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Can I Just Start College Over and Forget My Old Transcript?

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

I went to the Art Institute as soon as I graduated high school, I had financial issues there. They said I was behind 7 payments with the school (but even until this day that doesn’t make any sense to me, because if I was behind even one I should have been notified.) so they said I had to leave by a certain date if I don’t get in a large amount of money. this was in 2010-2011 when it all happened.

So I’m now 23 and ready to go back to school but the local school I would like to attend won’t accept me without my final transcript from the old college and still won’t be able to receive financial aid.

So my question is very similar to the other lady, can I just start over as if I didn’t attend college at all even with the money I owe my old college and NelNet which is a student loan as well? All I want to do is go back to school.


Dear Denise,

There is nothing that prevents you from just starting from scratch and forgetting about trying to get the old transcript. The old school is going to hang on to it till they get paid.

But you’ll still have to deal with the old student loan debt which is still hanging out there. That is a separate issue you will need to address. But now that it has been since 2010 and you probably have not made any payments on the private student loan since way back then you will need to talk to a local attorney about the statute of limitations in your state. In some states it is as little as three years. If the time has passed then the old lender can’t sue you over the old debt.

However, you poor payment performance may hinder your ability to get more private student loans.

READ  DeVry University Says I Owe Money on an Educard and Won't Give Me My Transcript So I Can Go back to School. - Tonya

My advice would be to head back to school with as many grants, scholarships and reduced tuition programs as you can to avoid more student loan debt. Take a look at your local community college which probably offers the lowest tuition rates around. Think about doing your first two years there before you head off to a more expensive school.

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

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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.


  • Hi Steve ,
    I am in the same predicament as the person above and would like to just start over because I would only be leaving behind 13 credits . I am afraid of applying to this new school and getting caught in a lie of never having attended college previously . They have something called the National Student Clearinghouse that they use to check to see if a student has attended college before . I would like to know if you know anything about that .

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