I recently applied for my third and final loan through Sallie Mae. While applying, I realized that if I continued to pay interest-only payments on all three of my loans, I'd end up with over $150/month for the remainder of my college career. Because I am in college, I do not work, and my husband is the sole bread-winner between us; thus, I opted for $10/month on the third loan.
So I get to thinking, now I'm down to $105/month, and $30 is looking a lot better. So I start inquiries. How do I get my first two loan payments down to $10 as well? So I call Sallie Mae. They tell me that all I have to do is send a request, and the a letter of verification from my school that states that I am currently enrolled in school. Sounds simple enough, right?
I faxed both of these documents to the number this guy gave me. I call back a week later...they never recieved it, and have no record of my even calling the first time. Fine. Whatever. So the guy just forgot. They say to give them another week and that it could just be on someone's desk.
So I wait, and call back a little more than a week later. Still no sign of it. So I ask about it again and verify the fax number the original guy had given me. It's the wrong fax number! Yep! I was supposed to send it over to another fax number in a completely different department. I thanked the operator, and the next morning, faxed over the letter and verification.
I waited, well into August. I had already been billed and paid for July, so I thought what's the point. I called when I got my August bill and it was $105. I asked why it wasn't changed, and they say that they only got the verification from the school, but not my written request; furthermore, the written request had been sent to the wrong fax number. A little irritated, but still very calm, I ask for the correct fax number, and the following Monday (this happened on a Friday), I fax over my written request. The same written request that I had sent twice before.
I wait. For two weeks. On the day my payment was going to be late, I went ahead and paid August's bill. I call back in the first week of September and ask what's going on with it. The girl says that now they have no record of my ever sending a verification letter, and they never recieved my written request. I ask her to verify the fax number...it's wrong, of course. She tells me that both documents need to be sent to Sallie Mae Servicing. I tell her to verify that it is my written request...that says that I want to lower my payments to $10/month and a letter of verification from my college that says that I am currently a student. She says yes, gives me the fax number of Sallie Mae Servicing, and I revise both letters to say ATTN: SALLIE MAE SERVICING on the top line, thinking that there's no way they're going to miss this. I put my account number on it, everything to ensure that this thing did not get lost.
The end of September, I call back. They say they never got it. My bill is now due. $105. I fax these documents...AGAIN. Same number, same letters. I called back at the first of October. They got my request, but not the school's verification letter. So now I'm starting to get pissed. I basically ask the girl on the line if they have a number I can call to officially lodge a complaint about this company...thinking all the while, it'll probably be the wrong number. She gives me not only a NEW fax number, but the P.O. Box where I can officially MAIL these two documents.
So, the first week of October, I send both letters via US mail, and fax the SAME documents to the fax number she had given me.
I called back today, after getting my new bill. Guess what! They got my written request, but never the mailed documents. AND these two documents were supposed to go to completely different departments this entire time! I just know that somewhere...on somebody's desk...there is a STACK of requests that I have sent to these people that have just been ignored completely!
I finally started laughing a little on the phone and said, "You know...it's been 4 months. 4 months of corresondance, phone calls, and getting the run-around because you guys don't seem to communicate outside of your own departments. You just read the written request to me. They told me once before that they had my school's verification letter on file. Why is this so difficult? Why has it taken 4 months? And why is it, that every time I call back, I get a new story about how you guys didn't get anything I sent, and it's the wrong fax number, and I need to contact all these different people. It shouldn't take 4 months to get this one little thing done...I mean, do you agree. [she does] So....what I want is for you to tell me YOUR name, and what I should do next. So that when I call back in November and they tell me that they still don't have either document, I can tell them that YOU...are the person that told me where to send this document."
She goes on to apologize and to tell me that they have my written request on file, she is reading it at this moment, and that if I just send the school's verificiation to this other fax number, it should be straightened out within the week. She gives me her name for the reference, and we hang up.
WHY...WHYYYYY is this so hard? Why has this taken 4 months? Just to lower a friggin' payment. I am graduating in June. I may as well just keep up the $105/month until then. It's just going to get higher after I graduate. By then I'll be working, though, and it won't be as hard.
It's just the principal. How many fax numbers does Sallie Mae Servicing have?! I'm still going to ask for the number of...whoever I talk to in order to voice my complaint. They won't listen anyway, but they need to hear it from a very dissatisfied customer. If I hadn't signed a contract, I seriously would not do business with these people.