Consolidating deliquent student loans
No more instant ramen dinners, Forever 21 jeans and boxed hair dye for me. I used my newfound wealth to go on a long-deferred vacation, to buy a new mattress, to try that amazing restaurant I couldn’t afford to visit before.After all, I’d been ignoring my loans for so long and there hadn’t been any negative consequences so far. Sometimes, I started to feel panicked about my loan situation.Setting up the rehabilitation plan would be too time-consuming. Wouldn’t it be easier to just go on in default for years until it’s paid off, even if I have to live a hand-to-mouth existence until then? However, after two years of wage garnishment and generally avoiding the reality that I did, in fact, owe a substantial amount of money to the government, I decided to get my act together: No more stupid excuses. I went to Washington Square Park on a sunny afternoon, mentally preparing myself. Even though almost ,000 had been withheld from my salary during the last two years, the interest and collection costs that had accrued over the eight years I was either in deferment or default had caused the size of my debt to increase by almost 50 percent.Would I have to call up all three collection agencies and negotiate a new deal with each one? I was going to take responsibility for my poor financial decisions and get out of default. But, it was a massive relief to finally, finally know where I stood.This seemed like a win-win situation, as long as I didn’t worry too much about my credit score.I still had no idea how much exactly I owed, or to whom, but since all of my loans were federal loans, I figured the money would eventually make it to the right people and everything would be paid off in five or six years at most. I was also broke and about ,000 in debt to the U. So, while I tried to figure out what career I wanted to pursue, I went back to serving to pay the rent.
This became glaringly apparent 10 years later, when I received an email from the HR department at my company: We are commanded to immediately remit 15% of your disposable pay to the U. But six months later, the only career-related job I’d found was an unpaid internship at a small literary agency.
I had read online that there were options for people in default. Department of Education’s Debt Collection Service Information Center, whose number was listed on my wage garnishment order.