My Student Loan is Almost 30 Years Old and I’m In Collections. – Dawn

“Dear Steve,

I currently have a student loan that is 27 years old. I was 17 years old when I was offerred 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), and in the divorce decree, it was ordered that he pay child support for my two children, and he pay 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 offerred them the full principal amount of $5,000 and they counter-offerred @ $17,000. I am unemployed, have guardianship of my three grandchildren, and am starting an Ebay business. (struggling to keep our heads above water).

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Long story short, they refused my payment, and have been harrassing myself and everyone in 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 comprimise? I realize that this is my debt, and 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.

Sincerely, Dawn”

Dear Dawn,

The most important issue is if this was a government backed student loan, which 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.

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Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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