Will there ever be any organizing done through Debt Collective that targets PRIVATE student loan harrasment?

I make $1400 every two weeks each month.

I owe $1600 each month to Sallie Mae.

My rent is going to be $1200 soon.

My parents are immigrants and are victims of Sallie Mae’s successful predatory methods a decade ago when I wanted to go to an expensive art school (I feel no shame whatsoever in wanting to get an education in something I was and still am passionate about back when I was 21). They cannot assist financially.

Why is it that there is no organizing toward the private sector, in where the tactics used to virtually collect rent from debtors goes completely unregulated? Where’s the pushback?

Please do not tell me to sign a petition asking Joe Biden to do something about it. Him and every other president that will follow him is invested in myself and thousands of others in 100k+ amount of PRIVATE student loan debt remaining in this state of exploitation.

If no one at the Debt Collective is interested in Private Student loans, please can someone direct me toward legitimate organizing dedicated to it instead?


Let me by start out by saying that I do find your story heartbreaking and I think it would be important to collect the experiences of people like this in one place. Private student loan debt IS another example of naked exploitation.

To answer the question as to why the focus of the debt collective is what it is, I would listen to the latest episode of the dig where Astra Taylor summarizes the decision tree that sent the debt collective down the path of federal student loan debt.

The long-term goal is to be able to build the power to win on issues other than student loan debt, however there’s a real question of power. The fact is that the focus is on federal student loan debt because that’s where we have tangible power. We can lean on the president to cancel debts. The cold hard fact on private debt is that short of the overthrow of capitalism, we need electoral power to do anything significant. The system itself is set up for the benefit of private capital and private student loan debt is squarely in that box. Private student loans affect people in professional classes (dentists, doctors, pharmacists etc) as well as graduate students. So there’s people there to reach.

I’m new to the debt collective so I’m not sure who all is in the private debt caucus, but I’m willing to help.


I am with you. I am an RN who put myself through school until I reached a baccalaureate degree. I did so, mainly, as a single mother of two special needs children. My federal funding ran out about halfway through my program when I began to take out loans from Sallie Mae, not realizing how predatory, unreasonable, and protected the loans are. The ones I have all have variable interest rates, so inflation has caused an insanely high interest rate increases. I work full-time with some overtime.

My spouse has MS and I cannot afford what they are asking for. I am currently following the guidance of several organizations, some local. I’m unsure where you live, but contacting one of them may lead you down a road to better understanding the path ahead. CCCS (Consumer Credit Counseling Service) offices are nationwide. They have been wonderful to deal with. EdCapNY specifically provides guidance for student loans, predominantly federal, but also private to a certain extent. You may want to contact them to see what is available locally. Additionally, you can file a complaint against Sallie Mae with the Federal Exchange Commission & the Attorney General for your state.

As far as my personal circumstances go, I have literally turned over my life savings to Sallie Mae TWICE. This has endangered my family, especially given the medical needs involved. When I fell ill and was on leave of absence from work, I notified them. They didn’t help me and, instead, took my credit score from a 750 to a 580 over the course of three months.

I cannot personally advise you, but I would strongly suggest you start getting in touch with reputable organizations that understand the laws surrounding these predatory loans. My current path forward is this - I am not paying Sallie Mae one more damn dime (advised by an attorney). They have already destroyed my credit despite my best efforts. They will then harass me and any person listed as next of kin (they already reached out to an elderly member of my family to find me). I will not respond to them in any way, shape, or form. They will ultimately turn over my “debt” to a collections agency who will then be receiving a cease and desist letter. I plan to be sued by Sallie Mae and I plan to go to court to make my case. Though 90% of cases like this don’t get dismissed/discharged, I have been told that I may be one of the 10% that does and I feel ethically and morally obligated to protect my family as much as possible. I have been told that even if the “debt” isn’t discharged, that the negotiation process mediated by a judge is typically far more reasonable and logical than any that Sallie Mae will ever offer. I hope I was able to help in some small way.

Stay strong. I know how hard this is and I have personally needed to seek mental health assistance for the amount of stress they have caused. Don’t let the bastards bring you down. EVER. They don’t care about you. Their CEO makes nearly $8 million a year while we scrape by. Eff them.

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One other resource for you! Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (consumerfinance.gov)


I am in much the same boat, going under due to a private loan, in effect being punished for working for an education.

There is another group besides the Debt Collective that I just ran across, the Student Borrowers Protection Center. From their website and public statements, this group has similar goals as far as I can tell.

In addition, I think the litigation option should be more thoroughly investigated. (For example, can the doctrine of “promissory estoppel” be applied in a class action against the Dept. of Ed?) I had thought the Debt Collective was exploring this litigation option, since they had sent out an email just after the Supreme Court decision of late June. But I haven’t heard anything in several months, and my queries to the Debt Collective have gone unanswered.

We college graduates earned our degrees; we didn’t buy them.


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