Following the terrible day I had yesterday, I knew I absolutely had to call Sallie Mae today. I did not want to do this. Here's been the gist of my experience with them so far:
1st time calling: I can't pay $420/month on student loans. I cannot afford it. I make about that a pay check. You're asking me to pay an entire pay check a month when I have almost $800 in bills to cover a month. You're asking me not to eat or to have money to get to work. The best you can do is make it $210? I can't afford that. Again, I will not be able to eat or get to work. Oh! You can send me paperwork to fill out so I can have affordable payments? Do that.
2nd time calling (1 month later): I never received the paperwork. No, it did not come by e-mail. I never asked for it by e-mail, it was supposed to arrive by mail by now. You can't work with me to make affordable payments over the phone at all? Filling out paperwork is the only chance I have to be approved? I can't make this $420 payment this month, I just can't. Okay, you'll defer my loans without penalty again and send me the paperwork? Good, thanks.
I sent out the paperwork almost a month ago, paying to have it sent express mail so they'd receive it ASAP. They proceeded to send me a bill this month for $425. So much for deferring my loans without penalty. So here I was, sitting on an even MORE expensive bill I couldn't pay with a company who won't work with me other than through paperwork to pay back a loan I never took from them nor wanted to, because the company I went with sold my account to this one. I had no idea what I could possibly say to them to convey that I could in no way afford $425/month if I couldn't afford $420/month, and my confusion for why it's become more expensive now AND what is my status on all that paperwork I just paid to have sent to them anyway.
So I went to check the mail as a last ditch effort to see if anything had changed. I had received a letter from them this week after all. I had no idea what to expect from it, I was certain I was going to be turned down because I couldn't send my tax information from last year because I no longer have it. I had to send my pay check stubs which make it seem like I make more money/month than I actually do.
Imagine my intense surprise, relief, and joy when I learned they'd approved me. I now owe them whatever I can afford to pay. I'm so grateful that this happened, because I was absolutely certain I wasn't going to be approved. Thank God! Now I'm going to celebrate by paying off the other bills I owe and have been sitting on with worry over Sallie Mae. Being an adult is 'awesome'.