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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > Sallie Mae Can’t Clarify Who is Really Responsible for My Student Loan. – Michele

Sallie Mae Can’t Clarify Who is Really Responsible for My Student Loan. – Michele

“Dear Steve,

I was married and stupid enough to consolidate my 4% student loan with my now ex’s 11% student loans.

Because I had over a 700 credit I became the primary. We are now divorced and the decree indicates for my ex to pay towards the monthly payment. That never happen! I paid the entire amount for 6 months until I lost my job. Now, of course Sallie Mae Defaulted the Loan, and turned it over to the higher education of NJ.

I have documented murmurous letters notarizing that I have been living with my mother and raising a child and unable to make the $765 payment monthly. The loan has compounded interest since the higher education took over.

My ex has been telling me to send him copies but he doesn’t make any attempt to pay or contact the higher education.

He has been working steadily since our divorce and is capable of paying something. When I contacted the higher education they only had me on the loan and not my ex. It took about 1/2 hour of being on hold then they finally indicated he was the co-signer. They tried to covience me to refinance in my name only, but I will not do this for I will be completely responsible. I even gave the higher education my ex contact info. When I did this they put it forbarence for 3 months.

I am looking for legal advice, and legal aid won’t touch federal Loans. Also I requested the original note we both signed To figure out our rights and I was sent a 1-page doc that is so old and blurry That one can not even read one word on the note. They have been saying it is a federal loan but I can’t read the note and my rights. It’s hard to believe the government can excuse these big Banks for debt….. But not the common folk! What are my rights?


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Dear Michele,

For some additional information on your loan, if it is a federal loan, access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) here. That might provide you the detail you need on your loan.

It really does not matter what the divorce decree says. That’s a deal between you and your ex-husband and not the creditor. The divorce changes nothing with the creditor.

If this is a Sallie Mae private loan then they have fee options. You could of course give them the contact information for your ex-husband and let them try and chase him for a while.

If supporting documentation doesn’t exist to validate the old student loan debt then you could find a local consumer attorney and attempt to confront Sallie Mae about the lack of documentation.

But the first stop is NSLDS. Let me know what you find out through them.

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

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • michele

    Hello! Thank you for the information above, for I checked the Federal Loan
    site and I am in the data base for the loan so it is Federal.
    A few things have occurred since this last blog. After NJ Higher Education took over this loan from sallie mae, I requested to see the a clear copy of the loan note signed by my ex husband and I. Higher Education sent me the same copy of the note that sallie mae had on file (blurry and unable to read). Along with this copy was (2) letters from HESAA “Certification and Indemnification for lost damage or altered note”.
    These two documents basically had some lady’s name on it that worked for sallie mea at the time the transaction took place, sworn in that electronic funds transfer with both amounts (my college balance and my ex’s college amounts consolidated) issued to me in my name on the date the loans were taken out. Both letters were also noted to be “affidavit that the original promissory note had my name only on it and the evidence of indebtedness of electronic funds transfer treasures check has been lost, altered or mutilated”.
    So basically, Sallie mae is covering their ass by indicating that I am responsible for both of the loan balances (my ex’s loan as well as my loan)
    and they have no record of the terms on the note or
    the funds they sent to pay these loans as well as the note being lost, altered or
    mutilated. Just a record of the amounts “Electronic Funds Transfers transmittal/Treasurers checks was/were issued to the order of (my name).
    I do however have my old paperwork and a copy of my ex’s and my amount of the actual total that were paid off before the consolidation. If one was to add the two you can clearly see that the amount is close to the consolidation from sallie mae.
    I called NJ Higher Ed and asked for an explanation I was transferred to the
    “investigator” on my file. He claims that the document we signed was
    a smart loan form which can only be signed by (2) applicants. If one person was consolidating a different document would have been used, so therefore
    there is no way that I am the only one on this loan.
    I have been paying NJHE $200 monthly instead of $760 that they are requesting and the loan is in default per the federal loan data base.
    I lost my job 4 years ago after the recession and unable to obtain work in my field. I am also living at home in my mothers house with my 5 yr old daughter and I take care of my elderly blind mother and daughter. $200 is all I can pay.
    I guess my question is do I have any consumer rights as to that loan being transferred to NJHE without the original note?
    Like a mortgage sallie can not come up with the note, so is it possible
    that this loan has been paid off and sallie mae collected already?
    It is already in default, so what is the use of paying even $200 a month?
    Do you know of an attorney that would go against sallie mae?
    Well I hope you can help me.
    Thank you again for all your resources, I look forward to your response!

    • Steve Rhode

      Thank you so much for the loads of additional information. I think you’ve got an excellent background to pursue this further. And with your good faith effort to repay and mitigating reasons for your ability to not be able to make payments it seems plausible to go for at least a partial discharge of the debt. Just making a wild guess you are in Florida, you should start with an attorney in Florida that is tackling these issues. Visit or give Hunter Goff a call at 407-910-1072. I’m sure he’d give you a free consultation and discuss your situation.

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