Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Student Loan Related

My Old Student Loans are Holding Me Down. – Sharon

“Dear Steve,

I took a quick, 9 month accounting course back in 1998, but through lack of employment, and neglect. the student loan for which I took to pay for the course has been in default for most of the past 11 years. After completing the course in which I maintained a 4.0 gpa, I was only able to achieve employment making less than $7.00 per hour. I was married, raising 3 kids and was struggling financially, soon became divorved, which put an even further strain on me financially, I lost my job, got into a bad relationship, ( which I am finally out of ) lost a brother, lost my father. I have been under a great deal of mental stress, financial stress and at this time in my life I have nothing to my name. My kids are grown, I am unemployed, struggling to find a job, which is not so easy these days, especially for a 48 year old woman who doesn’t have much job experience or training. I have tried to go back to school to get some kind of training so I can support myself properly, but have no money, and have been refused any more funding because of the previous student loan that has been in default for so long.

I need to get this student loan taken care of somehow so that I can get the training I need before I get too much older.

I need help desperately, and I just don’t know what I’m going to do.

Can you help me find a way to have the defaulted student loan of so long taken care of so that I can get the education and taining I need in order to be able to support myself at 48 years old?


Dear Sharon,

I really need more information about this old loan to advise you. It is important for me to know more about the loan. Was it a loan only from the school, a private lender student loan or a government backed student loan?

READ  I Can Afford to Pay My Private Student Loan But the Lender Won't Let Me

Please update me with your answers by posting your response in the comments section of your question.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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.


  • Steve – no one is eligible for IBR if they are already in default. Most people were in default before the summer of 2009. You have to first come up with tons of money to get out of default! And no they don’t work with you – not the collectors, the ombudsmans or anyone else. They seem to think they can get blood from a turnip. You can be homeless have nothing – and they still won’t work with you. Because the debt collectors do not want to let the cases go and lose potential money. I documented everything to the ombudsman – they still hounded my employer to esentially I was fired – at a minimum wage part time job – and given the economy – it is next to impossible to find another job. If I was a youngster I could join the military. But I am almost 60. Keep in mind the government will come after their money when your 80 in the nursing home – from SSI or social security. I repeat the government has to allow those already in default to be on the IBR program easily. According to the IBR charts I should be paying zero – but they won’t allow it.

  • i have the same problem that sharon has and made the calls and there is no quit fix i have 2 loans gov backed and they want to much i have not worked in a year i am at a dead end tell me something plz

  • If your loan is in default they will not work with you on an IBR or any other government program. You have to come up with all the money or a huge monthly amount before they will discuss IBR. Usually they want about a 1000 upfront and 500 a month – for 9 months and let’s face it most people don’t have it – that is why they aren’t paying in the first place. Doesn’t matter if your homeless or receiving welfare or Snap – until your out of default – NO IBR. This is why this new program really isn’t working for most people. There are plenty of people in this situation right now. According to the IBR – I would be paying zero – but until I can come up with huge amounts of cash – for 9 payments plus interest – no IBR. I am surprised the creator of this board isn’t aware of this.

    It would be great if the government would allow the defaulted borrowers to automatically get into this program.

    There are rehab programs – but they are hard to get – and they still want major money people do not have.

    For instance since Sharon is in default – if she could get an IBR (which she can’t because she is default) – she could make small or zero payments depending on her income – and get new loans to pursue some education to make herself more employable.

    But the government doesn’t allow this.

  • Dear Steve,
    Thank you for answering my question so soon, as I am sure that you can see that my situation is very serious.
    To clarify the type of loan I am in default with, the US Department of Education is the holder of my loan, which I believe is in fact a government backed loan.
    Hopefully this information will help you to find a way to help me!!
    Thank you so much for your time, and please let me know if you need any more information.

    A big hug back at ya!!


    • Sharon,

      That is good news. To rehabilitate the old loan you might want to investigate the IBR, Income Based Repayment option. That can give you a payment you can afford and bring the loan back to a good status so you can go back to school.


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top