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Are My Student Loans Going to Destroy My Life?

By on February 18, 2015

“Dear Steve,

I was injured at work really bad. (Neck/Back/Shoulder) I missed 2 years of work. I lost everything I owned: House, my business. my boat,motorcycle, work trucks, and property. Everything was gone.It all went to pay bills and just to eat as I had a family of 4.

At almost 40 years old i had to retrain, the injuries where bad enough that i could not longer do my job.

I went to school, paid half myself and borrowed half. I borrowed about $12,000. So then, a few months after starting my first job after finishing school I got hurt again really bad and missed another year of work. (Shattered Heel)

I was not able to even make payments for 3 years after finishing school, at which time I figured I was screwed.

Now it is 19 years later. The last envelope from the Higher Education Student assistance authority I opened was November 12 2013 it said it was my last notice before sending me to collections. So it has been over 7.5 years since the loan.

I can work part time, but am almost finally able to work full time. Finally! I want to fix my credit, and this school loan.

My question is how long will the student loan affect my credit. it had been over 7.5 years. Secondly, what should I do about this student loan? I cannot pay very much, I am broken but getting better. I hope to be able to work full time soon.

Michael”

Dear Michael,

Wow, you must be the poster child for perseverance. Congratulations on getting yourself back up again and trying to do better in the face of adversity.

I think what you might have had was a loan from the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.

If so, this could be a private student loan rather than a federal student loan. To check for sure, visit the National Student Loan Data System and see if there are any federal loans in your name. If not then it is most likely a private loan.

READ  New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’

If you determine this is a private student loan, then the loan may be now so old that it may have expired under the statute of limitations. How long this period is really depends on what state you live in and a number of other factors.

I would urge you to make an appointment with a local attorney who is licensed in the state you live in and get a clear answer if this loan is now older than the statute of limitations. If it is, then the lender cannot sue you anymore over the debt. Although they might try.

The delinquent history of non-payment should have only been reported for seven years from the time you last went delinquent. Based on what you’ve shared it seems the debt should have fallen off your credit report or will soon fall off. The only way to know for certain is for you to pull a copy of your consolidated credit report.

The best way to fix your credit at this point would be to follow my free credit repair guide.

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

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About 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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