.  In hindsight, I was wrong. What was originally a 52K debt at graduation has escalated to 68K. Yes, I made payments; however, over the past four years there have been times of illness requiring the loan to be put into forbearance. Now, at age 51 and with declining health (but not declined enough for disability) I feel trapped and horrified that I'll never pay this loan off before I die.  My original goals of developing an investment portfolio in my fifties has been abandoned. At 51 I have no retirement or savings. (I was a single parent for many years. Every penny went to support us.) Can you see the dilemna? If I default, my social security will be denied and Medicare benefits too. If I default and attempt to build some savings instead of paying greater than 500 monthly, the U.S. government will seize/freeze those assets.

My parents reared me to pay my bills, to be an honest and upright person. Despite my upbringing, I want to run. Call me a quitter or loser or whatever. I've thought of fleeing to another country, or setting up some account in a country with ultra-secret banking laws. Am I crazy? Realistic?

I must sign off as I'm in pain. Thank you for any advice you can give.




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Greg 

My original debt from 1998 was $25,000. 8 years later I have a debt of $75,000. I am no banker or accountant, but I am assuming this will continue to triple every 8 years if I remain in poverty and thus in default. So am I correct that in 8 more years I may owe $225,000? That in 16 years I will owe $750,000; in 24 years, $2,250,000, and then at retirement time in 32 years I will owe $6,750,000? 6 Million plus? Haha. Now, of course, if this were any other form of debt that became this cancerous I could file for bankruptcy. Not for student loans though. At age 72 I may owe $20,250,000. Heaven forbid that I live to see my eighties. At age 88 I may owe $182,250,000.

I think we are just beginning to see how crazy this is going to get. If my math is correct, in ten years there are going to be a lot of impoverished people, people making less than $20,000 a year, who have these ludicrous million dollar debts.

My heart about exploded when I got the letter saying I owed $75,000. After I recovered, all I could do was laugh. It is so absurdly much that they might as well have told me that I owe a million bucks, and now, upon further reflection, it appears they will be telling me I owe them a million bucks in the not so distant future.

I wonder if people with unpayable student loan debt will due to accumulated stress, loss of work, and an inability to pay for medical needs in old age, have on average shorter lifespans than those who do not? This will make an intersting study in fifty years.


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Dustin 

THESE PEOPLE ARE CROOKS!

In the mid 80's, I decided to return to school to study Electrical Engineering.  I was poor, and I had always been poor, so my only option was to get financial aid, which included the now horrid student loans.  I was 30 years old at the time, apparently too old to qualify for any scholarships.

However, once I completed my degree, I quickly learned that no one would hire me.  I had to get a deferment on my loans, and then another.  Unknown to me, I was suffering from a form of Autism, which prevented me from being accepted by the so-called "professional" world.  Then, in the early 90's, something changed in the job scene, and I soon found that I could no longer get ANY work.  In desperation, I went to the State Department of Rehabilitaion (in California, where I was living at the time), but they said that there was NOTHING that they could do for me.  In the end, I was declared "Totally and Permanently Disabled" by the Social Security Admistration" and I was handed a monthly check for $500.

Meanwhile, unknown to me, my loans had been purchased by Corus Bank in Chicago.  Unfortunately, also unknown to me, Corus Bank was being investigated by the United States Department of Justice for filing false default claims, and generally poor record keeping (think "Enron").

Then, in 1995 the real trouble started!  At that time, I had one of the doctors in charge of my disability case sign the the required loan dismissal form.  I then sent the disability form to Corus Bank, as per their request, never knowing that it would disappear into oblivion.  In fact, a week later, I was reassured by one of their bank officers that "everything was taken care of".

However, because of the pending suit by the Department of Justice, Corus Bank was unable to submit my disability claim.  Even worse, no one at Corus ever bothered to tell me about this.  Instead, my claim was simply thrown into a pile, where it sat for the next 3 to 4 years!  Finally, instead of filing my claim with the Department of Education, they sold my loan to EDFUND, in Rancho Cordova, California.

 Of course, EDFUND would never buy loans that already had disability claims pending against them.  So, in 1999, Corus made my loans "backable", by simply feeding all of my disability paperwork into the shredder, including all records of correspondence and phone calls on this matter!  Once again, I had no idea that these illeagal activities were taking place; I still believed that "everything was taken care of".

Then, the nightmare began.  It all started with a phone call from EDFUND, when they told me that my loans had gone into default.  Not only that, but what had once been only $7500, had suddenly exploded to nearly $20,000!  At the time, I figured that this was just a simple clerical error, so I proceded to tell them about my disability.  To my shock, they refused to listen!  I then tried to send them copies of my disability paperwork, but they refused to accept them.  To say that I was "guilty until proven innocent" would be an understatement.  I was considered "GUILTY, period!", with no rights to present my own defense.  Corus had claimed that I had NEVER filed for disability, and that was the ONLY testimomy that EDFUND would accept.

All the while, I never knew that I was dealing with a PRIVATE company, rather than the Department of Education.  From the very beginning EDFUND had passed themselves off as a governemnt agency, rather than a "non-profit" corporation.  Only though my own research, did I learn the truth.

This nightmare has continued ever since; 7 LONG YEARS.  In that time, I have been harassed by one collection agency after another.  It just keeps getting worse and worse.  In fact, now, the threating phone calls are literally coming EVERY day, and sometimes, evem twice a day.

I have tried everything to clear up this matter, including asking my local congressman for help.  Of course, he couldn't be bothered, and his office wasted a year-and-a-half of my life, while they tap danced around the issue.  I have also written to numerous organizations, from AARP, to CNN, to the ACLU, all with no response.  I can't even get access to "due process", a right supposedly guarenteed to me by the Constitution.  No lawyer will go near a "student loan" case, and yet, even with an income to meager to garnish, I am not allowed to dismiss this through bankruptcy.  What the hell is going on?

