I graduated from college with a BFA in photography.
We were taught the usual art b.s. but we weren’t taught any business skills–consequently, I did very well in school but not so well in life.
I paid off 2 of my loans but used deferment/forebearance options frequently over the years due to underemployment.
I became homeless after losing my job and ended up defaulting on my student loans. I didn’t have a way to get mail and simply forgot to call them. When I finally did, I’d been in default for a month. I now live with my boyfriend & work part time making $10/hr. in cash, own nothing–not even a car and don’t have any bills in my name.
The firm that owns my student loans now calls me twice a day–I ignore them. They are the 2nd firm to purchase my loans and each one tacked on an additional $10K to my balance. I now owe $75K. Although I’m 42 years old, I’d like to attend a cosmetology school to obtain new skills so I can embark on a new (real) career.
Obviously I can’t borrow more money but I have been researching scholarships. But according the the federal student loan website, I may not be eligible to receive my college transcripts because of my default status.
I need these transcripts so I can apply for merit-based scholarships so I can repay my student loans! It makes absolutely no sense to me that $20K was tacked onto my balance and that now I may be ineligible for scholarships–both of these scenarios keep me from paying back my loans! In addition, I’m faced with the prospect of not being hired even after I acquire my (cosmetology) license because potential employers might check my credit.
My question is simple: WHAT DO I DO NOW?? Two other facts that may influence any advice given: I’ve been treated for bipolar disorder for 25 years and I can prove I lived in a shelter when I defaulted. So…any ideas?