For the record, this is my experience.. yours may not be the same.
Ok, a few weeks (maybe months) I told you about a hypothetical situation of an IBR plan for our student loans. I know that not all my followers have student loans (and seriously, if you don’t have them – don’t get them). I know that not all of my followers are firefighters… but if you are military with student loans, firefighter with student loans, police with student loans or any public service job… PLEASE READ THIS.
Today, I came across some interesting information after arguing with sallie mae, requesting a domestic agent, and tweeting about their suckiness. For the record, I do not like sallie mae, I abhor sallie mae. So I called Direct Loans and got all my questions answered and then some in less than 10 minutes compared to my HOUR on the phone with Sallie Mae talking to “Mabel” and her supervisor.
Aside… Did you know that Mabel is an Indian name? Yeah, me neither. Further, faking an American accent while popping in with British and some Indian dialect will only make me angrier (and please stay away from American movie phrases). I don’t mind talking to foreign people but for the love of god, don’t get mad at me when I get pissed at you for not knowing your butt from a hole in the ground. I’m also not real confident when I give someone overseas my social security number when I’ve worked in a bank before and have seen first hand how many identity theft cases we have in middle eastern countries.
Anyway. So the IBR thing is still a go but we have to tweak it. Sallie Mae doesn’t offer certain relief (forbearances, cancellations, deferments, etc.) like the DoE (dept. of education) does. There are certain cancellations I can’t get if I keep my loans at Sallie Mae. So, as I was talking to the Direct Loan people they told me about some really great things I can do with my loans if they’re serviced by the federal government. That’s not to say that Sallie Mae doesn’t offer some of these protections but definitely not all of them.
- Military deferment as long as we remain active duty.
- College Cost Reduction & Access Act of 2007 aka Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Perkins forgiveness under certain jobs
- Income Based Repayment
They are awesome.
According to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, after 10 years (120 on-time payments) on standard, IBR, or ICR, the rest of your federal loans will be forgiven. Basically, if I can manage to stay in a public service job, I can qualify and since he’s military (and fire), he qualifies. If he left the AF and became a police officer… he’d still qualify. Can you say FREAKIN’ AWESOME! If I could go back, I wouldn’t have done the college thing like I did, not even remotely close. I’m just glad there is light at the end of the tunnel now.
I forgot to mention that Sallie Mae “accidentally” tacked on almost $4k to my loans a few years ago. When I called them back then, they told me that I would have to submit a paper form and blah blah blah yearly with a new date on it stating that I was enrolled during those times and this, that,and the other. See: HUGE hassle. I got so mad at them that I hung up on some lady. I called today and spoke with “Mabel’s” supervisor and she put in a request to have the situation remedied within the next 14 business days (most likely earlier). I will call back and verify that was the case and then start applying for loan consolidation through Direct Loans and IBR as well. My borrower benefits won’t be greater than my incessant headache with these people, nor will it cover the amount of money we will both save.
If you’re looking to consolidate or your payments are just getting a little out of control, please call one of them and see what you can do. You can’t dig yourself out of the hole if you arent’ trying and they won’t help if you’re defaulted. I just know that it was 300x easier to talk to the DL lady. I felt like she knew what was going on and answered hypotheticals for both me and Superman without giving me the third degree about the legality of speaking to me since we weren’t discussing specifics.