To me, this is no longer about the effing money; THIS IS PERSONAL!  I have vowed to fight this to my dying breath, and to ensure that they never get so much as one dime of my income.  If fact, after the hell that they have put me through in the past 7 years, I feel that they should be paying damages to me.

Yet, the government has put some kind of magic curtain around student loans.  I would have better luck getting access to the Pentagon.  THIS NIGHTMARE HAS GOT TO STOP!  How are they allowed to get away with this?  Is it that our elected officials don't care, or do they just hate poor people?

Please, tell me that there is some kind of organized movement to fight this.  If there is, I would be more than happy to lend my support.  In fact, I would be willing to make it my life's work!  I will even join any protest marches on Washington, though someone would have to help me with transportation.

     KEEP FIGHTING BACK!


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Margaret 

My son borrowed money on a student loan approximately 19 years ago and the school went bankrupt shortly after he finished and didn't complete their obligation to help him seek gainful employment.  Time passed and he was strapped for funds to pay this debt and 3 children later, he was having a hard time making enough money to support the children.  These people have harassed him and now they have filed a Federal Lawsuit against his employer for not garnishing his wages and I have been receiving calls from their collection agency.  He is getting a divorce from his wife and has the 3 children to support, he was advised to ignore these collection companies.  I always heard in the State of Texas only the IRS, Child Support and Spousal Support could be garnished from your wages.  Please advise me what his legal rights are....The collection company that has it now told me today they would send out forms immediately and he was to sign them and return them to them to be put in a hardship category but I can't find out if the Federal Lawsuit aginst his employer includes the amount this new collection agency is also trying to collect....Please advise


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Michael 

I went to school at Iowa State from 96-99 and then dropped out due to not having enough money to continue. Curing that time I accumulated $19,586 of debt in loans. During the summer of 99, I moved to new Orleans for a good job offer. Having my mail forwarded from my off campus apartment that I was living in during the last year I was there. During that time, I never received any type of notification or anything about my loan payments that were to start or anything from the student loan folks. After about 6-8 months, still nothing and honestly, I just forgot about it.

In the spring of 2001, I went to purchase a new car and got denied for credit. I asked for a copy of my credit report afterwards because I had perfect credit to that point and here are a huge list of defualts from the student loans. I called the student loan people. They still had my address as the original address when I moved to college that I only lived in for a semester. This is even though my dispersements and all of the other paperwork had been going to the correct address for over a year by that point.

I get in contact finally with the collections group that had my account. In talking with the collector, he promised that after 6 on time payments that the records would be removed from my credit scores. The catch was that I would have to make a $1000 payment first and that didn't count into the 6 payments. I accepted and also the balance went from the original $19,586 to $25,817 + $1000 for a total of $26,817. This is all in the matter of 16 months from the time the original first payment would be due.

During this whole time, I still never gotten any type of notifications or anything of when my payments were due or that I was in default. The kicker about the whole thing is that the defaults still appear on my credit report even though I've done everything they asked. I called them many times to get the items removed averaging 2 a month. I finally got them removed from my Transunion and Equifax reports but they still remain on my Experian report pulling down my FICO scores over 70 points on my Experian scores. During this whole process, I feel robbed by my government. I've paid almost $10,500 back over the last almost 5 years and only $3112 of that was principal. If it weren't the government, That would be considered fraud and theft.

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Stephen 

I borrowed $44,000 from the Access Group to go to law school. Since I went to law school at an older age, 45, I was uanble to find a job at a firm. Law firms simply wont hire older newly licensed lawyers.
The access group sent me paperwork to ask for a forebearance. I filled it out and within a matter of days I started receiving harassing calls from an outfit called Diversified Collection Services from Livermore, Ca. This outfit apparently has it in with numerous politicians and is now collecting for the I.R.S.
I am trying to get a law practice off the ground and I am struggling. I cannot pay these poeple right now but they are harassing me constantly and are now calling the people I lease office space from demanding that I call them. They turned down my forebearance and I dont think it was ever given any consideration.


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Robert 

In 2001-2003 10,000 was garnished from the IRS from my bank account and transferred to the dept of education. I just received a bill from a collection agency representing the Dept of Education for another 9700.00. This loan was payed off in 1992-1993. I did not hear from them again until they took money due me that was garnished by the IRS. I am 49 years old and do not have a retirement. These amounts have been removed from my credit history after a long 7 years of harassment. I am now in the process of Bankruptcy.


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Sean 

I graduated from Westwood College of Aviation Technology in Broomfied CO. I was offered a loan from Wells Fargo called a P.L.A.T.O loan. When I took out this loan to payoff the school I was told this was an easy way to pay for school. I and my Mother the co-signer borrowed 7,000. We have paid on time for 6 years at 72.00 a month and our balance is higher than the borrowed balance. We would like to know why after 6 years this is paid down not a cent?. If the payment is 1 day late they report. I work in the car business and I am a Finance manager and even I know that after 6 years this should be paid down and you do not get a 30 day until 30 days?

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Sarah 

I borrowed 3 $4,000 loans for my child to go to school.  She was unable to help pay them back.  I went blind two times and had 9 major eye surgeries and was unable to work. My $12,000.00 debt is now unbearable and the only way it will ever get paid back , is if I die.

I have tried to get it reduced. I have tried to work with them.. But no one cares.   What can we do. ???????????????

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Michael 

I too owe more money to student loans than I will ever be able to pay back in my life time.  In 1998 I decided to enter college and acquired a $26,000 student loan payment.  Unable to find employement to pay the monthly payments I went back to graduate school in order to pursue an MBA hoping to find employment which would pay a salary high enough to make the student loan payments.  Well, now I owe $80,000 and will graduate in February with an MBA.  Unfortunately I still do not make the income necessary to pay the loan payment and I have no options.  From my understanding, you cannot file bankruptcy for student loans and they will hunt you down till your dead.  I say we open up a student loan organization.

