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How Can I Go Back to College When I’m Behind on My Loans?

By on March 10, 2016

Question:

Dear Steve,

I never fully understood the who applying to college process when I was in high school. My guidance counselor basically told me apply to a college, use grants and scholarships and if your unlucky use your guardians/parents and/or loans. I didn’t even know how to find the college for me or apply.

I was born in America but my parents were born and raised in a different country that got a green card to live in USA. I basically only had my mother and she just wanted me to go straight to college after high school. She didn’t know the process either.

I didn’t even know what I wanted to become. But somehow through an amazing teacher in my high school I got accepted to a university that I would never have been accepted without his help. I got grants and scholarships.

Everything was great but I still had tuitions left over. So I took loans in my name. I went to college and sadly I just picked a random major that I was not really motivated to pursue. I was glad I was the first one in my family to go to college but honestly I was not ready for it.

In the beginning of my third year I made a mistake that was too late to correct. I couldn’t get financial aid. I couldn’t pay the school so I couldn’t register for class. I had to wait until next semester. So I took leave of absence for that semester.

I’m a shame to say I have not gone back. I don’t think I ever believed I wanted to go back. I just got a decent job that help me finish pay my debt (from collection), my bills and some of my loans in payments. But now almost six years later, I’m fighting to get back into school. I earned some money, built my credit, tested some career choice and learned to be an adult with ambition.

I thought I was lucky because I was still enrolled in the school. I looked at the tuition and got a second job to pay just for school. However I had a delinquent account. Somehow I had around $9,000 that I stilled owed the school. I feel stupid because I had no idea because if I did I would just add another loan. I finally found out the major I wanted to pursue but couldn’t.

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So I tried to apply to a private student loan. I almost got full acceptance but then found out that the bank cannot give me the loan because my account was over six months. It seems that there are MANY student loans with the same restriction. My next move was to get a personal loan but they had rules too. I could not apply for a personal loan if its for postsecondary education.

At this moment I’m stuck. I want to further my education but I have no idea what to do.

Is there anyway to get a student loan for an account thats over six months old? Or at least over five years old? For around the amount of 9k?

Missy

Answer:

Dear Missy,

It’s not clear if your debt is to the school or an old delinquent student loans. Regardless, the best people to speak with regarding options for overcoming this hurdle are going to be in the school financial aid office. Their job is to help people solve funding issues to close the deal.

If these were federal student loans it would be easy to rehabilitate or consolidate the loans and become eligible again for more federal student loans. See this guide. If the loans are not yet 270 days past due, and are feral loans, you have a couple of weeks left before they go into default.

If these are private student loans, the only help would be to talk to the private lender about bringing the loans current.

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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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