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How Can I Stop the Nightmare Abuse From Student Loan Collectors?

By on September 25, 2018

Question:

Dear Steve,

I borrowed around 100k to go to college, as I did not have a choice in borrowing, only in how much and if I needed to borrow 70k for SUNY school than why not 100k for private.

That was in 2007 before the recession. I am now turning 30. I owe 175+k. I have been paying on time, between 600 and 1000 a month, since 2012. I have been medically treated for depression and anxiety that is a direct result of the abuse and harassment I have faced at the hands of Navient, formerly Sallie Mae.

In December of 2017, I was left with no choice but to stop paying them. I was unemployed and destitute. Additionally, they “advised” me, more like emotionally manipulated me into putting my loans on credit cards, so I am in 20k of credit card debt as well.

I recently found employment within the past 6 weeks and they have already begun to send notices to my new place of employment and contact various family members multiple times asking for my phone number (I was forced to change it as they called me upwards of a dozen times daily).

How can I stop the harassment and emotional abuse I am suffering?

Will I find better options or help if they sue me since NY has such a long stature of limitations?
I believe they have violated my rights and caused irreparable harm to my financial and emotional wellbeing and livelihood, how can I go about seeking damages or even reporting their abuse?

Is there any hope to this nightmare ending?

Kim

Answer:

Dear Kim,

I have no doubt this has felt like a personal attack and has exacerbated your depression and anxiety.

From an outside point of view, I have the luxury of not being personally involved in the situation and can offer an alternative point of view. My opinion should in no way be a comment on how you are feeling because of the situation.

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I do have to take an exception to your initial statement that you had no choice but to borrow. It’s a lesson I hope many can learn from your misfortune. There are options to avoid borrowing. For example, find a less expensive school to attend like starting at a community college. Some people even need to consider if it makes financial sense to pay for a degree that will only return X income. A classic cost vs. benefit analysis.

It is clear you feel victimized by the outcome. And it is clear it is causing you great emotional pain. What is also clear, from an outside perspective is that we can only allow ourselves to be victimized by feeling like a victim. I’m not discounting how you feel at all.

What I am suggesting is that if it is at all possible, taking charge, doing your research like you are doing, and understanding what the logical course is, helps to diminish those feeling of being an out of control victim. I want you to stand up and take charge instead of letting this all feel like it is raining down on you.

Collectors are good at getting people to do what they want because they practice at it all day long. It doesn’t make them bad people. It just makes them better at collections than the person who is the subject of the calls and emotionally sensitive.

The best outcome to end this nightmare is to get you to a place where you accept what the facts are, you recognize what is logically and not emotionally possible, and you accept and live with that.

Tell friends and family members if they get a call from someone who is looking for you to disregard it. You are dealing with it. Take the emotional power away from the collector to embarrass you.

If you can’t afford the credit cards then bankruptcy may be the least expensive and fastest way out of that debt. That would free up some room to make room for student loan payments.

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But I think you have some issues you should discuss with an attorney licensed in New York. You need some facts before you leap to make assumptions about what the future of dealing with these loans is going to be.

I would suggest you contact attorney Jay Fleischman or Austin Smith.

This situation is not going away with hopelessness, a feeling of being a victim, or inaction. I would approach this by getting your mental health on a good footing to weather the storm and getting some professional legal advice about what your options are under New York law.

And one of those options may be to not pay what you can’t afford and manage the consequences. This story has not had the ending written yet. There is light ahead but your current vision of the future is clouded by how you emotionally feel about the situation. Our feelings are real, but not reality.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

One Comment

  1. Kim

    September 25, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Question asked

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