07-19-2012 01:39 AM
I would like to thank everyone on these boards who posts tips and advice for how to deal with Sallie Mae, and to share the results of my experience with them.
A few weeks ago, SM reported 90-day lates on three separate student loan accounts, effectively wiping out any progress I have made in building credit over the past couple years. I was shocked about the lates because to my knowledge, the student loans should not have even entered repayment yet.
It turned out that there was a glitch in Sallie Mae's systems and they had incorrect enrollment information for me. They basically had it in their records that I had already used up my six month grace period many years ago, and therefore was not entitled to one now.
The normal customer service was NO help, insisting that they would not even look at the enrollment certification letter that my university had sent them, showing that I was continuously enrolled (and therefore entitled to a six-month grace period, and therefore not late). They kept insisting that I pay the "amount due" that they were showing I owed, even though I should have no payment due at this point and this is precisely what I was calling to sort out.
On these boards, a few people had recommended the Office of the Customer Advocate. They were much more competent than the regular customer service. (For one thing, the people in this office are native speakers of American English--a huge advantage in itself.) They were able to update my account appropriately and they have assured me in writing that they will remove all derogatory marks that they placed on my credit reports. They also apologized in writing and acknowledged that the whole debacle was entirely Sallie Mae's error.
So again, thank you to everyone who updates these boards with information about your experiences that we can all use in our own situations. And if you find yourself hitting a wall with Sallie Mae's normal customer service number, definitely call the Office of the Customer Advocate. At the very least, you will talk to people who have the linguistic capabilities, the expertise, and the time to really understand your situation.