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Friday, February 3, 2012

Tell Sallie Mae: End the unfair unemployment penalty on student loans

Tell Sallie Mae: End the unfair unemployment penalty on student loans
Sign the Petition
I’m Stef Gray. In December, I started a Change.org petition asking Sallie Mae to stop charging unemployment penalties -- extra fees to jobless people who pause their student loan repayment. (They’ve been charging me $150 every three months, while I’m struggling to buy groceries!)
Sallie Mae didn’t respond -- even after 77,000 people signed the petition.
So yesterday morning, I went to the Sallie Mae office in D.C. to deliver my petition in person. TV cameras were there, and I handed every signature to an exec who wouldn’t even look me in the eye.
Less than 3 hours later, Sallie Mae announced to the press they were changing their policy, and would start applying these fees towards borrowers’ loans instead of just pocketing the cash for extra profits.
I’m psyched that bringing the fight to Sallie Mae forced them to start paying attention, but this policy change isn’t nearly enough. Sallie Mae is still asking me (and unemployed and underemployed grads like me) to fork over money we just don’t have.
- Stef Gray

P.S. The first phone call I got after hearing about Sallie Mae’s decision to change their fee policy was from the New York Times -- and I’m a New Yorker, so getting covered by the Times is a huge thrill. After you sign my petition, check out the awesome story published in today’s paper:

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