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Briss 

MI took out a a student loan with Sallie Mae in 2002 for $8000.00 for my education. My payments were suppose to be $110.00 a month but each month the payment is different. I still am not working but that doesnt matter to this company all they want is their money. I had to get a co-singer to help me get this loan and he was suppose to be on this loan for two years and that was all. Well that time limit is up and Sallie Mae will not take him off this loan. I fell behind when this got rough for myself and my husband and they did not understand that at all. All they wanted was their money. I have them on my credit and i am unable to get any job that can help me. When my credit is run they laugh at me and tell me that I am not suited for the job. I owe Sallie Mae company now almost 10,000 on an 8000 loan. How can this company get by with this kind of robbery. Working people can not pay this kind of instest on these loans. If I make these payments on time my children do without alot of times, but if I dont make these payments it goes against me.


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N.R. 

My story is the same as almost all the others. I graduated podiatry school in 90 followed by 2 years of residency. I borrowed 80,000.  When I started working I was immediately told to pay over 1000/month or else it would not even cover the interest rate. Since that was not possible in the beginning, I paid a nominal amount of 500/month. Soon, I was in default and told that if I could not pay over 2000/month, I would never be able to pay the amount back. To date, the loans have blossomed to over 400,000. At one point following divorce and raising children, I had a job making 2200/month. The loan people garnished my wages when I told them I could not pay the 3000/month that they wanted. They were very aware of what my monthly income was but just did not care. They hounded me night and day at my job regardless of the fact that letters were written to them about the illegality of their pursuits at my place of work. 

At several points along the way, I have taken my case to three separate lawyers. No one can offer any reasonable advice. A family member works for a mortgage company and she said she had never heard of any lender not desiring to clear up a unrecovered debt such as mine through settlement. I have been able to settle every account since my divorce save the student loan issue. I have come to the understanding that ONLY a settlement will ever cause this to go away unless a group of us can form a strong unit and go after these people ourselves. It would be a great service to many people if this injustice could be addressed. I have read many of your accounts and I have been treated at least as bad as the majority of you with extensive notes taken as to date and time of the offensive debt collectors. I have heard of people being able to settle with these shisters.....but to date I have not been able to manage it. If anyone has any advice, I welcome it!


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Darren 

I took out a 4800.00 loan in the late 80's. I had child support and financial obligations that made me have to put off school. I was told if I went into the military I would be deferred from payback until I got out of the service. My recruiter was supposed to sign and send the paper that I gave him from the school. He said he would do it but it apparently never got done.


When I arrived at my duty station in Germany a collection agency started calling me to collect the debt. I had my Officer in charge Capt. King call and tell them I was in the Army therefore I was deferred. They said that's fine just send a payment and that would give them time to straighten out the situation on the deferment. Collection notices resumed shortly after the phone conversation. I called many times later and they told me tuff luck - no deferment - pay. At this point I felt they were not holding up their side of the bargain. I got an honorable discharge from the Army and decided to go on with my plans to finish my education. This is the point the student loans did more to hurt my education than help. I did the right thing. I went into the Army to continue my education and earn the money through my Army college fund to pay for school myself. It was the hard way but for someone of low income it was one of the only right ways to proceed.


I started school as soon as I left the Army but was recalled for Desert Storm. When I returned from recall I started my first semester at Temple College. I was given a grant my first semester back at school. It was later determined I had to pay back because of my illegally declared default by the loan company. I was then denied all loans, grants and aid even though I qualified. I still persevered and continued my education because I felt it was the key to a successful life. I paid for school by working and my earned Army College Fund. I excelled making good grades and became the photo editor of my school newspaper at University of Texas at El Paso. I then had to quit school because I ran out of Army college fund money. I was 17 credits away from my Bachelors degree.


My illegally defaulted student loan is directly responsible for my failed education. The reason that I did not get my degree was money. I missed out on $15,000 in grants that I qualified for but was denied due to this illegal default. I then tried to use the Texas Hazelwood act which states free tuition for honorably discharged veterans to Texas state schools. I found the state legislature took it away from those considered defaulted on student loans.


I wrote my congressman Chet Edwards who intern forwarded my letter to the Dept. of Education. I said that I could prove I was deferred by either being in the Army or in school for 7 years they had me in default. The Dept. of Education wrote back and said its not our (Dept. of Education) fault that deferment paperwork was not filed you need to talk to the Army about that. They would not even consider the evidence.

Over the last 15 years I have talked to countless government agencies, collection agencies and even my congressman. I feel I owe the principal loan before being illegally defaulted. The reason I haven't paid thus far is a matter of principle. I was told what I had to do to be deferred and I held up my end of the bargain. I borrowed out $4,800 they now say I owe $15,000. I am willing to pay the amount prior to the illegal default. Thus far I have found no help or hope.   
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Anthony 

I grew up as a ward of the state.  Of course, I had to borrow money to go to college.  I wanted the American Dream.  I finished my Bachelor and Master's degree.  I then went on to my doctoral studies.  I am in debt to Sallie Mae for over $150,000.  This does not include the interest or penalties.  There is absolutely no way I can afford to make the $1,500 per month payments that are required.  This will affect my credit history for the rest of my life.  I should be the poster child for reasons to not go to college.


