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Sallie Mae bought my Direct Federal Student Loans. Good news?

Valued Member

Sallie Mae bought my Direct Federal Student Loans. Good news?

I got a letter in the mail two days ago informing me Sallie Mae is the new servicer of my Direct Federal Student loans.

 I left undergrad with $24k in Federal loans and $13k in a Minnesota SELF loan (through MN Dept of Higher Education).

 

This is where I stand now, according to Sallie Mae on the $24k Federal student loan. 

1. $3,500.00 6.8%
2. $4,881.00 6.8%
3. $5,500.00 6%
4. $5,500.00 5.6%
5.  $797.92 (Originally $619.00) 6.8%
6.  $2,552.92 (Originally 2k) 6.8%
7. $2,445.46  (originally 2k) 6.8%
 
It's grown by over a $1,000.   Gross, right?  I have a couple questions.  
Firstly, I am in deferrment because I am in a PhD program until 2015.  My PhD studies are paid for in full and I get $25,500/year in stipend which means I have been, and will continue to be capable of paying $400-500/mo to student loans.  I have been paying my SELF loan down since that is at 3.8% and collects interest even while in deferrment.  I have paid down $3.5k/$13k of it thus far.    I haven't been paying toward my Direct Federal Loans because only the unsubsidized loans have been collecting interest and I could never figure out how to target a specific loan to pay (it would pay towards ALL the accounts, not just unsubsidized).  
However, now I think I can make payments ONLY to my unsubsidized loans through Sallie Mae. 
 
So the question:   Can I get into any sort of trouble by specifically targeting the unsubsidized loans?  Obviously these are the only ones Sallie Mae is making any money off of for now so they're not going to like it.  
 
Another question:  I noticed that my Sallie Mae loans have a "repayment fee" or "back-end fee" category - something I never noticed with my Federal Student loans.  Is this something I will have to pay?  Anyone have experience with this and Sallie Mae? The terms of my loan is suppose to be the same, so.... unless I misunderstood, I don't think I'll ever have to pay this?
 
Any general comments about working with Sallie Mae for student loans?
 
Thanks in advance for your input!!
1 REPLY
Valued Contributor

Re: Sallie Mae bought my Direct Federal Student Loans. Good news?

There is no way to "get in trouble" by making extra payments on your loans.  Sallie Mae doesn't care if/when you pay early, they only get involved if you miss a payment.  While you're still deferred, feel free to apply your payments however you think is best.

 

Where did you see this information about a "back-end" or "repayment" fee?  Sallie Mae services both federal and private loans, so if you were just poking around their website, maybe you were looking at terms for a different type of loan?  If you have questions, I would read carefully over the terms for your loan (which should be available through your Sallie Mae account online, or by calling them) and then call them with any questions.

 

As with all lenders, stay on top of your loan status.  Be proactive about updating your contact information, checking that payments have applied properly, and reaching out to your lender if you need a new repayment plan, deferment, or forbearnace to avoid a late payment.