Debt Articles

My Banker Said My Federal Student Loans Could Be Settled

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Trying to settle a student loan that is 20 years old and fell behind with going through a divorce and also a major decrease in my salary.

Currently furloughed as a dental hygienist and will start back to work next week. Have been routed to many different numbers that all go back to someone named Ericka and her manager names Kristen Noonan.

I have emailed NYS for help and also the IRS, as in 2016,17 & 18, tax money went towards my balance.

Today I sat across front my financial helper at my bank who was dumbfounded this company won’t settle this and says he sees student loans being settled all the time.

I have well paid back my original loan and then some but most of this is accrued interest when I was in a bad financial situation.

Can you help advise me on how to settle a debt with American Student Assistance?

Discretionary Compromise is not in these ladies (Ericka and Kristen’s) vocabulary

Thank you in advance!!

Deena

Answer:

Dear Deena,

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Since your tax refunds were intercepted that is a strong clue these are federal student loans. The person at the bank that you spoke with seems to be not clearly informed, federal student loans don’t settle except for a very small amount that grows during default.

The key to avoiding having your tax refunds intercepted is to adjust with withholdings so you don’t get a refund at the end of the year. This will put more money in your pocket each month.

Since these appear to be federal student loans and are in default, and it does not seem you have ever rehabilitated your loans, you should investigate how to do that. Click here for information.

Once your loans are brought out of default you may then want to consider an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan to get the payment as low as possible. Click here.

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These IDR plans are not perfect. They all hope that after meeting the criteria that the loans will be forgiven.

If I had a magic wand I would turn the clock back to 2015 and have you on the right repayment strategy back then.

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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.

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