Sallie Mae Walks Back Student Loan Forbearance Policy [NEWS]
After becoming the target of a petition on Change.org, education financer Sallie Mae has altered its controversial forbearance policy for student loans.
“We have been giving careful consideration to our policy for some time, and we are changing it to apply the good-faith payment to the customers’ balance after they resume a track record of on-time payments,” Patricia Christel, a spokesperson for Sallie Mae, told Brazen Life in an email.
Previously, when recent grad (or not-so-recent; we know how long those loans last!) took advantage of forbearance — which allows you to suspend or reduce your student loan payments under certain circumstances and for up to one year at a time — it required a fee of $50. Now that fee will go toward the payee’s balance.
The change will be retroactive to private loan forbearances granted on or after Jan. 1. Christel did not respond to a question about how the new policy would affect Stef Gray, the recent college grad who started the petition.
A previous Brazen Life post covered Gray’s motivation to launch the petition:
“I refuse to borrow $300 (for the fees) from friends and family … just to line Sallie Mae’s pockets,” said Gray, who received her M.A. in Geography from Hunter College this past May.
After graduation and a short stint as a temp, Gray found herself staring at mounds of private student loans. With no full-time job or cosigners (her parents passed away before she went to college), Gray chose to go into forbearance on her Sallie Mae loans — an arrangement that permits her to suspend payments, though the loan still accrues interest.
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