An Open Letter to that B*&$%#, Sallie Mae


Dear Friend,

I am beyond frustrated with your fine corporation.  I have been for many years and I have now reached what some would label as the “breaking point.”  I won’t call it “homicidal rage” but only because I’d prefer not to arouse suspicion in any way.  I have to go to a wedding tomorrow so I’m already busy anyway. 

Why am I frustrated?  Well it’s a long story really, spanning years.  I’d like to begin by saying that I would dearly love to pay my student loan bill every month.  I would LOVE to be chipping away at that crippling debt, incredibly slowly.  Like glacier slow.  But I would LOVE to be able to do it.  Sadly, I don’t have $600+ per month to spend on students loans.  I didn’t go to grad school to become an investment banker or a stock broker.  I became a teacher.  So yeah.  Since I became a teacher, I have been really sick and had two consecutive children.  There was a lot of other drama in there and all of it was financially draining.  We are not exactly building forts with stacks of hundos over here. 

We have come a long way.  We have persevered in sickness and in health, literally.  But we are not the wealthiest people on the block.  In fact, we are the people on the block who still rent because we can’t afford to buy a house.  So yeah.  We can pay our bills and eat.  Occasionally we can go to the movies.  I’m not complaining.  But it’s been an uphill battle sometimes.  Needless to say that paying RIDICULOUS student loan payments falls second to food.  Funny story, I was explaining that to one of the fine and upstanding citizens working in the Sallie Mae call center.  Haha.  That gentleman suggested that I “get on food stamps” so I could pay my student loan bills.  While I appreciated the suggestion, it also made my head explode.  I almost threw I was so mad.  

I try to keep my loans in deferment because while I have every intention of giving you all of my money one day, I am unable to do that at this time.  Sorry not sorry.  But I do feel like I could use a little help and understanding.  I have been working to get my loans back in deferment for over a month.  I emailed a loan deferment application and then waited.  A week later, I received an email saying something like “Hey there buddy!  We understand that you applied for deferment.  Well we made a decision!  You just need to hop on over to your account at and find out what it was!!!!”  I said “GREAT!”  I hopped on over and spent a good thirty minutes trying to remember my log in information and thirty more minutes trying to locate my password.  One new password later, I was logged in.  I began searching, eagerly, for a message from Sallie M. saying “Congrats!  You are in deferment for six minutes after which you will have to start the deferment process all over again!  Have a good summer!  LYLAS.”  Instead, there was nothing.  Nothing at all.  No new message.  Just an ever increasing bill that I cannot pay. 

So I give my good friend Sallie Mae a call.  “Hey Sallie Mae,” I said.  “Where did we land on that deferment thing?  I couldn’t find anything in my account on your website so can you just tell me?”

A humorless man answered whose name might have been Frank but I’m not sure.  Let’s call him Frank, just in case.  Frank didn’t answer my question, ignored it really, and said “How much will you be paying today?” 

“Well, Frank, I’m not paying anything.  I’m actually calling to check on my deferment.” 

“Why won’t you be paying today?”

“Because, Frank, I like to keep my electricity on and eat food.  My children like food too.  Especially my son that has just been diagnosed with extremely severe food allergies and can only eat food made of gold.  Or anyway it costs the same as if it were made of gold.”

Frank, ever sympathetic said, “Are you currently employed?”

“Yes, Frank.  I am a part-time freelance copy editor.  Sometimes I’m incredibly busy with work, sometimes not so much,” I said. 

“You mean you don’t work full time?” Frank asked. 

“No Frank.”

“Why not?”

“Do you remember the part about my kid?  Well my son has had a whole slew of health problems in his little life and I prefer to stay home with him and carefully monitor his crazy scary asthma and make sure he doesn’t eat a hot dog because he could die.” 

Frank didn’t care.  Frank thought I should drop everything and go work full time.  Frank wasn’t impressed by my hourly rate and the fact that I make more money by working from home and not having to pay child care costs than I would if I had to wake up at 5 and drop everyone off at daycare at 7:30 and then spend the rest of the day panicking about what my 3 year old was or was not eating and whether or not he could breathe. 

“Frank….let’s get back to my original question.”  I wanted to encourage Frank to stop being so judgy and to stay on topic.

“You sent in the wrong paperwork,” said Frank.

“Really?  Well can I just discuss it with you over the phone?”

“No.  I will send more paperwork.  It will get there in 10-12 days and then you need to fax it in as FAST AS YOU CAN.”

“After it takes 12 days to arrive?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Frank.

“Mmmmmmmmkaaaaaay,” I said.


So here were are.  Two weeks later.  Nothing from Frank!  More bills from Sallie Mae but nothing from Frank! 

Here’s the thing Sallie, I know you don’t care about me and/or my family.  I know that you are trying to reclaim what is rightfully yours…sort of…but I, like most Americans, have had to make some tough choices.  I am not sitting in a chair made of cash saying “Gosh….I feel like there’s something I’m forgetting to pay.”  I really want to pay you.  I just can’t today.  But if you will work as hard to help me, even a fraction of that, as you do trying to screw me over, we might get somewhere eventually.  I will agree to pay half a million in interest if you’ll stop “you peopleing” me now.  I don’t need people whose only interaction with me is to look at my account info, hear my voice, and decide you know me.  I WORK from home.  I don’t stay at home watching tv, although I would VERY MUCH like to.  I take care of two small children, one of which is going through a rough time, and I still work.  So you, Frank and Sallie, don’t get to “you people” me.  No one should ever feel like that. 

If anything, I should “you people” YOU.  I know about you.  I know that you screw people over right and left and that you have and will go to disgusting lengths to collect.  But I will not go down without a fight, Sallie.  I will not.  Send my d*&% paperwork.  I will sign it and IMMEDIATELY fax it in.  And then we can go back to not speaking for ten more days until it’s time to start all over again. 

Very Sincerely,



P.S. You smell weird.


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