Okay, let me just state right up front that I know this is a long shot. A super, duper, really long shot. But, I have to try.
I wrote and asked Sallie Mae to forgive the remainder of my student loans.
I realize that Sallie Mae pretty much never forgives loans unless you’ve been in repayment for 25 years or more, but I felt like I just had to ask.
I’ve been learning a lot about asking for help recently, and when you decide to make major life changes, sometimes asking for help can bring about unexpected results.
During the 2nd adoption we recently completed, I asked the adoption agency to review the fees they wanted to charge us and reconsider the amounts, based on some paperwork we had been given the first time around. Just asking for that review saved me $3500.00 because they agreed to discounted fees.
I even write emails and letters to companies and ask for coupons and discounts on things I need. Often they respond and provide the assistance I inquire about.
So, it can work.
I’ll be honest…I’m not flat broke. I’m not unable to pay my monthly student loan payment. I’m not even unemployed. But, I do need to find a way to reduce my overall debt so that I can continue on the path that I believe God has put me on: being a stay at home Mom.
The only way I can quit my part-time job is to have zero debt beyond my mortgage. I already sold my car (just this week!), but still need to pay off my credit card (that’s how we financed adoption #2), and my student loans. Only then can I stop working outside of the home.
So, I figure it’s time to start asking for help, and going right to the loan company is my first step.
I wrote Sallie Mae Friday night, July 15th, 2011 and this is what I said:
Dear Sallie Mae,
I am writing to ask a question that most customer service reps who read this will not be able to answer, so my initial request is that this be passed higher up the chain of command.
I am writing to ask if you will consider forgiving all or a portion of the remaining balance on my student loan.
Please do not reply and offer to discuss ways to pay it off, or different repayment plans, unless it will reduce the total amount we owe. I am asking for forgiveness of the loan, not assistance managing my payments.
I graduated from my Master’s program in 2000 and had an original principle loan balance of $–,–.–. Since that time I have never missed a payment, and I only have $–,–.–left to repay.
We have adopted two beautiful children in the last 2 years. One was planned, and one was not planned. Regardless, we have embraced these children with open hearts and an open home, knowing our entire lives will be (and have already been) changed.
We have a dream for me to be a stay at home mom. I have been able to reduce my work hours to part-time but can not quit my job because of the remaining loan balance and day care for the children, because I must work.
We have worked hard to pay back these loans for my education and living expenses during college and graduate school, but we have new dreams now. Ones that we will be able to realize if we can eliminate this portion of debt from our life.
Can you please help us?
Will you forgive the remainder of my loan, or at least a portion of it?
Feel free to contact me by phone to discuss my request.
I omitted the amounts, because that’s pretty personal, but I will say that I’ve repaid $20,000+ of my original loans, but still owe over $10,000. If they don’t allow forgiveness of any portion, I will not default on the loan. I just have to buckle down and figure out how to save even more money each month, hoping to pay it off sooner rather than later.
I’m not sharing my story to get sympathy. I’m sharing it because I really do believe that asking for help is what we must do sometimes. Too often we think we can just fix it ourselves, and right now…I can’t fix it myself. So, I’m asking for help.
Have you ever had to ask for help? Were you surprised by the results? I’d love to hear…