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Yasmin 

On 1988, I was recruited by a trade School in Tulsa oklahoma with the promise of of a job with the major Airlines. The recruiter enrolled me on Avionics.  Which I did not know what it was but it sounded good, This type of trining did not lead to any job with the Major Airlines. At the time of graduation most airlines wanted military experiance and most required to take an aptitude test. (I did not have any aptitude for technical field). Whit already a large debt, with already a large debt ; I was force to take another training (Airframe and Powerplant).
The total cost, for the technical degree is still obcure, The school bill was $28,546, the on another note dent from the school was $29,083.80 , As per Sallie Mae was $33,712.(When I enrolled in this school my English was poor,I just did not realize the magnitude of the problem that I was in).

The most frustrating part of all of this mess for me is that i discover to late that some community College offfered the same kind of technical training for about $2,500.00 After all this training and $30,000.00 plus debt, on January, 1992 I obtained a job in Avionics at $5.25 per hour.
And after many rejections from the Major Airlines, and relocations  I final secure a job with American Eagle Airlines 04/93. During this harship USA Group, Sallie Mae mafia just love it. In September of 2002, I was in default statut making payments of $440.00 per month the last letter I receive from EDS (Sallie Mae)  total amount due was $70,623.69 plus a collection cost of 19% was added (capitalized) and interest balance due upon rehabilitation.


As I wrote to our Congress Senator " The Honorable Senatot" Kay Bailey. How can Sallie Mae (EDS INC)rehabilitated any body when inflict this excessive ?  Instead of rehabilitation my family and I are facing eternal and involuntary servitude to debt, I also stated that my family Bill of Right Amendment VIII( Bails, Fines and Punishment)as well Amendment XIII Section One (Slavery or Involuntary Servitude) are being violated.  I requested a meeting with the senator, but I was ignored, problably her Secretary said that there were many people with the same request.

I received many calls from Sallie Mae to reconsolidate my debt, however I know they just were trying to renew the contract and involved my husband in the debt, so I refuse to consolidate and sign any other document, and I quit paying, I also ask to please garnish my pay check. It took them about one year to garnish my paycheck. (They probably waited the longest possible to inflict more debt. I also requested a meeting in Washignton before garnishing my paycheck. but nothing happen. AS of 5/8/2006  the keep on garnishing my salary, and they have not send me a letter with the latest amount due. I have not received any letter from Sallie Mae since 2003.
I will not enter in any contract with Sallie Mae, I have to children and paying Tomorrow tuition Fund, however , it may not be enough to cover the cost of school, and that is the only thing I fear in my life.

And just a final thought...

Most people that come from Europe and Asia are very well educated Doctors, High Tech Administrators, etc. The universities are for the most part free, and available for everybody.  After all the taxes we have to paid we all should have free education, and we should not have to lose our lives in the military to get a future or get in debt for the rest of our lives.

Please let me know if I can help. 

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R.M. 

I'm a military officer who became a victim of Identity Theft in the early 1990's in Tampa, Florida.  Around that time I had consolidated student loans in the amount of about $30K for my graduate education there.  The consolidation went on to deferment and forbearance status for a few years, until I was able to begin payments. There were some issues with address changes, but those were resolved fairly quick. The consolidation seems to have gone from company to company (COSTEP, SALLIE MAE, ISAC) since first completed. Fast forward to the Spring of 2004. Because I needed a mortgage, we found a defaulted student loan while reviewing my credit report in the amount of over $100K.  The loan was in my name and Social Security number, but on further review I've found out many conflicting details. For example, some funds went to pay for courses at a Florida junior college after I had completed my Masters degree. And there are different names (similar to mine) in the applications. This was a huge surprise to me since I have been making student loan payments for years to NELNET, with whom I'm in good standing. SALLIE MAE and ISAC have contacted me, and I have them, but they have chosen to proceed, ruining my credit, and this last April, taking my tax refund as repayment for the defaulted loan. I have contacted my State Senator but I still get no relief--please help!

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Dustin 

On the page, "What Can We Do?", it recommends contracting my local congressman.  I am writing to say that I already have, and it did no good.

Back in 2003, I called Congressman Mac Thornberry's office (the representive in my area) and asked the folks for their help in clearing up my dispute with "EdFund" (#2 behind Sallie Mae).  EdFund was now claiming to have no record of my disabity loan discharge; a discharge that I had filed 8 years earlier!

     Anyway,the congressman's people danced around the issue for a year and a half.  They made only a token effort of writing letters, which never amounted to anything.  Basically, they simply accepted whatever EDFUND claimed, despite the fact that I had PROOF contradicting EdFund's statements.

     Finally, in October, 2005, it all went to hell.  It was just after the Supreme Court had upheld the ruling on garnishing disability checks.  On that day, I called the congressman's office (as I had been doing every couple months) to get any news about my case.  However, instead of an update, the lady at the office started SCREAMING at me!  Even worse, she tried to twist the facts around to make this screw up look like MY fault.  Why was this happening?  I thought that these people were supposed to be representing me!

     About 3 months later, I found a press release saying that Corus Bank (the lender that had supposedly "lost" my claim) had been sued by the Justice Department for negligence and malpheasance.  Apparently, they had been either accidentally or deliberately sloppy with their student loan paperwork.  At that point, I felt certain that the congressman's office would have to take notice.

     I couldn't have been more wrong.  Once again, the lady started screaming into the phone.  She literally would not let me speak.  She kept shouting louder and louder, "THIS IS YOUR FAULT!  YOU DROPPED THE BALL!"  Then, when she finally ran out of breath, she simply hung up on me.  I NEVER had a chance to present my evidence!

     Of course, everyone must be wondering how all this could have been my fault.  Put simply, I failed to go to the offices of Corus Bank in Chicago and watch over their shoulders to make sure that my claim was being processed properly!  Even if I could have done that, how would I have known that they were doing it right?  I had spoken to a bank officer on the phone, and he had assured me that my claim was in his hands. He even finished with the comforting words,"You're all set."  What more could I have done?

