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Sunday, February 24, 2008
Student Loans (Sallie Mae is dumb)

It's no secret that moving is extremely expensive. Especially when you have to come up with first AND last month's rent as your down payment. Throw in the truck rentals, gas for those trucks (we had to use 2), transferring utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses, and you're talking about prices on par with the Gross National Product of Australia. Mix in the fact that Nicki JUST started working, and is making what I think I correctly calculated to about $1.34 an hour, two babies who go through more diapers than Britney goes through crazy pills, and you get the picture. Right now, times are tough. REAL tough. The reason I told you all of that is because I am now 2 months behind on my student loan payments. Meaning, I haven't paid in 2 months.

So. Thursday I went over our budget, and figured that I could pay right around $100. Just to show Sallie Mae (my loan provider) that I'm trying to be an adult about the situation, and responsible. So here's a rundown of conversation with them.

Aaron at Sallie Mae: (Gives me the standard thanks for calling, this call may be recorded, press 2 to hear a duck quack)

Me: Hi Aaron. My name is Ricky Borba, here's my account number. As you can see, I'm two months behind on payments. (Each month is $268) I'm calling today because I want to make a partial payment. I went over my budget last night, and I'm prepared to make a $100 dollar payment. You can go back on my payment history and see that I've always paid on time, so I'm not used to these letters and phone calls I've been getting.

Aaron: Ok. Great. Looks like you have 3 loans. What we can do is setup a partial deferment payment for all 3 of those loans, and then in May, you'll have to start paying the full amount.

Me: Ok sounds good. What do I have to do?

Aaron: Well, it's $50 per loan, and you have 3. So that's $150.

Me: Ummmm, well, I can really only pay $100, but if it's absolutely necessary to pay $150, I'll do it.

Aaron: Ok. And there's a $10 processing fee for paying over the phone.

Me: Ok? So we're talking $160.

Aaron: Hold on, let me put you on hold. (7 minutes later) Hi. Sorry about that. I had to go over some things with my supervisor regarding your loan. What we can do, is take a good faith payment of the partial amount, and also (some other fee and payment that I don't remember).

Me: Ok wait. Now I'm confused. Am I paying the $160 today? Or the partial good faith payment? Or the other one?

Aaron: You're going to be paying the $160, and then you're going to have to pay the partial good faith payment, and the other payment.

Me: Whoa. So how much are we talking here? I told you at the beginning of the call that I could only pay a hundred dollars. Sounds like we're talking about a lot more?

Aaron: Hold on one second. (I hear a calculator getting molested) Okay. In order for the phone calls and letters to stop, and for us to stop reporting your late payment on your credit, the grand total is $568.

Me: No.

Aaron: I'm sorry, is that not the amount you added up as well?

Me: No, it was. I'm just not paying that. If I pay that, my family won't eat. Seriously. I can't do it.

Aaron: Sorry to hear that. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Me: So you don't want my $100 then?

Aaron: We're going to need $568 sir.

Me: Ok then. Have a nice day.

That was the end of the phone call. It's Sunday, that was Thursday, and I'm STILL dumbfounded by their logic. If someone owed you money, and said "Hey, I can't pay all, but I want to pay some right now", wouldn't YOU take that partial payment?!?!? Going to Art School has really been a thorn in my side. Student loans suck big time. Sallie Mae literally calls about 15 times a day. And that is not an exaggeration. I wonder if I can sue them for harassment? Considering that on more than one occasion, their phone calls have woken one of the babies up, or called during dinner, and so on. Once you are late on a payment, they become the Gestapo.
posted by Ricky @ 8:33 AM  
  • At 2/25/2008 10:13:00 AM, Blogger Brynn's Blog said…

    I agree whole-heartedly that student loans suck.

    And what sucks even more than having to pay interest on an education that one may/may not even be using in their current life....are the companies that loan out the money. I don't have Sallie Mae but my company is equally unfriendly and not willing to accept logical partial payments.

  • At 2/25/2008 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that really sucks borba, at least you have a beautiful TV.

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