Student Loans

I Walked Out of Community College and They Want Me to Pay

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

So I signed up for a semester at a community college, after about 1 month in I realized it wasn’t for me and stopped attending. I did take out a student loan and currently owe about 3000. They used to call me all the time and I never answered, they also currently send me mail about my balance every month. I checked my credit score months ago and hit my score about 120 points, from them and I am recovering my score and haven’t got hit again. My question is if I don’t pay, will this eventually come off my record and not hit my credit score again, or is this for life?

Will this continue hurting my credit for life or stop?


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Dear Johnny,

If you had withdrawn before the last day to withdraw you would have not owed any balance or a partial one. If you just decided to stop going, that your choice but you are then obligated to pay for the semester if you did not withdraw from.

I would imagine it will hurt your credit score since it will be reported for up to 7.5 years after you defaulted.

This can be mitigated a bit if you focus on building good credit. If your credit history basically ends with the default it will hurt you more. Credit is easy to build. Read this.

If you can update me in the comments I’d like to know if this is a debt owed to the community college or is a federal or private student loan. It makes a difference.

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About the author

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.


  • Moving forward in life it is important to remember that there are procedures which must be adhered to when interacting with others in a contractural capacity. It will never work to a. assume your intent not to proceed or to proceed is obvious based on your actions b. assume that because you determined something wasn’t fair, it is a given and you are absolved from responsibility, and c. believe ignoring a problem will make it cease to exist.

    There is a date by which you must withdraw from a class in order to avoid a financial obligation and also an incomplete which will impact your g.p.a.

    Also, if you received funds from a loan intended for school, where is that money? Did you give it back? Why would you think that was suddenly a gift? It is important as an adult to keep good records, to adhere to dates and deadlines and to fulfill obligations. Protect your name and credit score, these are a tool by which those who do not know you can assess whether or not you are a person of integrity and therefore someone they want to risk doing business with, taking a chance on or lending money to. Your credit score is used to determine rates for loans, to determine the cost of your auto insurance, sometimes to determine whether or not you will get the job. Pay attention. Fix this.

    • Thanks for offering up your advice. I’m always surprised by the number of times I hear from people who didn’t go back to class and surprised they owe the tuition. Knowing and researching the process is great advice.

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