@TheMnemosyne They truly are the worst company I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I recall years back when I was trying to first get this under control, I was offered two payment plans. Both were more than half of my income.
But the second one was presented to me almost as a gift. I'd save $6 a month if I switched!
@stuffisthings That's been on the table this entire time. It still is. The same handful of politicians keep fighting for it (Dick Durbin and now Elizabeth Warren) and it moves along at a glacial pace. It assumes a functioning political system that cares about this issue.
I find it insane that I can discharge past due child support and gambling debt, but private student loans are completely off the table. And that only became law in the early 2000s due to heavy student loan industry lobbying.
I wouldn't even want to claim bankruptcy. But bringing that protection back would finally give borrowers a bargaining chip.
This idea is floated around a lot if you’re buried in this stuff.
We're scared to death of not paying, especially with private student loans. They threaten you if you're late. They lie to you and contradict each other when you call. There's no income based repayment. Consolidating is made impossible.
I can go on about this forever. I’ve been dealing with and fighting a lot of this stuff for almost 10 years now. I've been responding to the "you took it out, deal with it!" crowd for years. I've been dealing with politicians and activist groups who audibly gasp when I explain what Sallie Mae has done, even though they deal with this stuff reguarly.
Ultimately, I think the problem with this is that (despite what people like to tell me), many of us in this situation are stuck with an annoying sense of responsibility.
My single biggest reason for not pulling a grand gesture like this is simple:
My family is on the hook as a co-signer and the Department of Education will (as it has to others many times) help lenders like Sallie Mae raid everything they own. THAT is the road block.
There is a reason why private student loans largely demand co-signers. They know they're trapping kids. But if they can get more assets out of it when you inevitably have issues, then what do they care?
So in the meantime, paying half of my income to Sallie Mae is about all I can do to not ruin more lives than just mine.
All I know is that it's funny that people still freak out over housing bubbles when we have an entire generation of kids who probably can never be approved for a home.