Sallie Mae Told Me to Stop Playing the Victim But Won’t Help Me Find a Way to Pay


Dear Steve,

A $58K private student loan that recently went into default. My take-home pay is somewhere between $24-25K.

I also have federal loan debt that is more than my Sallie Mae loan, but that is currently on an income-driven repayment plan.

I’ve tried multiple times to consolidate and reduce my Sallie Mae loan the way my federal loans have been done but it gets denied each time.

Sallie Mae is leading me to believe that my only option to get out of default is to pay the full sum of $40K. If not on my own, through my co-signer. I was previously on a repayment plan of $300/month. However after the third month, I was continuing to overdraw my account, and the second job I took on was causing me to lose my sanity instead of increasing my income.

I spoke with my account manager at Sallie Mae who was rather hostile and told me I needed to stop playing the victim. He explained I had a debt I needed to repay but I was clearly never going to make the payments. He cited two dates as a point of reference for my intention to never pay the loan back. These were dates in 2016, and when I cited that I made payments in 2014 he claimed that was 4 years ago and he wasn’t going to look back that far. Anyways, you catch my drift that he was being an asshole.

So I’ve been furiously google searching my options now that I know my loan is in default and wanting to be well prepared for how to handle this matter. I’m choosing to not run to my co-signer about the issue because I took this on to better my personal life separate from my parents. However, it seems to have burdened my situation more than aided it.

The account manager I spoke with was rather rude and didn’t provide much help when I asked for other repayment options. So discussing it with Sallie Mae is now out of the equation.

Please tell me I’m not alone in this and it’s not the signal for the end of the world.

What can I do to help relieve my defaulted Sallie Mae loans? Who should I look to for my guidance? Does my co-signer have to be the one to pay the full amount immediately? Or can I look into other avenues? Can I get back to repayment options?

Many thanks.



Dear Audra,

If you are in default on the private loans the cosigner is involved and it will negatively impact their credit.

One thing I’ve seen Sallie Mae do is to offer a cosigner release and then for a little bit more, settle the entire loan.

You should speak with a knowledgeable debt coach who has specific experience in dealing with this. I would suggest Damon Day but feel free to contact any independent debt coach, and not a debt relief company salesperson.

I’m not surprised by the pushback you got from the Sallie Mae representative. The frontline collector really has their hands tied on options they can offer.

But that doesn’t mean there are not solutions. You just need some expert guidance to find your way through the maze to get to a solution that is agreeable to your co-signer, Sallie Mae, and you.

It can be done but just needs an experinced guide to lead the way for you.

Steve Rhode
Get Out of Debt GuyTwitter, G+, Facebook

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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.