     This is not the first time that I have written to this site.  However, I have no email, and I have to use the computers in the public library.  Still, feel free to call me at home.  I will even go as far as saying, PLEASE contact me.  I really want to TALK to someone about this.  If that is not possible, could you post alternate contact info that does not require a home internet account?  I WANT TO DO WHAT I CAN!  I could write an entire book on my student loan story, and I have no qualms about the gorey details, like pointing fingers or naming names.


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Shirl 

It's good to know I am not the only one getting the finger from Sallie Mae. I'm yet another victim of their all mighty power. I started out with only 20,000 borrowed for college and after many many fees piled on, and the latest colossal fee(which I'm still crying over)of a whooping 10,000 added on just for their amusement and pocket lining, I've found myself in the nightmare of the American Dream gone sour. They now want over 50,000, more than double what I borrowed and I feel helpless to negotiate it down to a closer amount to the original loan. It's not right the way student loan companies operate and it needs to change. We need more competition in the market so we can have more choices in finding better deals. I am getting threatened with wage garnishments from my salary which is already hard to live on. Like one person wrote above, damned if you do and damned if you don't. We just have to fight this injustice.


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Lukas 

In October of 2003 i took out a loan with sallie mae through the Texas Culinary  Academy. At the time i was only 18 and unfamiliar with any financial programs. I only knew that i was half way through school and in need of a loan. After being told repeatedly by the schools financial advisor that a signature loan through sallie mae would be the best option for a person in my position. Having never before dealt with loans of any type, in my life, i took out a signature loan through sallie mae for $18,601.00 I was under the influence that it was a loan that would have a low interest rate and  low monthly payments. in Feb. 2004 when i graduated i soon after received my first payment schedule. To my surprise my first payment due was for over $350. My monthly rent for my apartment was only $320.00 i was outraged that i was paying more monthly for my education than my housing. I later learned that my loan had a "Variable interest rate" at the time it was 15%+. after loosing my job i fell behind on payments. i am now facing $408.00 a month for the next 14 yrs. paying back a total of $70,523.71 for $18,601.00 originally       


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James 

I accepted an invitation to Pratt Institute of Brooklyn New York, after having been accepted to New York University, and my loan accepted there also. I changed to Pratt Institute because of it's highly ranked and reputation with my Professors in Printmaking at The University of Texas at Austin, which itself is a highly rated program in art and the Printmaking areas. In Pratt's prospectus to those seeking admission in the art graduate program, Pratt stated in the first paragraph on page one that it promised a "First Rate Graduation Education", and further boasted of its excellent staff and facilities.

What transpired from the second I arrived on the Brooklyn campus, was a series of frauds and distortions that constitute a serious breach of contract, and ethics that have cost me over $ 40.000.00 and growing, and cost years of my life without the career I honestly aspired to.

The Breach of Contract is covered by New York law, if I had the Money to sue, nationally the courts tend to see the offer of "A First Rate Graduation Education" made by an educational institution as enforceable contract, given the reputation and standing academia, as compared to the same offer given in an add by a Ford Dealership... When you accept the offer from a graduate school, and obtain a student loan, it is a contract, and like any other loan subject to Due Diligence on the loan company to see that something of value is being obtained.

This is where I came to have an interest in your cause, after seeing the 60 Minutes Story, I wondered if they had neglected the Due Diligence aspect of the corrupted student loan industry, or have you guys not gone there as of yet. I my problem with Pratt Institute, Oversight has a huge roll to play, not only from the lack of character of the Accrediting Associations, but from those who blindly issue student loans, and charge student the loan processing fees for work that Pratt Institute proves by its sorry state were never performed once in the past 10 years.

The 60 Minutes Story reports Sallie Mae earns 1/5 of its income from defaults on student loans, but how much do these thieves earn by collecting fees for Due Diligence that is charged and not performed, show me one student loan to major public of private university that has been denied because the school failed to meet the standards of what a loaner considered something of value was not seen... Pratt Institute would not survive one semester without student loan money, its been insolvent sent a Pratt family member embezzled from it in 1984.

Pratt's Brooklyn Campus was sited and successfully sued by the E.P.A for it's broken sewer system, which was no better inside the public spaces of the physical plant itself, There were only 2 working water fountains on the entire campus, which matches the conditions of the bathrooms which had few toilets physically working, and less regularly cleaned, as the staff was cut to save money... one bathroom in the graduate studio area regularly went weeks with vomit and human feces on its floors and walls... this a uni-sex bathroom because the other had 2 years ago collapsed into the floor.


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H. S. 

August 12, 2003, I signed a loan application for a Sean Michael Spranger for a student loan to be processed through Chase Manhatten Bank, USA.N.A.. There were no other loan papers signed by me for this applicant.  Sean Spranger enrolled in University of the Incarnate Word.  At the time of my signing the application I made a copy of application for credit which was hat was presented to me. I also made copies of "Instructions for Completing the Signature Student Loan Application".  These had been given to Sean Springer by the University of the  Incarnate Word. Some time after August 19, 2003 I received a form letter informing me that the loan had been approved and funds were being sent to the university.  The letter mentioned a Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement being enclosed.  I reviewed the "Signature Education Loan Program: and saw that it was indicating a loan only to Sean M Spranger.  I mentioned this to Mr. Spranger and he advised me that the University had not given him the legal paper to be signed.  He seemed to think they had ended up approving the loan on only his signature.  I was never presented a a loan document to sign.  September 16, 2003 I had a heart attack and had bi-pass surgery.  I was in the hospital until around the 22nd of October.  I heard nothing further from Sean Spranger concerning the student loan.  Then I received a I received a "Annual Co-Borrower Debt Level Statement" dated June 19, 2004 from SallieMae Servicing, PO Box 9500, Wilkes Barre, Pa 18773-9500.  There was a telephone number listed on the letter of 1 888 272 5543.  I telephoned the number and spoke with a told her that I did not have a copy of a promissary note for this loan they were indicating that I was a co-borrower.  I ask that she send me a copy of the documents that I had signed.  

