Looking to dig myself out... School me!
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  1. #1
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    Default Looking to dig myself out... School me!

    First time poster. Looking for some advice before I make any further mistakes.

    Quick summary: I was an international student in the United States and my tuition to a state college here was paid for privately in my home country. During my last semester, a change of circumstances basically left me high and dry and with a $15,000 tab for semester tuition. I had essentially no chance of paying this off, as I was not able to legally work, between visas that allowed me to work. I was able to get odd jobs here and there that were able to pay my rent, food, utilities, but it left literally nothing to pay off any of that debt.

    I didn’t think I had a chance to do anything positive about it, so I just never responded to the University, and then any collection agencies. Not by mail or phone. This has been going on since 2015. I have been uncertain until 2018 that I could stay in the United States, so I also did not want to contribute any money to a debt that might be essentially irrelevant to me if I had to move back home to the other side of the world forever.

    In 2018 my situation has changed, and I am now able to legally work and remain in the US. I probably will be here for the rest of my life. Right now I will make between $75-100k this year before taxes. I want to clean any debt off my record, as it has plagued my credit score (though this does not seem to have been a hindrance at all in my life), and I fear that one day I will be taken to court over it. Also I want to no longer fear unknown numbers on my phone. A peace of mind.

    Recently the current company that has the debt contacted me by mail saying they have reviewed my case and are asking if I will do a payment plan of $100 a month. This sounds like a pretty good offer to me, and I would probably make substantial payments above that, and it would also stop collection activity according to the letter. Again the debt is about $15,000.

    Bear in mind I have not ever had a single contact with a debt collector over this debt in the three years I have had it. I know there's like a 7 year limit or something right, but it’s an education debt from a public university so it wont go away right? Should I take the $100 per month offer? Or is there a better way? Is it realistic I could get sued for this one day? Could I negotiate terms?

    I tried to keep this short and to the point so if there are more details needed please ask. I am a complete novice at this game and any help or guidance will be appreciated. I want to do the right thing, but I want to do it at least somewhat informed.

  2. #2
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    I
    want to clean any debt off my record, as it has plagued my credit score (though this does not seem to have been a hindrance at all in my life)
    Your credit history will become a hindrance when/if you buy a car or a house, banks will not lend new money to you. Remember, officially, you have been borrowing money from lenders and refusing to repay it for over 3 years - you can see why no one will lend to you?
    First, get copies of your credit reports from the 3 credit score companies. That will show you how much you owe and who you owe it to. Some of your loans have probably been purchased by Collection Agencies so you can no longer make payments to your original lender.
    Second, get all agreements in writing, no phone deals.
    Third, I would want to repay more than $100/month, that will barely pay the interest - so your $15,000 loan will stay about the same.
    You are right that student loans cannot be discharged - the Gov't continues to add interest and it ultimately collects by attaching your monthly paychecks - or any tax refunds - or SS pensions.
    But fortunately, $15,000 is not such a big deal for an earner making $75k to $100k. Many young graduates get jobsthat pay only $50,000 and they owe over $100,000 in student loans - those kids will have a tough time. But you, with a large income, can probabaly knock out a $15k loan in less than a year - best wishes to you.

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    Student loan debt is only forgiven if you become permanently and totally disabled by Social Security standards. Being foreign raised, this can be challenging to get a student loan debt forgiven. You won't be Social Security eligible for about 5+ years of US employment. This can be a kind of iffy process even for citizens sometimes...Have to pay attorney for help sometimes...But student loans only go away if you become disabled and then is a lot of hoops to jump through, maybe different depending on source of student loan.

    Second thought, I'm sure you probably owe more on this student loan debt due to interest, penalties and handling fees tacked on there. You can try to call one of the credit reporting bureaus and see if they have a record of you and how much you currently owe...

    Third thought, I WOULD SERIOUS NOT DO AN AUTO WITHDRAWAL OF THE LOAN REPAYMENT DIRECTLY FROM BANK ACCOUNT. IF YOU DO, THE CREDITOR CAN CLEAN OUR YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS IF YOU ARE A FEW DAYS LATE ON PAYING AND YOU ARE IN TROUBLE SO YOU REALLY NEED THAT MONEY FOR FOOD/TRANSPORTATION/UTILITIES. Can try to call and beg if anything goes wrong, but that money will come out of your account even if you cannot pay it and accrue lots of bounce fees with checking account bank too.

    FOURTH, if you get the loan repayment offer, don't bank with the same company either as it can get all of your money cleaned out of other accounts if you are in trouble like just lost job and looking at $1k/month unemployment check to get by...

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