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Sallie Mae Screwed Up My Chances of Getting a Texas Public Education Grant

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I started my nursing training in WY and borrowed student loan money there. Then, in 1999, I moved to Lake Charles, LA, and took out loans through Sallie Mae since I was now in the South. Sallie Mae loaned me out too much money; however, they said that since it was their mistake that it would be added to my total and would not hurt my credit. I was unable to finish in Lake Charles and moved to Beaumont, TX in 2002.

I applied for aid since I was over the top on loans. I could have had a Texas Public Education Grant (T-PEG) for both summer sessions but they said that I had to pay off my overborrowed amount since I was overlimit in a Title IV program.

Sitting in the office of the Director of Financial Aid at Lamar, I asked the amount owed and purchased a money order, then FedExed it. I waited to be cleared, and finally called Sallie Mae, only to be informed that, “oh, by the way,” I was still over the limit because I owed interest! I got another money order and FedExed it, then still was not shown as clear because the amount they had given me was insufficient.

Finally, Jill Rowley, the Financial Aid Director at Lamar, ran into the head of Sallie Mae in person and he paid the $3 I was still shown as over from his own pocket! This cleared my name but I was unable to get the T-PEG, and was furious. I wrote at least 3 members of Congress, and was told that the amount I was originally told was correct.

Can anything be done about this, legal action, etc.? I lost financial aid because Sallie Mae did not have its act together. I have read about questionable occurrences at Sallie Mae–can I at least add fuel to its funeral pyre? Do you have any other suggestions? Thank you!

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Dear Linda,

The fact Sallie Mae didn’t have its act together, is tragically common. Along with other servicers, Sallie Mae does a horrible job of managing accounts. A service by the way that the government pays them and others to do.

But even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is disgusted with the level of service the student loan service companies deliver. See CFPB Concerned About Widespread Servicing Failures Reported by Student Loan Borrowers.

Honestly, this far after the event, I doubt there is any satisfaction you are going to get from the errors on your account. If things couldn’t get fixed without the intervention of three members of Congress, it is unlikely it will be repaired now.

The sad issue is, not that the issue happened, but that it happens rather frequently with loan servicers.

If this same situation happened today, at least the modern Sallie Mae, now known as Navient, seems to be trying harder to do better.

If you felt strongly about doing something more to push the issue forward, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It will be added to the 30,000 other items of feedback that other student loan holders sent in.

BTW, I can see your email address on your question form, and it is awesome. Made my day.


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.

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.

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