how I got forbearance on my student loans


My student loans (except my $70/month federal one) are now out of the way for 6 months. I had two I needed to take care of today, loans at Sallie Mae, and at Citibank (www.studentloan.com).

Sallie Mae Forbearance Process

I called the 1-888-272-5543 number listed on the website, and also the number given when you click the “postpone payments” link on your account page. After a 4 minute travel through touchtone heaven I arrived speaking to “Katrina” (obviously not her real name…”Katrina” had an Indian accent, but not too bad). She verified some info, asked me why I was applying for forbearance, then gave me a direct number: 800-538-2632 and transfered my to that #. After a 20 minute wait, I talked with male customer service rep who was very helpful, asked the same questions, but actually had the authority to approve the forbearance. This CSR was definetly in the US somewhere. The problem?

A $150 FEE to apply for forbearance. Apparently the fee is $50/per loan. Well, I have three loans. After explain the riduculousness of a forbearance fee, I was told there is no way to get out of it. Crap. I though for a minute, and had to go forward with it, using my debit card to pay $150 of precious cash to this Sallie of the Mae’s. At least it is done. Don’t waste your time calling the general # if you are applying for forbearance, call the 800-538-2632 number. $150 my butt. And that is only for 6 months. My first payment is now due in July. I had to do this though, it pushed back a $500+ payment I was already late on. So, although it hurt 150 times more than I was expected, it was needed, and now done.

Citibank Student Loan Forbearance

I was expecting this process to be much more difficult than the Sallie Mae process. But after pressing “0″ to get to an service rep, I got a nice southern-accent speaking lady after only about 2 minutes. I had already sent in a form for this, and that is all they can do at Citibank. So, when they receive my form that I mailed today, they will approve the forbearance (so I am told) for 6 months, which can then be reapplied for in 6 months for a 12 month max. Oh yeah, no FEES. I was totally expecting a fee here after the Sallie Mae fiasco (maybe that is too strong a word).

So, Student loans are out of the way at the moment. Now onto the credit cards!

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  • kiki

    I hear you. I have the same issue with sallie mae… though it’s now 3 months for $50 per loan. I have to take this fall semester off, because my husband being a good civilian and signing up for the army we don’t know where we are moving to in the middle of november. My class ends a month later so I had to cancel my classes and sign up for this forbearanace. I had another loan with direct loans all I have to do is call them, not even turn in a form and ask for a forbearance. There is no fees.. nothing, Sallie Mae is like what the world coming to.. money grabbers.

  • Marie

    Not all student loans are subject to a $50 per loan forbearance fee. If you have at least 1 Direct Loan (obtained straight from the federal government), you can consolidate all your subsidized loans (direct or otherwise) as a Direct Loan. Obtaining forbearance on a Direct loan does not cost anything. Look into whether you can consolidate all your loans as Direct loans.

  • http://[email protected] Irma Martin

    I hear you! Sallie Mae is charging me $400 to three month forbearance but I can not find anyone that will consolidate my private student loans of $180,000. Sallie Mae was doing private loans when I first started school but since May 2008 they are not. Help! Does anyone have any solutions????

  • http://yahoo William Blackwell

    That’s like me here I am I’m probably 10 to 15 years behind on my school loans but I have never had the money to spare to pay them back. I have 2 government loans. But in about 2001 I started taking care of my mother after she had a stroke and I don’t think I was going to charge her for that.
    Then after doing that for about 5 years one day I had a epeleptic seizure. So then her and myself both had to be put in a nursing home because she wasn’t able to take care of herself and the seizure left blood clots on my brain. So the nursing home had me put on dissability and believe me I would rather live on anything besides that. The reason is right now I’m taking two different medications that costs over $500.00 each per month. So I was on medicade to help pay for these and dropped me because I didn’t get my bank statements turned in. Then I reapplied and I was approved but Social Security is still taking $96.40 a month out my check because medicade will not send Social Security a letter to let them know I’m back on medicade. And they will keep this up until they get a letter from medicade. and yes I do get unemployment each week but that caused my apartment rent to tripple. From $130 to $431 each month. So how am I supposed to pay this loan off so I can ffurther my education?

  • MJB

    This website is for informative discussion, not people’s sob stories. I bet you tell this story every time you call your bank, cable company, etc., huh? People don’t like whiners… stop it! Its one thing to go around feeling sorry for yourself all the time, but lots of people have horrible crap happen to them and just get through it without constantly bitching and moaning to every person who crosses their path.

    or is that there just isnt any else special about yourself that you can think of to talk about?

  • andy

    MJB… thats a little harsh and mean there buck-o. although i tend to agree with you. yeah his story is horrible and sad, yeah he has not luck, and yeah hes screwed; but complaining about it on debtkid.com isnt goin to help your situation. hop back on that horse, william, and do whatever it takes to get back to school. stop making people feel bad for you, because nobody cares, the only one that matters is you! so stop asking for help and hand outs and just change your situation; because, like i said, the only one that matters and can make a difference in your life is you!

  • Nicole

    i worked at sallie mae, we are all located in the us we have no over seas jobs anymore and the reason you were charged the 150 is because your loans are private they are not staffors loans because with stafford loans there is no charge the only thing that it gets charged is the interest over that period of time but i am glad i dont work there anymore because people would tell me they were gonna bomb me and kill my family and shit and i was just trying to make money to feed my kid whos father died a month before he was born. but anyways after working there i came to realize that i need to start saving to send me kid to college i will never in my life let him take out a student loan.

  • dave

    I’m on the same boat but my loans are over $1300 per month. 700 of it is private. Now it’s $50 per loan for 2 months. Such crap. I let the private loans go for 90 odd days, probably too late to pay the 150 bucks considering it’s all been reported. I couldn’t afford 150 bucks.

    They only have my google voice # thankfully, calls get skipped to VM. I used to get 4 phone calls between 8am and 1pm. I was promised no phone calls for paying up, but still see them in my log.

    From the kindness of my heart, SallieMae – GFYS.

  • http://laidofflawyer.wordpress.com Laid-off Lawyer

    It’s disturbing to see the change in SallieMae’s practices over the years as you read through this post and the comments, spread out over three years: from $50.00 for six months to $50.00 for two. Even the banks are changing their practices. A bit. But not the SallieMaes. Damn.