Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sallie Mae

To Sallie Mae,

Thank you so much for providing my husband with the funds necessary to pay his tuition, buy books, feed and house him during medical school, etc. It is our intention to repay you all that was borrowed plus a hefty amount of interest which you have been so gracious as to capitalize each year.

Since beginning residency we have spent hours upon hours each year explaining why we need to put these loans into forbearance/deferment. And without fail each year something on your side goes wrong. It doesn't seem to matter how early we start this process it is never as easy or quick as you suggest.

In fact, most of the time crucial pieces of information aren't given to us. Like this last year when you told us all of the loans would be deferred, only to start receiving harassing phone calls in January stating our loans were past due. I wish I would have kept a running total of the hours spent on the phone trying to get this resolved. Finally someone working in the USA was able to explain that some of the loans can only be deferred for a maximum of 4 years, and that they were now due. Everyone else was happy to send more forms to fill out that meant absolutely nothing and got no results.

Yes, he went to medical school. Yes, he is a doctor. And yes, now we are paying you but we aren't happy about it. Neither of us expected to have to start paying back these loans until he was finished and had the ability to repay. At the time the loans were taken out he doesn't recall any stipulation about some being deferrable for 4 years, and others for the entire length of residency/fellowship. For someone interested in a lengthy residency that information would have been useful, and remembered. Where was this disclosure?

If you are accepting suggestions might I offer one? I would appreciate speaking to someone who is familiar with medical school loans specifically when we call and have questions. Instead we get to talk to the same people who are dealing with smaller, straightforward loans, usually in another country. When you are dealing with balances that are quickly approaching $300,000 (thank you capitalized interest) you should have people who know the specifics of these loans inside and out. One phone call should be all that is needed. Let me remind you, your customer is a doctor! The odds are good that he won't be available to take your call during your business hours, or have hours to spend trying to figure out your mess. You need competent people who are available during hours the doctor is available.

I've been using the word "we" here rather loosely. I am his wife, and you won't talk to me directly about his loans. Instead you call and I take messages, when I am really the person you should be talking to.

Our annual (and sometimes more frequently than that) dealings with your company have firmly resolved us to pay you off as quickly as possible so that we never have to speak to your company again. It has not been pleasant doing business with you.

A Doctors Wife

1 comment:

  1. So, this sounds super immature however, I also have loans with Sallie Mae. For just my undergrad, I owe $116,000 (before interest). I have this wonderful idea that when StuDoc is done, I am going to personally deliver the money to Sallie Mae in pennies. I will ride to the MD/DE boarder where the headquarters are and stand ontop of the dump truck, full of pennies, and let them know what I really think.

    Again, immature, but goes to show my distaste for them!!


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