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I Went to a Private University on Sallie Mae Loans. I Can’t Afford the Payment. – Aline

“Dear Steve,

I went to a Private University and took out a loan from Sallie Mae. They are asking me to pay back almost $1,000 a month … money i physically do not have and cannot afford to give. I told them i was willing to pay $300 a month, while it would still put me in a difficult financial situation, that is what i could afford based on my rent and other bills. They said the lowest they would take from me was $720 – still does no help. They said if i sent them $300 a month that it would still show past due and it would be reported to the credit bureau which really defeats the purpose of sending the $300 a month.

Do i have any options – sallie mae is telling me that i cannot do $300 a month its the $720 min or nothing. is this possible? how can they not offer any other assistance? i am trying to see who in sallie mae can make the decision to make an exception to allow me to pay the $300 for a year or 2 monthly and then increase the payments as i bring in more income.


Dear Aline,

I’m sorry to say, your options are limited at best.

Since Sallie Mae is not a government backed lender none of the special graduated repayment programs apply to you. Sallie Mae makes no special programs available and only what you can work out with the servicer is the extent of your options.

Private student loan debt is the worst kind of debt to have these days since it can’t even be discharged in bankruptcy.

I know that information isn’t what you are looking for but it is what it is.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • Steve – Your responses to debt-burdened Sallie Mae loan holders may be true but they provide no alternative or helpful advice – private education loans provide no flexibility and no recourse.  If in the case of Aline where she does not have the means to meet her monthly obligation, she fails to make the payment, it seems her only option is to slip into even greater debt and watch her credit rating become irreversibly damaged.  Is this correct?  What would a credit advice agency advise? It seems your get out of debt moniker offers rather false confidence.

    • Private student loans have the administrative power to garnish wages and continue to add to the balance. They can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. They are a life debt. I’ve had readers ask questions that have been paying on them for nearly 40 years now.

      There are no payment reduction programs outside what the lender is willing to provide, and in this case they already said the lowest they would go was $720 a month. If that’s the lowest they will go you have to adjust your life to meet the minimum or face the financial consequences.

      The crisis involving private student loans in America is shameful and without solutions. The options are to increase income or even go bankrupt to discharge all other responsibilities and adjust your lifestyle to make room for the student loan payment.

      I’d love to hear what alternatives you may know of in this situation that I might have missed for these private student loans based on the information the reader provided.

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