Question on how to respond to a Sallie Mae letter

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by MischaM, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. MischaM

    MischaM Member

    Dear Everyone,

    I love this site. It's helping me try to rehabilitate my terrible credit rating. I am a newbie here, so please forgive me if my question is silly or seems obvious. I've searched the boards, however, and can't seem to find an answer. An answer could be posted already, I know, but I haven't been able to find it.

    Here's the problem: Sallie Mae is reporting late payments on subsidized loans I took out for grad school. They are reporting that I was late with payments in the Fall of 2006 and Fall of 2007. I wrote to Sallie Mae and provided them with documentation that at both of these times I was in a postgrad fellowship program that qualifies for loan deferment. This is all true. Moreover, I have already told Sallie Mae this several times: by letter, by fax too. They repeatedly have made mistakes-- always in their favor-- and switched the loans to payment due status even when I've provided them with documentation showing the loans qualify for deferment.

    I provided them with this documentation a few days ago, for the third or fourth time. This time, they wrote back:

    "Our records indicate that your account was reported as delinquent to credit bureaus on 11/30/06. Although a deferment or forbearance applied to your account on 12/12/06 retroactively resolved your past due status, we cannot reverse the correct information that we previously reported to credit bureaus.â?

    This outraged me. First of all, my loan was in deferment not forbearance. The distinction is important as the deferment status does not allow Sallie Mae to add to the principal of the loan, which they have of course done.

    They are claiming that they did not get the deferment paperwork until December 2006, so the late payments for Sept, Oct., and Nov., still apply, even though the deferment authorization from my school states the fellowship begna 9/01/06/

    In essence, they seem to be saying that the very fact that they possessed and reported incorrect information in the past somehow makes that reporting correct.

    Does anyone have any advice, short of hiring a lawyer? It's really killing my credit rating, because of the way they report the late payments. More specifically, I have several loans with Sallie Mae but those loans have been consolidated with Sallie Mae. For late payment reports to the credit bureays, however, Sallie Mae has disaggregated the consolidation! So, instead of three missed payments on one bigger loan, which is what it is- they reported 3 missed payments on 3 smaller loans!
  2. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Welcome MischaM...I hope you will find some good advice here that can help you navigate this situation.

    It sounds like you've made a real effort to work with SM, but they're not really getting it. I've heard from others that they're notorious for making these reporting errors when accounts are supposed to be in deferment.

    Have you tried disputing directly with the credit bureaus? Do it in writing, through the mail, return receipt requested. Include copies of all your documentation, and then send a copy of the dispute to SM as well.
  3. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    Try contacting the DOE Ombudsman and see if you can get any help there.
  4. MischaM

    MischaM Member

    >Have you tried disputing directly with the credit bureaus? Do it in writing, >through the mail, return receipt requested. Include copies of all your >documentation, and then send a copy of the dispute to SM as well.

    I have disputed these reports with the Credit Bureaus and included documentation in doing so. Sallie Mae responds quickly and the Credit Bureaus simply attach the "Borrower Disagrees" note, which I don't think does my credit rating the good I need. SM is ruthless Yes, SM is notorious for making this particular, as well as many other errors in reporting. I am not sure they can be called "errors" however. That suggests a random quality. Sallie Mae's "errors" are always in their favor.
  5. MischaM

    MischaM Member

    Interesting idea. I will send the DOE Ombudsman a letter and documentation tomorrow.

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