Sallie Mae is such a scam, I never selected them as my loan company. I had all my loans through another lender. The loans were sold to Direct Loans where I never had a problem.
Sallie Mae buys the loan and doesn't bother to tell me. I never received calls because I had returned to school and in "student status". I guess it was just luck I didn't have my credit screwed up due to their poot management. I had sent payments while in school because I was getting tuition reimbursement from my job. Those payments (almost $3,000) were lost in limbo. Sallie Mae didn't want to talk to Direct Loans and Direct Loans sent me evidence they forwarded the money to Sallie Mae. My bank tried calling Sallie Mae and they refused to cooperate in straightening out the problem claiming "confidentiality of my information". When I called on three-way with the bank on the line authorizing the communication, they claimed they had no record of receiving the money. It took threat of a law suit for them to find the money (6 months down the road) and credit the interest accrued as a result of their incompetence.
All went well until July 3, 2013 when their robocallers and automated email system started demanding payment of $200 by July 21. I asked why they were asking for payment when I was still a full time student (just graduated last week) and why they were renegging on the 6 month grace period after graduation. This only resulted in a barrage of emails and phone calls from their automated systems from 8AM until 9PM throughout the July 4 holidays. I considered giving Sallie Mae my "spam" voicemail box that does not actually ring my phone.
I finally reach Sallie Mae on July 8 and tell them I am a full time student and only work part time earning about $17,000 this year. I asked why they were hounding me for payment when I am still a student. They falsely claimed my school screwed up paperwork. The school faxed them a document proving that I was graduating November 15 and still a full time student and my last loan disbursement in March 2013 would cover all expenses. Sallie Mae then gave me a 30 day forbearance (not student status) and started hounding me again the first of August. Round 2 of giving them documentation.
During both calls, I asked about Income Based Repayment options and was told I was "too old" to apply. They claimed my loans were ineligible with no other explanation. I did some research and talked to a non profit who encouraged me to apply, giving me the link to the applications on the FAFSA website. I applied, attached paycheck stubs and was again denied in September. The guy who denied the claim in September finally corrected my graduation date of November 15. But that didn't stop them from wanting payment November 21. I got a 6 day grace period and still have no idea why.
To make matters worse, I contacted the Ombudsman because my job laid me off (thank you Obamacare) and unemployment turned me down for a "monetary review". It looks like the employer is challenging the benefits. So now I have no income and had to take a high interest loan to make my student loan payment and cross my fingers that I can find another job quick.
The Ombudsman was not very easy to deal with this time. I asked for an email to send my documents and everything they needed. They said I could not send it by email, I had to fax it. This was 29 pages of documents proving I was employed, last years income, and my recent layoff with the unemployment documents denying me benefits. I went to the unemployment office and they said I could not use their fax for the Sallie Mae documents, they would only fax a resume and cover letter for job search activities. I tried to find a friend who would help, but they all were nervous to send a personal fax that big and I don't blame them. I went to Staples and they quoted me $55.96 to send it. I said to ***heck with that and was going to put it in the mail. I called the Ombudsman and told her if I had $55 to spend on a fax, I wouldn't be seeking her assistance getting me on a payment plan that makes sense. She suddenly had email for me to send the documents. Funny how that is.
To top all of this nightmare off, Sallie Mae disbursed a loan after I completed my classes to increase the debt by $10K. No one is able to provide an accounting of where this money went.
This company called Student Loan Releif,org said they could waive my payments for 12 months because I am unemployed with no income. At the end of 12 months, they would review my annual income and adjust the payment to be consistent with IBR. Does anyone know anything about these lenders? Are they still Sallie Mae? Is their fee of $359 to get me on a program unreasonable.
The $359 program seems to be the only option other than default and I don't want to do that.