This Lindsay didn't make much sense to me and I ended up speaking with a Karen.  I ask for the same information, a copy of what I had signed that made me a co-borrower.  I never received any thing from them and dismissed it for the time being. January 20, 2005 I received a letter attaching a copy of "Payment Schedule and Disclosure Statement" which they indicated they had recently sent to Sean M. Spranger.  January 24, 2005 I sent a letter to SallieMaeServicing attaching a copy of their communication of 1/20/05 and requested they send me a copy of the loan contract they referenced. Then June 17, 2005 I received "Annual Co-Borrower Debt Level Statement" showing JPMORGAN as the current holder of the holder.  On July 14, 2005 at 11:00am I called and spoke with Lindsay and again requested that she send me a copy of the documents they keep refering to.  Getting no where with this Lindsay; I finally spoke to a Karen who said she would send me a copy of the signed documents.  July 28, 2005 I received a letter addressed to "Dear Loan Endorser," referencing a "Payment Schedule for Sean M Spranger" enclosed.  August 4, 2005 I called and spoke with a Dan who could not give any answers.  A supposed Supervisor came on the line who also had no answers and said she would refer me to her supervisor.  This supervisor turned out to be Karen who I had spoken to previously, however she did send me a copy of the Application I had signed 8/12/03 along with a form letter with an "x" marked on the one indicating "Enclosed is the information you requested".  July 21, 2005 I sent a letter to SallieMaeServicing, Attention: Karen and in my letter to them I again requested a copy of the document that they continued to contend I had signed.  Of course I received no response from SallieMaeServicing or any of it's employees.  I received  on 02/26/06 a letter referencing another payment schedule for Sean M Spranger enclosed; however, nothing was enclosed.  

I on 3/06/06 telephoned SallieMaeServicing and spoke to a Kim concerning the continuing harrassment and unable to produce a document that obligated me for the loan they kept referring to.  I remarked to her that I felt it was interesting that none of the ladies at SallieMaeServicing never had a last name. She hung up.  (Now for the past three years which I have not kept tract of it I had many, many calls from people wanting to refinance my student loan.  I recall this past spring when I ask one of them how I could get ride of these continued harrissment call of a student loan that I did not have nor had I had.  She laughed and said, "I don't know, but get ready for there are about seventy-six lenders that will be calling you."  I called back and got in touch with a Tammy.  I referenced the letter the letter and as always ask who I was speaking to, she again said Tammy and I remarked that I guess she didn't have a last name either as Kim had hung up when I ask for hers.  She in no uncertain terms told me her name was Tammy Hick.  I noted the time as 4:30pm.  I ask that she send me a copy of the document SallieMae Servicing kept contending I had signed that obligated me for this loan as a co-borrower.  She advised me that that was not possible.  March 6, 2006 I called and spoke with a Syble, referred to a Phyllis, then referred to a Ann, and then referred to a Lisa.  I ask each of these if they could fax a copy of the signed document to me.  One said it would take at least 48 hours to pull the records.  The Lisa  finally said she could fax it.  I can tell you this took some talking.  She faxed a copy of the "Application" dated 8/12/03, not a Promissary Note.  I told her this was not a Promissory Note that it was only an application for credit.  I referenced to her that the top of her fax page 2 or 9.  I ask for the other seven pages.  She didn't know how to send them, but would check and send them to me. !
  I received a communication from SallieMaeServicing dated March 14, 2006 referencing an enclosure of a PROMISSORY NOTE.  Guess what, I got another copy of the Application for Credit.  

In my conversation with this Lisa I mentioned to her that it appeared to me that SALLIEMAE was charging interest on interest and to my knowledge that was against the law.  I told her that I had never signed a PROMISSORY NOTE and unless they could show me my signature on one I felt the continued contacting me and not being able to produce evidence of my obligation was harassment if it continued.  I discussed with this lady the fact that the way SALLIEMAE added interest onto interest these kids would never get out of debt.  I was able to get from her the name of the CEO of SALLIEMAE as being Tim Fritzpether.  I watched with interest Leslie Stahl reporting on 60 MINUTES.  From my experience with SALLIEMAE this bunch is a bunch of snakes taking advantage of you people.  These kids coming out of college with debts like Ms Stahl was discussing is totally insane for our government to let this continue to happen.  I clipped out an article from the Express-News staff writer, Gullermo Contreras.  If there is any means that I can do in assisting uncovering the corruption going on with this organization I will be more than happy to help.  I just wonder if the United States Attorney General, Gonzales, has reviewed the way this bunch created documents and the harassment.  The problem with our world is that there are too many folks ate us with greed, corporate executives, politicians, lawyers, doctors any way we look there is greed, greed.  

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Shelley 

In '99 I was in college. I thought I was filling out papers for grants as a mom of 3, divorced and only making 175 every 2 weeks living in the basement of my mom's home with my kids or a friends front room. I was in pre req for the nursing program. In my 3rd week of my second semester I withdrew and the money the school took was to be refunded because a portion of the loans went directly to the school for my class fees. I have approximately an amount of 4649.02 in loans. I am sick and could not continue with school. I filed paper work for deferment and to be forgiven. I heard nothing again till 2001 at that time I was so bad with RSD that I am on SSI with a total and permanent disability. The government brought in a vocational rehabilitation specialist to go over my medical condition and work history and if I could be trained to work in ANY field of employment anywhere in the US. I have been told that the criteria to have my school loans forgiven has a higher standard than that of SSI. The VR man stated on court record I could never work again and with my ability not be trained, that was for the federal court of social security.


