Ah, college. If I knew you were going to cost me so much in the long run I just would have picked up a book and started self teaching.
I came out of school owing Sallie Mae around $80, 000 and after I got a job I had to live at home since about 90% of my income was going to loans. It didn't take long before Sallie Mae started finding ways to mess with me. The way they got me was that my monthly payment days kept skipping around. Not a regular amount of skipping around but the instance that got me was my loan was due on the 29th one month and then on the 17th the next month. I called them to tell that because of the short time period I would not be able to make another payment so soon. "Well, if you miss the payment your interest rate will go up." At that time I think my payment was $70 dollars a month. Which was $20 more than my promissory $50 a month when I signed up for the loans, but I figured I was paying it off faster.
Well I missed that date and my interest rate went from 2.5% to 17.00%. Well next month rolled around and of course I couldn't pay the now $1, 100 monthly payment they were asking of me. Especially since according to the date I had 3 weeks to pay it. I still had a crap job and there was no way. I tried to consolidate my 11 different loans, but they weren't consolidating. They did let me transfer $40, 000 out to Direct Loans at 4% (awesome). And after about three months of not being able to pay they settled with me and locked my payment dates to the 14th and lowered my interest rate to 7.25%. I'm guessing this was so I did not complain so much. This took about 14hrs of sitting on the phone to accomplish total. And there were several harassing phone calls. One customer service rep even called me an idiot for borrowing so much money when I couldn't pay it back. And yes, once the collection agency calls started I had people calling my house claiming to be old girlfriends or distant relatives, advising me to call and talk to them. I'm sorry if I don't want to talk to you 14 times a day.
I have always found it funny that if Sallie Mae has to call me, I get someone who speaks clear English and has a nasty demeanor, but if I call them I get someone nice and kind but speaks such horrible English I can't get anything accomplished with them. It's the most frustrating experience with customer service that I have ever had.
Today I'm complaining because for the last 4 months Sallie Mae has been overcharging me, on top of the regular nickel and diming me that goes on. I have one loan that is $9016.08 and an interest rate of 7.25%. Let's do the math here. 9016.08*.0725/12 = $54.48 for a month. They are charging me $90.08 this month. Which means another 2 hour phone call is ahead of me. Plus they've charged me two late fees on this because I have 1) missed to pay it, because my bill shot up $30 without warning and my auto withdrawal didn't cover it (which was fixed, not!) 2.) because it was fixed, they told me the amount I had to pay for next month over the phone, and then it was not fixed when I received my next lay bill. In four months Sallie Mae has stolen at least $190 from me. And there has been zero threat of rising my interest rate, which I thought would be their first trick again.
This has caused me take a closer look at my bills. Despite always paying over my interest by $100 a month, sometimes my balance goes up. How? This is day 4 of trying to get this figured out. 8 hours on the phone with them, and I have made zero progress.
I hope Sallie Mae gets no new clients and goes out of business. FAST. They are crooked, and are the seediest of companies that I have ever had to deal with. I have so many more complaints about them, but I think my point is made. It's horrible. It's an absolute atrocity . Stay as far away from them as you can. I would pay 10% interest on my loans if it meant not giving Sallie Mae another cent.