Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

Should I Make Partial Payments on My Chase Private Student Loans?

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Question:

Dear Steve,

I had a few jobs changes (trying to better my career). Finally got the job I had studied for (immense amount of student loan debt). $11k in credit cards, and about 9k in (2) loans.

During that time I was also selling a house (sold at a loss). Renting (double living expenses – living off credit cards.) I have started to pay down and I’m on a debt management program etc. I had been making payments but not full payments to a private student loan by chase – an unsecured student loan received prior to 2008. I went to get caught up on some full payments when I figured out that my loans with Chase had defaulted into charge off status.

I am current with everything else and was just starting to look toward the future and now I have a looming $35k chargeoff debt with no hope of settlement at $25k. What can I do?

I’ve consulted a lawyer but I don’t believe bankruptcy is the answer because all of my debt is in the form of student loan besides my credit cards and car payment. Which I am managing and doing better with now?

Can I offer the company a more manageable monthly payment plan for myself? Can I offer a significantly less settlement I think I can afford? I wanted to ask a lawyer about this but he wants to charge $500 for the consult…UMM HELLO!!! Does he think I have $500 just laying around? What is the bet course of action? Should I send a few good faith payments to figure out a next step? I don’t want to restart the statue clock? Any helpful hints are much appreciated.

What is the bet course of action? Should I send a few good faith payments to figure out a next step? I don’t want to restart the statue clock? Any helpful hints are much appreciated.

J

Answer:

Dear J,

Unfortunately “good faith” payments are meaningless and worthless. I sure hope your debt management company explained to you that private student loan payments are a priority and should be made along with all your other priority debts, first.

Making partial payments on a student loan, without a mutually agreed plan in place is just throwing your money away.

So you are now left in a bad spot. You can certainly attempt to negotiate with Chase but what experience do you even have to know if you are getting a good deal or not? You really need an experienced expert by your side to help you. And good professionals charge fees. That attorney you found might be the right person to help.

Debt help is often a lot like the slogan about justice, “People Get as Much Justice as They Can Afford.”

I’m also concerned about your statement that you are now doing better with your credit card debt. While you might be making those payments, it is clear you are not doing better with your overall debt. A partial win is still a total failure.

Honestly, the best course of action is an overall plan of action to address your total situation than a piecemeal approach.

That plan might involve the strategic use of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get you back on track and buy you some time to recover. Or it might involve the use a an attorney to defend you against a possible suit by Chase. Settlements are often negotiated as part of the suit defense.

Here is what I can guarantee, unless you have an overall plan, the time and money yo are investing now is worthless. Go back and ask your debt management provider to help you with a solution for all your debt or find an experienced debt coach or attorney who can guide you.

As part of the review of your situation, the expert you select should review what your private student loans were used for. See These Private Student Loans Can Be Easily Discharged in Bankruptcy to better understand why where you went to school and how you got the funds is important.


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