I am blown away. Let me give a little history first. All of my student loans have been serviced by Sallie Mae since 1999. Around August 2004 I decided to put my loans into forbearance (via Sallie Mae's website) due to overextending my financial capabilities to help a family member in need. Unbenounced to me, Sallie Mae hit me with a 90 day late (on EX only for whatever reason) for Nov 2004.
Since I have kept a credit journal (which I assume you all are doing) I can give you exact details.
The saga begins...
12/16/2004 - Disputed as never late.
12/31/2004 - Came back verified.
03/30/2005 - Faxed GW. (no response)
04/06/2005 - Sent GW via PFB. (no response)
04/12/2005 - Sent BBB complaint. (no response)
04/13/2005 - Emailed Sallie Mae CEO directly. Also sent the same info from e-mail via general cust service form.
04/21/2005 - I get an e-mail from Corporate Borrower Services indicating they cannot remove but will send me a credit reference letter stating the account has been current since, as if FICO cares about that, LOL. In my correspondences I made the mistake of only telling them the late was on EX. In this same email from Corporate Borrower Services the lady tells me that they are investigating why the late is not reporting to all three bureaus. CRAP! Imagine my frustration. I figured I really screwed myself now. Luckily the late never made it on TU or EQ.
4/22/2005 - I reply reiterating that I applied for forbearance and never received a bill or notification to indicate otherwise. I get a reply a few hours later which includes detailed information of their collection attempts from 2004 (down to the day). I am confused as I don't recall any of these attempts.
4/23/2005 - I reply again stating that I find it hard to believe that I would have missed all of these collection attempts. I ask her to provide proof these letters were mailed and these calls were made thinking I might win benefit of the doubt.
4/28/2005 - I receive photo copies in the mail of every past due statement (one for each of month between the time I thought I was in forbearance and when the 90 day late posted). Sure enough, the address they sent the letters to was correct. Was this a conspiracy? Could all three letters have been lost in the mail? Highly unlikely. At this point I decide to give up with and hoped maybe a future dispute would work out in my favor. Which is silly considering the CRA I am dealing with here.
05/16/2005 - Disputed as never late.
06/08/2005 - Came back verified.
10/05/2005 - Disputed as never late.
11/01/2005 - Came back verified.
04/27/2006 - Tried Disputing as never late. (Received EX "Already Verified/Previously Investigated)
06/08/2006 - Tried Disputing as never late. (Received EX "Already Verified/Previously Investigated)
10/05/2006 - Tried Disputing as never late. (Received EX "Already Verified/Previously Investigated)
03/12/2007 - Tried Disputing as never late. (Received EX "Already Verified/Previously Investigated)
06/23/2007 - Sent another GW thinking I am wasting my time.
07/09/2007 - Receive a Letter from Sallie Mae indicating that because of the Higher Education Act, they are required to report factually, blah blah. I go to the second page of the letter which reads "However, we have submitted an update to the national credit bureaus to remove the negative reporting. Please be advised that I have issued this retraction due to the confusion surrounding the forbearance and the timely payments made after this reporting. Any valid negative information reported to the national credit bureaus in the future will not be removed."
I swear I must have read that paragraph four or five times in disbelief. Pulled EX report immediately after and it is gone!!
It's hard to classify this as a traditional GW as I still believe to this day that Sallie Mae has been incorrect in their reporting all along. Problem is I could never prove that I submitted the forbearance when I said I did (which is why you should print off your online disputes after submitting). So this has always been a my word against theirs battle from the beginning. Since I had no proof (and they have copies of the letters which were supposedly sent to me), GW, disputing and time were really my only options.
So, it's been quite the journey. NEVER give up!
FYI... the address I mailed my most recent letter to is:
Customer Advocate Unit P.O. Box 4200 Wilkes Barre, PA 18773-4200