• Report: #188188

Complaint Review: Sallie Mae, SLM, SallieMae

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  • Submitted: Sun, April 23, 2006
  • Updated: Sat, March 17, 2007

  • Reported By:Wheaton Illinois
Sallie Mae, SLM, SallieMae
P.O. Box 9500 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Sallie Mae, SLM, SallieMae Financial burden brought on by Sallie Mae's Private "Career Training" loan. Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania

*Author of original report: Only Trying To Let People Know of My Experience-My loans Have Been Corrected With Sallie Mae

*Consumer Comment: Make it Simple

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I felt important you should be aware of a private loan Westwood College is offering students that trape them into financial burden. If only I knew then what I know now, I would have never signed on the dotted line. In January 2004 I wanted to go back to school. I was tired of doing retail work and wanted to pursue a career in Graphic Design and Multimedia. I didn't realize until after I graduated how much it would really cost me to to go to school at Westwood College at the DuPage Campus in Woodridge, Illinois.

In order for me to attend Westwood College, I had to take out school loans. I have federal, stafford and a private loans. The federal and stafford loans I was able to consolidate at a great interest rate. But, the private loan has turned into a financial nightmare. The private loan is called, "Career Training Loan" I believe I was not given an opportunity to seek out other lenders as an option to an alternative loan. What I found out now about the "Career Training Loan" should be told to any student/parent or adult who is considering going back to school.

Warning about "Career Training Loans" offered by Westwood College as an additional way to pay for college. The paper work will read, "Career Training Loan easy to apply affordable payments, fast approval process interest rates tied to prime." The key phrase, "...Interest rates tied to prime." This is where Sallie Mae makes there money on the loan because interest rate is "tied to prime" but also "...rounded to the nearest 1/4%. Many perspective students (such as myself at the time) may not be aware of this or are rushed through the financial aid process. Only after they sign the promissory note they find out the truth about their private loans. For example, in the beginning my interest rate on the "Career Training Loan" started around 5.5% now my interest rate is at 8.75%. I found out through talking with Sallie Mae over the phone, my interest rate can go as high as 18%. My intention is to pay off my school loans, but it seems an impossible task with the interest rates changing every month. What is also interesting is my interest rate on the last two billing statements changed but the payment amount of $77.76 remained the same. (By the way, I did not recive an interest paid statement on my private loan)

(Another note about Sallie Mae, be aware Sallie Mae is a huge corporation with many subsidized companies within the company ex. Sallie Mae Servicing, Nellie Mae, SallieMae etc. However, we as the borrower are only give one 888# to reach them. If we are lucky we may get a represenative from the U.S. but usually the calls are outsourced to India).

I am glad I went back to school and received my degree in Graphic Design and Multimedia in May of 2005. I just didn't realize the level of financial stress it would bring. I am thankful I found a job in my field of study. Please note, I didn not rely on the assistance of job placement from Westwood College.

My advice to anyone considering this college: Don't sign on the dotted line after the sales pitch. Take the time to read the contract over and have someone else look at it with you. Then make the decision. Don't let financial aid rush you through paper work. Ask questions! Talk with other students attending the school who know the truth about the way financial aid works. If you make an appointment with financial aid have a witness come. Get copies of everything you sign and make sure if you sign paper work get copies with your signature on them. Do not let them give you copies without a signature. Make sure your financial aid representave clearly signs his name on the documents and dates the paper work correctly. If you have any doubts trust your instinct. It will save you from financial burden and stress.

In addition be sure to research the following to find out what applies to your situation:

Consumer Gurantees Act (1993) "How To Exercise Your Consumer Rights." Financial Privacy Act, Financial Institutions Regulatary and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978, FDIC Consumer Financial Rights, www.fidic.gov/regulations/laws/rules.

I have written letters of complaints to the State Board of Education of Illinois, to the governor of Illinois, U.S. Department of Education and to the Corporate headquarters of Sallie Mae and to Dallas News Reports WFAA-8 (Westwood College headquarters is located in Texas).

Amy
Wheaton, Illinois
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on SLM Financial "a Sallie Mae company"

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on SLM Financial - AmeriTrain

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/23/2006 07:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sallie-Mae-SLM-SallieMae/Wilkes-Barre-Pennsylvania-18773-9500/Sallie-Mae-SLM-SallieMae-Financial-burden-brought-on-by-Sallie-Maes-Private-Career-Tra-188188. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Only Trying To Let People Know of My Experience-My loans Have Been Corrected With Sallie Mae

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

I was only trying to let people know of my experience. At this time I have all my student loans corrected with Sallie Mae. I have learned to read all the fine print and ask many questions and recieve what I ask for in writing. When you are going to college, if it is for the first time or the second time, bring someone else with you when you are signing financial papers. Do research on the school you want to go to, but also the financial end of it as well.It was not necessarily negligiance, it was more the fact, I did not know all the questions I needed to ask. But, like anything I have learned a hard lesson.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Make it Simple

AUTHOR: Jake - (U.S.A.)

Amy, your story is like many others I have heard.

The suggestions you gave, although I am sure were given with good intentions, are basically worthless.

"Tied to prime rate" is a vague term that basically means there is a relationship between some regularly published "prime" interest rate (LIBOR is a common index used) and the loan's interest rate.

No reasonable person that knew anything about finance or the English Language would ever interpret "tied to prime rate" with being "equal to prime rate" in fact, most savvy borrowers would be asking "prime rate plus what?" the moment they saw that on the p-note.

Having said that, it should also be noted that most college students know nothing about finance. Taking a "witness" (like their parent) along will not solve the problem.

Signing the p-note without reading every single word is basically, IMO, negligence.

P-notes usually have verbiage about "By signing below I certify I have read this entire Note. I further certify that I know I MUST read this entire Note before signing, even if advised verbally that I don't have to read. I FURTHER CERTIFY THAT I UNDERSTAND THIS IS A LOAN I MUST REPAY, AND THAT BY SIGNING BELOW I CERTIFY UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY THAT I HAVE READ THE ENTIRE NOTE EVEN IF ADVISED NOT TO, AND THAT I AGREE TO REPAY THE ENTIRE LOAN AMOUNT, INCLUDING ANY AND ALL INTEREST, LATE FEES, COLLECTION COSTS, AND REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES IN ACCORDANCE TO THE TERMS OF THIS NOTE."

Your admission that you signed something like that and did not read is an admission of gross negligence in the very least.

Here is my suggestion:

AVOID PRIVATE LOANS, NO MATTER WHAT SCHOOL YOU ATTEND. EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT FINANCIAL AID, INCLUDING LOANS, BEFORE YOU EVEN APPLY. IF SOMEONE FROM FINANCIAL AID SAYS "YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE PAYMENTS UNTIL 6 MONTHS AFTER YOU GRADUATE" SAY "WHAT IF I NEVER GRADUATE?"

DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT NORMAL CONSUMER DEBT WILL APPLY TO YOUR STUDENT LOANS. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE PAYMENT WHETHER YOU GET A STATEMENT OR NOT. REALIZE THAT IF YOU MUST REPAY THE LOAN WHETHER YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH THE SCHOOL OR NOT. UNDERSTAND THAT STUDENT LOANS YOU DO NOT PAY CAN BE OFFSET FROM YOUR TAX REFUNDS, GARNISHED FROM YOUR WAGES WITHOUT A JUDGMENT IN COURT, AND NOT DISCHARGED IN BANKRUPTCY.
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