It is not uncommon for families to implement a private education loan into their approach to paying for college. For some families this form of payment is the only option. So imagine the anxiety that quickly ensues when they receive a denial notification verses an approval notice on their recent loan application. The good news is that many lenders have an appeal process. The bad news is that the process takes time and most families like to get this type of situation resolved ASAP.
Since Sallie Mae is one of the largest education lenders in the nation, I thought that it would be a good idea to share with our CheapScholar.org readers the best way to appeal their Smart Option Student Loan if you are one of the unlucky ones that gets denied on your application due to an adverse credit history.
Although Sallie Mae is sometimes portrayed in the media as being a 500lb heartless gorilla in the education loan sector, the truth of the matter is that they actually do try to help their borrowers and are willing to listen to your story as to why your credit history may not be as stellar as you had hoped. I recently talked with Joe Fries, a long-standing representative with Sallie Mae, and he was able to share some key information to help walk families through the appeal process.
Some situations that may warrant an appeal of your denied loan application are as follows:
- Temporary credit issues due to divorce
- Disputed credit record based upon a billing error
- Natural disasters: Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc..
- Medical emergencies
- Temporary loss of job
If your Sallie Mae loan is denied and you think that you have a compelling story to overturn that decision, the following are the steps that you want to take right away:
- Contact the Sallie Mae Appeal Hotline at (800) 695-3317 (There is no form to fill out and all appeals are initiated via this phone number)
- Talk with the representative and share your story. If they deem it a plausible explanation, they will pass your information onto the credit department for further review.
- It is possible that Sallie Mae will ask you to provide 3rd party documentation to help support your claims. If this is the case, you will can send that information to them via one of the following methods:
- Fax: (888) 777-7562
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail: Sallie Mae P.O. Box 9435 Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9435
- Overnight Mail: Sallie Mae 220 Lasley Ave Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706
- Now you just wait… Depending on the workload being experienced by Sallie Mae, it could take up to a week for your case to be reviewed and a decision made by the credit reconsideration team.
- If all of the above fails, then it is probably time to start looking for another co-signer to help make the loan happen. Sallie Mae does currently have a co-signer release option that could allow the co-signer to be released from the loan 12 months after the student graduates (however…underwriting requirements must be met in order for this to happen).
I hope that you found this information useful. If you think this article would benefit someone else, please feel free to utilize the “share tab” below to pass it along.