Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Some Tips About Upromise and Sallie Mae

by heather

So a few years ago I opened a Upromise account to get a head start on saving for my kids college. It’s somewhat like Ebates. You get a percentage of what you spend online put into an account that you can use to pay off student loans, or pay tuition and other college expenses. There are a few other ways of earning money too. Sometimes there are surveys you can take, you can earn money back on dining, groceries, etc. Originally this money was to be for the kids’ college fund, but then my husband went back to school and had to take out some loans, so I wanted to the money I’ve earned to pay off his loans first. His loan was already linked to the account, but there was not an option online for me to transfer money as payment towards his loan. I called the number listed on the website: 1-888-434-9111 (Whatever you do, do not call that number.)

The person I talked to at Upromise said they had to transfer me to Sallie Mae. Fine.

The second person I talked to said I was not authorized to information related to his account. Fine, talk to him. Why would I be trying to pay off his student loan if I am not his wife? He promptly gave them permission, because that means I’ll take care of it and he doesn’t need to worry about it. After I got back on the phone they transferred me to someone else because they were not authorized to transfer payments.

The third person I talked to was kind of confused and transferred me to someone else. He said that I needed to link the two accounts together before I could do anything and I should try making a payment online. If that had been a possibility I would not have bothered calling.

The fourth person I talked to was also confused and tried to tell me that I couldn’t access the loan information, before changing their mind about it. There is no information that she could give me that I couldn’t access myself from the Sallie Mae website. She transferred me to someone else.

The fifth person I talked to tried to give me all of the same bologna that the other incompetent people gave me, before deciding that I needed to call Upromise. “I did call Upromise, and they transferred me to three other people before you.” “Oh, well just a minute.” She gave me a different number to call. 39 minutes of my life wasted. And guess where the number she gave me sent me?

A Ford dealership. No, I’m pretty sure that they can help me about as much as the fools at Sallie Mae. Later my husband asked me a question about the account. I told him that the people at Sallie Mae were idiots. “Well, at least they are using the money we are paying in interest to provide jobs for the handicapped.”

I went back to the Upromise website and found a different number. 1-800-877-6647. After talking to the guy for a few minutes, he set it up so at the beginning of the next quarter all my money will be transferred over to the student loan, and every quarter when there is a balance of at least $10, that money will be applied to the student loan also. Hallelujah! $689 down, some odd thousand left to go. Why couldn’t I have talked to that guy in the first place?

Lessons learned:

  • Call Sallie Mae at your own peril and only if you are interested in being transferred around in circles and hoping to waste a lot of time.
  • Some customer support numbers listed on websites are better than others. The one that actually spells the name of the company is usually a safe bet.

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