After filing a complaint with th CFPB in early April 2012 this is the response I got on 6/14/2012:
Thank you for reaching out to the CFPB with your concerns regarding the payment amount on your Signature Student Loan. We attempted to reach you on April 30th, May 1st and 2nd, 2012 to discuss these concerns and the options that may be available to you. We received your email response on May 3rd, 2012 indicating that you were having difficulty with your telephone and wanted the correspondence in writing.
We were able to determine that you were approved for Rate Reduction Program on November 16, 2011. We then received your request for interest-only payments on January 26, 2012 and a customer service representative processed the option on your loan in error. Because you were already enrolled in the Rate Reduction Program and your interest rate was reduced to 1.00 percent based solely on your being enrolled in that program, you were not eligible for any other repayment plans. The Rate Reduction Program is mutually exclusive and cannot be used in conjunction with our repayment plans. The payment amount of $50.00 per month was not sufficient to amortize the loan in the remaining term and was granted in error.
The interest-only repayment plan was removed from your loan on February 15, 2012. The attached Change in Terms letter was sent to you on February 15, 2012 indicating that your payment amount had been returned to the original terms under the Rate Reduction Program that was established on November 16, 2011. Your current monthly payment amount is $149.17. Your loan is past due from March 13, 2012 for a total payment amount of $440.98.
We apologize not only for the processing error but also for the delay in providing you with an explanation of the why your Signature loans were ineligible for a payment amount as low as $50.00 per month.
My response/dispute in reply on 06/14/2012:
OK so how is it my problem that there was an "error"? I have had no idea that you cant be enrolled into different programs--if that is your policy then your employees should know it, that is apart of their jobs right? Although the gentleman I spoke with that day was the kindest person to me in any time speaking with a Sallie Mae Rep., which is saying alot (had this loan since 2004) but I will get back to that in a moment.
I was not made aware of this at all until recently and not in a very in a timely manner. Your website login in for account holders is down so often that I can't even see what is going on, I have requested on the phone to have my account switched back to paper/post mail and that hasn't been done. I also don't understand why it took til spring time 2012 for even one of your employees to tell me of this mistake of yours from the New Year 2012 time frame---the whole time when call all the would say "This is what you owe in a back balance, this is your payment" and I would ask why and NO ONE would explain! Then I would say I couldn't afford that and they said they didnt care--more then one person told me to stop paying rent on the room I live in or my car payment--so I am not allowed to get to work nor have a roof over my head? I don't think so, that was uncalled for. The 888# is for customer service but it has none of that. Very rude, unkind, and taunting responses is all I got--even when I spoke to a manager on more then one occasion.
I am very under-employed I only work around 20 hrs a week---it is a good company but I just got my foot in the door. I am looking to get more full time work with this company or acquiring a 2nd job, but until then I just need a plan that will let Sallie Mae get alittle bit of money, keep my account in good standing and let me eat. I have every penny budgeted and can not cut anything out (I barely bring home $1000.00 a month and that is not a alot when you look at the cost of living for alot of the U.S. right now). Something around $50.00 a month is all I can do at this time. I rent a room in a house--not a luxury condo or something, I need a car due to lack of public transportation to where my job is located, and I don't have any lofty dreams like vacations/expensive toys/kids/etc. My Fed. loans have worked with me, and I have even finish a debt consolidation program for my credit cards (took 3+ yrs but its done) this passing New Year time. So I am a responsible person who is NOT trying to duck out of a debt, but I need more accountability from the people that hold my debt. I can't know something if you aren't telling me. How can I be held liable for a debt that the debt holder can not explain in clear terms, have a website that is down fequently, Phone calls that wont go through or departments that are closed in the middle of the day, don't honor the request to have things sent by post mail, etc?
So I want something done about this. Backdate something that will adjust the balance on my account and is there any other options to switch into a program? I authorize a reasonable change in the APR if we can work something out into another plan that will be around $50.00 a mth for a 2 yr or so duration or something similar. Regardless I know its going to take a long time to pay this off but it doesnt need to be a fight all the time, which it has been for almost 8 yrs. I will not do this through your website or such though. I want it sent post mail to:
I have a right to have everything concerning this or any other bill/account in writing. SO I am using it.
Ive attached the emails I sent to Sallie Mae about how I could not get in contact with them via the 888# and the fact the website is often down.
Thank you for your time and can't wait to work out a resolution in a timely manner.
What steps can I take to get this resolved and not have it hit my credit score and such so hard? Why is it that they can burden me so much with this situation but I feel helpless? I am trying to pay my debt but with out that higher income job that I'd hope to have had by now I need a helping hand with some solid advice for action.
Anytime I contact Sallie Mae I am suddenly at the circus and am repeatedly yelled at, transferred, hung up on etc and the CFPB seems to be in info collecting mode - not assisting.
Please let me know!
Oh the loan was taken out in 2004 in Nevada and I now live in California if that helps, any reasonable questions relating to this please ask!