I joined the Army three years ago to serve as a nurse and was assigned to work on the Wounded Warrior unit. For more than two years, I took care of the brave men and women recovering from grave injuries in combat abroad.
I've loved almost every minute of it -- so much, in fact, that I signed up for another four years of service, and the quality of my work led to my being selected to work on the Intensive Care Unit.
Here's the part I haven't loved: dealing with Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae services my federal loans, and when I sought a deferment for my time on active duty, it was immediately granted. But I also took out private student loans through Sallie Mae, and trying to get them deferred has been a nightmare.
They say they can't defer my private loans for more than three years -- even though I'll be serving for four more years. The federal government realizes how important it is for active duty military to get a break from paying their student loans. Why doesn't Sallie Mae?
I call Sallie Mae so frequently that they are on my speed dial list. Every time I call, I speak with a different agent or supervisor. Every time I ask questions about my deferments, I receive a different answer.
I wish I could say that I was the only member of the military who has had to deal with this. But I'm not -- many of my colleagues, the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to serving their country, tell me they're experiencing exactly the same thing. Many of them just give up and agree to Sallie Mae's terms.
I just want Sallie Mae to treat military service members the same as the Federal Government. Give us deferments that span the time of our service in the military and help ease the stress of payments while we serve our country.