A collection agency is demanding more than I originally borrowed!

30-Year-Old Student Loan

by Steve Rhode

Dear Steve,
I currently have a student loan that is 27 years old. I was 17 years old when I was offered this loan, and really unaware of the rate of interest, penalties, etc. I divorced from my husband at the age of 19 (due to the fact that he was physically abusive). In the divorce decree, it was ordered that he pay child support for my two children and half of my student loan.

The initial loan was for $5,000, and I just received a bill from Coastal Collections, requesting immediate payment in the amount of $22,000! I actually offered them the full principal amount of $5,000, and they counter-offered at $17,000. I am unemployed, have guardianship of my three grandchildren, and am starting an eBay business (struggling to keep our heads above water).

Long story short, they refused my payment and have been harassing me and my family. Can this debt be forgiven after 27 years? If not, is there any way that I can pay just my half of the original loan or even make an offer and compromise? I realize that this is my debt. It has been given to so many collection agencies over the years that every time I make contact with the new agency, I get a different story and more grief. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

The Answer:

Dear Dawn,
Was this a government backed student loan? I believe it may be since the statute of limitations would most likely have expired on a private student loan long ago.

I would suggest you look into the Income Based Repayment Program to get your student loan payment down to as low as $0. The monthly payment will be based on your income and circumstances, and it sounds as if you qualify. If you pursue this option and it is granted, it will go a long way towards making this a less stressful situation for you since you'll be out of collections.

Source: My Student Loan

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is an experienced debt expert who assist consumers for free to find good solutions for bad debt. He sells no products or services, just provides free assistance through his site at GetOutOfDebt.org.

Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here

Debt Book
Stay Connected with TDS

Do you struggle to get ahead financially?

Surviving Tough Times is a weekly newsletter aimed at helping you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.

Debt Checklist

And get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble?
A Simple Checklist and What You Can Do About It
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book