 I filed bankruptcy in '02 on all my stacked up medical bills and my student loans. In bankruptcy federal court they said my loans would be excepted due to the nature of my illness and never able to work again from the papers submitted from my doctors. My school loans have been passed from ED, Sally Mae, Nelnets, FSA, USA FUNDS and so many other places that I do not know. I have had to have 3 doctors fill out their disability discharge papers. The first set they said they lost over a year after the fact, and I trusted and did not make a copy of the form before I sent it in. The second doctor filed the papers in 2002. In 2004 I moved to Texas for my health because the cold up north made the illness worse. ED called the doctor from the papers in 2002 and asked after not seeing me over a year what my condition was. He told them he had not seen me in a year and felt since he had not seen me for my illness in over a year, I could work. This doctor knew I had moved south for my health as he suggested me to do.  I had my doctor fill out papers here in TX. He stated I was not able to work and was even nice enough to put the disability date the federal government deemed me total and permanent disabled. ED just sent me a letter saying the doctor did not put his state of license, and declined this paper work. I had to pay that doctor $20 dollars for the papers to be filed because it had to be notarized, and he said Medicaid did not cover for him to fill out paper work and take it to be notarized. During that visit the doctor filed papers for my permanent disability parking permit, and the loan disability discharge form.  I have a copy of the papers my doctor filed and in fact his address is right below his name and clearly stated Texas. That is the only place on the form they sent to be filled out asking for his address. Nelnets and ED is not accepting the form my doctor filled out down here in Texas and are retuning my loans to active status. I was told all this a few months after I had qualified for it to be forgiven.


 My loans should have been taken care of through my bankruptcy in 2002. Through the forms my doctors have filed it should have been forgiven in 04 if they did not lose my first forms from my doctor, and 05 from the last 2 doctors. ED, nelnets have also told me to send in a statement stating with proof of what my income is for the last 5 years to have my loans forgiven. My only source of income is SSI. 579 a month last year, and 603 a month this year. And when my ex-husband pays his support that adds 420 a month to help pay rent and keep the lights on.  Due to 2 places collecting the same loans on my credit report (I thought it was illegal for two places to collect a same bill and report like it is over 12000 owed to both places on your credit report) I can not get into HUD housing so I am forced to pay 620 a month for rent for my son and I to keep a roof over our head plus utilities. I have applied for habitat for humanity because they say they help persons with low income obtain a home.


 GUESS WHAT !?! I do not have enough income for them to help me, you have to have at least 14,000 a year income and be able to help build the home.  I do have a letter from sally mae saying I do not have a school loan with them, nor could they find where they had any loans in my name, and returned the disability discharge form I sent them.
The only way these places are going to stop running their scam, destroying someone's ability to keep an affordable roof over their head, and from collecting the school loans that should have been forgiven is if the government steps up and says it is illegal to harass and put in danger from their practices.

I did not choose to have RSD, osteoarthritis, Reynolds, polyneuropathy, foot drop, torn discs,  C 5,6 spondylolysis that has bone spurs and each time I try to turn my head my neck pops and causes vomiting and a headache so bad I have to lay down for hours to ease it up and so on. I do not choose to live thousands below the government's poverty level. I would love to be able to provide a meal each day for my son and I. Not steak, but nutritional sound meal, instead of an 89cent TV dinner each night. I would love to have the collecting company's of my loans to be a man and stand up to their word and do what they promised and forgive my loans instead of coming up with the crap of they are stricter than the federal governments standards that I am total and permanently disabled. Trust me, I went through over a year of seeing social security doctors and 1 shrink and 2 court appearances. Feb '01, April '02 in front of the judge with him witnessing the condition had in fact become worse. I had to hire a lawyer to present my doctors findings of my illnesses, that I will never be well enough to work to provide a substantial living for my son and I. I am on welfare to help provide food and medical coverage for us. Something I have to apply and send in proof of my income every 3 months to qualify for the program.


 I know with their collecting practice they will try to collect my organs to sell when I do die to repay the loans, because they will never let me have it through disability discharge or low income forgiveness as they have stated they would. Each time the date for forgiveness comes and passes they send me a letter saying it was taken out of discharge a few days before the discharge date and back in to collection and if I did not agree with it that I could have my doctor file papers again and if they excepted it the 3 years of discharge waiting would start all over again. My car insurance since they started using your credit report as your ability to drive has went from $26 dollars a month to $130, not the fact that in 24 years of driving I have not had a chargeable accident, speeding ticket. In 05 I lost my car because a woman ran a red light (my only accident ever) totaling my car and making me have to look for another car so I could go to the doctor and store. I could not even get a buy here pay here loan because of two places collecting the loan and at the time the status of the loans were in disability discharge at least that was what the papers they sent me said. Come to find out my credit report says "reported permanently to the government" With that on my credit report why the heck am I filing the forms and having my doctor file forms that I have to take money from our food and utilities fund if their disability discharge and low income forgiveness is in fact a file 13, fake program? I have not worked since 1999 when the illness started. I was living at friend's houses and my mom's house with my 3 children. To me that is HOMELESS because I am not able to work.  What is going on? I have nothing of value. I have one pant and short and 1 dress and 3 tops I can wear, barely considered a wardrobe. My son has to wear holes in his clothes because there is more month than money to cover expenses.


Is there any laws that regulate them to except the fact that I am disabled since 3 doctors have filed the forms, and the government says I can not work,  so that they can stop taking back their promise that there is a program for discharge and forgiveness?  It's not like I can fake or scam  year's of scrutinizing from the federal government to be eligible for SSI. You would think a federal program would accept that if one says I am disabled and can never work again that another agency such as my loans would do the same. They hound you like you have money. There are times I wish I were dead so they would stop the harassment. Thank you and if anyone has any ideas to try to help me in my fight please contact me.

