You feel free, free to explore the world with your new found information, to make it a more hopeful place, with a promise of purchasing a house or starting a family. Suddenly and shockingly you arrive into what is a suffocating and drowning environment. You cannot breathe, cannot move, cannot enjoy that life that was promised to you, let alone survive. Who and where are you? You are a student who has borrowed private loans through Sallie Mae, and this is your modern day reality.
I attended Johnson & Wales in the fall of 2003. Graduated in spring of 2005 with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. Over the course of this time, I accumulated $31,000 in private student loans. Leaving Johnson & Wales with the promise of a job that I could make the student loan payments, and an incorrect understanding of the terms of these loans.
Shortly after leaving school and beginning the repayment I found out my loans had been sold to another lender. I hadn't been informed or even contacted that this was going to take place. Under this new lender my interest rates and payments increased. As much as I would have liked to have gotten federal loans I was living with my father when I had applied to attend J&W. My father made enough money that I couldn't apply for much federal financial aid, even though he wasn't going to be paying for my education. I was thus unable to receive sufficient federal financial aid to attend school. Looking for a way to pay for tuition I was directed to Sallie Mae who was preferred by Johnson & Wales.
The first year was good I made my scheduled payments, struggling but made them. My second year was better; I had a position that allowed me to comfortably make payments. Then I got laid off. I asked the lender for one year of forbearance. During that year, the interest rates reached new heights some as high as 17.5% if memory serves me right. After the year was up I owed 38,384.47. Seventy three hundred dollars more then my original balance, after the full two years of payments.
As a former student now in a career field flooded with new graduates I'm floundering and gasping for some breathing room. There is no end in sight for these loans, and I'm afraid the interest with just keep increasing. As it is I am able to make interest only payments to keep the loans from going to collections.
I believe I was the victim of predatory lending at its finest. Sallie Mae is known for selling loan from lender to lender with little concern for the borrower. They make more money quickly from the students going into collections. Federal rates were frozen in 1992 but since then costs have more then doubled with a 1202% increase in amount borrowed. Are all these students going to have my fate?
Researching the aftermath of college is depressing. Students who have gone into collections have been hounded relentlessly for money they cannot come up with. Some students have gone as far as suicide to stop the collection; unfortunately this isn't enough since many have co-signers. There is absolutely no way to be freed of this unforgiving and depriving debt. Even in bankruptcy student loans are the only bills that will not be forgiven. I'm ashamed to be one of the many that have attended school within the United States where these practices are proceeding.
I've made many calls to Sallie Mae in attempts to get copies of original documents detailing the loans I was receiving, to no avail. Each time I have been given the yes, sir we will send this information out right away. Yet after years I have no documents let alone contact information for my lender. Sallie Mae has told me they do not have information on my lender or any contact information. I do not understand how you can lend money with no clue as to where it is coming from. I do not know how they cannot, or will not divulge this information to their customers.
Sallie Mae is nothing but criminals, i would advise anyone thinking of borrowing with this company to find means for something else.
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