I’ve Never Been Able to Pay My Sallie Mae Student Loans


Dear Steve,

Im probably one of the more stupid people to come and ask for you help since I haven’t paid Sallie Mae a dime since I’ve graduated in 2010 thinking I could get a great job with my hospitality associates degree. But here goes.

After I graduated with nearly $ 20,000 in debt, still eating at my credit till this day, I had moved from my mothers house in Staten Island to live on my own in Brooklyn. Not by choice. My mother got into a bad car accident & the only obtainable job that would take me at a decent 10 dollars an hour was a catering job in a law firm. I probably should have gotten answers there but I was beneath them & had little time to converse with anyone about personal things.

My mother worked as a postal worker for many years until that accident & till this day they refuse to give her disability. In that fight I had to help her. The job was located in Manhattan & clocking in at 6:30 i couldn’t bare the trip from Staten Island to Midtown on overtime nights.

For some relief and sanity I moved in with roommates. I was able to help my mom who was also under foreclosure due to no work but I would never make enough to make things right with everything. So I made a choice. I helped her. Until Sandy happened in this case I couldn’t afford to live on my own anymore so I came home hoping that breather was enough for my health & I could get right back to waking up at 3 am coming home at 11pm but then we lost everything. 14 feet of water in my house & nothing but the clothes on my back to salvage.

After sandy I had stayed in my fathers old age apartment, 1 bedroom with us 3, them being divorced & still made my way to my job until i could barely take it anymore. Sandy caused us to lose our house but in a blessing relieving my mom of foreclosure & granting her enough money to buy a new house if she sold but only enough for a living situation. So she did.

All that while I was employed by small jobs not paying much but enough to help me eat everyday & get the bills we had paid. So my mothers problem was solved but mine worsened.

A year later my father passed. Now we had no help & had to make a move we still weren’t financially ready for. But we did. In all that has happened Sallie Mae has been the farthest thing on my mind since I graduated & now I have no idea where to even start.

Both me & my mother owe them & it feels like I will never get rid of this debt that’s hanging on my shoulder.

I am now finally getting employed to a new place but only part time. Not much help that is, since my mother is still not working & all house bills will fall on me, again. And this time my boyfriend has become unemployed & we have his 5 year old son with us.

Im in a position to survive & I have but I want to thrive. I’ve had to live in illegal apartments because i couldn’t get accepted by landlords due to my credit & my mom being the only one who would, couldn’t cosign.

So its 2016 & I want to feel okay with my life already & I don’t know where to begin.

It’s a long shot but I came across your page & got a little hope. I want to talk to a lawyer but i don’t have the money for that for for days i have been researching loan forgiveness to only find out that I’m probably not eligible no matter how many pages I visit.

My credit score is almost gone, I believe I’m now in the 400’s & it just keeps getting worse.

If i file bankruptcy I fear that they still won’t disappear. So I am at a loss for words or ideas at this point. Maybe hearing something from someone who knows more about this then I ever will can help. Thank you so much for reading.



Dear Theresa,

There is no doubt that bad things happen to good people. Your situation just again points out how loans are absolute and demand a specific amount of money from us each month but unfortunately life is anything but absolute.

By the very inflexible nature of financial contracts, we set ourselves up for misfortune unless we have an emergency fund to fall back on to carry us through tough times.

It sounds like you are just trying to get back on your feet but not employed at a steady level. At the same time you are attempting to care for your mother, a boyfriend, and his child. That’s a lot to be responsible for on so little income.

Before you do anything, I would suggest you evaluate what benefits you and they might be eligible for. Visit Benefits.gov.

Before you can launch into dealing with Sallie Mae you first need to get on your feet. If this was a private student loan I certainly would not make any promise to pay Sallie Mae anything at this point or even acknowledge the debt until you speak with an attorney. Since you are in New York the statute of limitations is six years. If the debts are now past the statute of limitations, the creditor can attempt to collect but they could no long sue you to collect on the debt. Additionally, the debt would fall off your credit report in seven years.

One attorney you might want to discuss your situation with is Jay Fleischman in New York City.

Once all that happens then you can begin to rebuild your credit. It’s stupid easy to do. Just click here to read how.

Your situation is not stupid and you certainly are not stupid either. This kind of stuff happens to people. And while it feels traumatic, your life could have been so much worse in many ways.

It sounds as if you are surrounded by people who love you and you are crawling your way back towards a better future.

On the off chance these are federal student loans then the statute of limitations would not apply and you should look at a rehabilitation program with an income based payment plan. You can click here for more information on that.

One final observation. If these are private student loans I don’t think you need to put bankruptcy at the top of your list but you will absolutely need to talk to an attorney to discuss your situation with one.

Steve Rhode
Get Out of Debt GuyTwitter, G+, Facebook

If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask, just click here and ask away.

This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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