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Judy 

My son got a student loan to pay to go to a Technical College.  He already had a young wife and two small children.  His little daughter was born with "PKU", and the insurance companies in TX, the year before her birth, had stopped paying the total cost of the special "super milk" that she has to have in great quantity ALL the days of her life!  He was repaying his loan, when the children were 7 & 9 (in 1997), his wife decided she didn't want to be married anymore, so she left both my son and the children.  He got custody of the children, but they had moved to Wyoming (at her insistance), and since all of the rest of his family lived here, he moved back to TX.  She was ordered to pay child support, but, never paid one thin dime.  Needless to say, he was quite strapped for funds, what with the medical for his young daughter, and the total support for the three of them.  And, for what reason, I'm not totally sure of, he never went back to Wyoming to court to make her pay up.  Anyway, he stopped paying on his student loan until about three years ago.  Now, the interest and penalties are eating him alive.  And although he has spoken to someone at the loan department, they told him what with all of the interest and penalties, he will never get them paid!!!

I just hope and pray everyday, that someone will come along and this re-payment nightmare will end!!!  His son will be a Senior in High School this next year, and his daughter will be a Sophmore.  They are both good students with good grades.  His little girl moved back to Wyoming with her Mom and Step-Father two years ago.  We encouraged her, because, becoming a young lady would have been a little difficult what with living with two males.  I think she likes being the only child in the house, and her step-dad is good to her, but we all sure do miss not getting to see her.  And the mom makes my son pay for at least one direction when she wants to come down here.  He can't always find the enormously high airfare as often as he would like.  I can't help because I have been disabled since 1995. And what with the PKU, her teeth are in horrible shape, so now my son is having to foot half of an Orthodontist's bill, and man they are not cheap!

Is there not anything that anyone can do in order to get this !monkey! off of my son's back?  And I just wish that the ones that could pay their loans, would!!!!!!!!!!!!  They know who they are, and they sure put an extra burden on those who try to pay!!!!

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Connor 

As a parent who just ransomed his son from "Sallie Mae slavery" after graduation, I really wish the Commission on the Future of Higher Education would have addressed the debt issue. 

Going to a for-profit institution for a top-drawer culinary arts degree, his financial aid options were quite limited.  Upon graduation, he had $6k in Federal loans, and $31k in private loans at astronomical rates (17%+) obtained through Sallie Mae.  I paid $12k into his $34k 18-month program during his schooling, but he still owed $31k once he graduated due to the interest (for-profit schools get their loan money up front, so the interest starts clicking from class day 1).  The $12k I paid in went half to Federal and half to his private loans.  Since he makes only $11.50 per hour, even, there's no way he can even keep up with the interest, now at 17% on his private loans.  FYI, that's about $442 per month.

All income-sensitive loan consolidation got him was a monthly payment ($50.19) that's based only on the federal loan, and which is only 11% of the interest accruing on the whole debt.

So dear old dad is dipping into his retirement to buy my son his life back.

This has to change, folks.

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Selena 

I think I owe Sallie Mae about $1,000.00 now.  I originally had my loan with Chase Manhattan Bank, and get this letter telling me that I will now be dealing with Sallie Mae.  I didn't even know that accounts could be sold.

I have had trouble with Sallie Mae throughout the years, but I want to let other borrowers know that sometimes contacting your state representative's office (or that of your senator) can be very helpful.
It was helpful in my case, since my state senator was a graduate of the very university which I attended.  Once her office was involved with a complaint I had against SMSC, matters were cleared up.  One may ask for a congressional investigation.

Most importantly, I want to share with borrowers that I watched a segment on "60 Minutes" a few weeks ago about SMSC, and it was very unflattering.
The troubles I've read today from borrowers were repeated in the segment.

I have contacted the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.  Please know that once one requests the correct name of the collection agency, the physical address, an 800 number, if they have one, the original creditor must release that information to the inquirer.

Also, the FTC representative told me that what one has to do, is write the collection agency, tell them it is inconvenient for you to receive calls at work or home, but that you are willing to correspond with them (you have to provide a bonafide address), the calls should stop.  Calls after that (please send the letter certified, return receipt requested, so you have proof), is subject to legal action against the collection agency.  Get a scrupulous attorney; they're out there.  Calls from an attorney can work wonders in ways that a call from a client can not do.

The "60 Minutes" piece mentioned that SMSC has an in-house collection agency, and while that may be a little more tricky, the same federal rules and laws still apply.

I  hope this helps any borrower out there.

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Christy 

I went to college from 1978-1990 because I was workiing full time to support myself. I finally got a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. I only borrowed a total of about $15,000 during those years. After graduation, the interest had amounted to $25,000. I consolidated, but the interest rate was 10% at the time--and still is. I have paid on this since 1990 and have paid what I borrowed and way, way more. Now my balance is still $25,000 and I pay $256.00 per month which only covers interest. I have tried to get my interest lowered many, many times but Sallie Mae people are extremely rude and basically tell me it is not possible. I even went through bankruptcy in 1999, but unfortunately it was right after the law went into effect that you cannot declare student loans with bankruptcy.

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Clint 

I graduated in 92, then about 95 I got depressed.  I missed three payments.  Wachovia placed my loan into default.  I called to fix the mess.  Each time i could call no one was available to solve the problems or route my payments.  So i gave up.

  Every so often a collection agency would call and i would answer with relief that i could finally repay my loan and start on the road to credit recovery, but no.. they would not help me get started they just wanted to know if i was alive. 

Finally i filled out paper work for the william ford consolidation.  It was returned with an invalid signature cause they thought my signature had to include my middle initial.  Big run around.  So i just let it lie for years. Finally i got married in 2003 and wanted to fix my credit.  I hired a lawyer.  He got it going, but it was so complicated even he left out some loans.  So i contacted my