In case you’re going through the same thing, private student loan debt blows. Current students, beware private student loans, my advice don’t do it.

Sometimes, you may only have your voice to get you to the next step, so here’s mine. I hope it helps any of us going through this to get some decent answers.

I know that my education was one of the steps in where I am today. But, was it worth it? What path would I have taken without it? If I were propesctive student today, I would be very wary. If you do, my advice as an alumni with two degrees is – do not take any private loans – unless of course you are planning on leaving the country. That’s the majority of the advice I’ve received (and from a lawyer that I spoke with today), wtf U.S. of A.? I will get past this, I will figure something out, I am determined to. But, if you know something that I should, please tell me! (You can also email me here at cashish at tippytippens dot com if you prefer)

I know I’m not the only one and I know it’s embarrassing and so stressful. I never thought I would be here, I’ve been paying them off since 2005. So, I am writing this for all of us & I hope that it helps gets some answers & collectively we could be less bullied and harrassed while trying to pay off our weighty debt in a shitty economy. Please let’s make this clear, I’m not trying to get out of my student debt, I am only trying to pay them at a human rate.

So – this link is the best I have at this point, thanks bills.com: check it out if you’re in need of help too & trying to figure out what the hell to do.

Background:

Unfortunately, my student loans were on the graduated repayment plan & monthly payments grew to $800 right at the time I was starting a new business. I was able to put my federal loans in income based deferment eventually, but the private loans won’t do anything. ANYTHING. My private loans were also purchased three times from my original lender (citibank) to new ‘lenders’ and landed most recently at Discover Student Loans. A couple of months ago, I spoke again with one of the employees at Discover (a different person each time, different info each time) she told me to call back in several weeks. I did so & found that my loans had been ‘charged off’ in the meantime despite 9 months left of forbearance.

I requested to get them back from collections and into forbearance, this was denied. *Also, during one of these calls, Discover wanted me to pay them $2500 that day, after talking with two people on the phone for over an hour, he looked again & saw that my loans had already been discharged. Where would that money have gone?

Now, I have debt collectors after me, for a total of $25,000. Payment due immediately. One collector (Williams & Fudge for United Guaranty) has allowed me to request my original promissory notes thank goodness. *This was possible due to their knowledge of one collecting company holding on to debts that should have been discharged, but still seeking collection – really? This person was kind of enough to put my account on hold during the time that it takes to retrieve them to ensure that I wouldn’t be double collected upon. In the meantime, I was advised to find a lender, possibly credit union to negotiate the total due for a lump sum payment or to negotiate monthly payments at 4 years in the meantime.

HOWEVER, The second was not informative in the least and only bullied me from the start (Sunrise Credit Services for Arrowood Indemnity), I was informed by this person that she was my assigned agent & that I had 3 days to give $12,000 until my assets would be under investigation. She flippantly advised me to charge it to my credit card. I requested another agent & she told me I was stuck with her, after an hour on the phone going in circles for her sake of covering her company’s ass on the recorded call, I requested to have another agent assigned to me. Fingers crossed for tomorrow that will go through & that person will be more helpful.

Also, I tried to find a lawyer to help advise me. None of them want to take your case because they say the cases stretch out and besides the reason you’re in default is because you don’t have any money, so, they won’t make any money off of you & it’s just not worth it. The one that I spoke to today basically went on a personal rate about the size of the federal gov’t and advised that I should best leave the country so that they can’t track me down anymore.

Background 2:

In 2005, I graduated from Pratt Institute with a grad degree in Industrial Design. At the time in NYC, the economy completely sucked post 9-11. It was incredible, with my new $90,000 degree, jobs from Pratt’s career center paid me $8/hr less than I got paid before I went to grad school. I felt very lucky after several months to get a good job with the Kohler Company & was able to pay off my credit card debt accumulated while in school/broke afterwards and could pay my student loans every month A-OK. I worked there for 3 years and also saved some money, also a good thing. After about 3 years for various personal reasons which we could discuss in private someday, I decided to leave for freelancing and consulting. In doing so, I moved to Virginia and then again to NYC to do so. Unfortunately, then the economy dropped out (2008) everything locked up and making a decent living became really difficult.

Fast forward a couple of years later, post BP Spill and I have since started a business dedicated to helping raise funding and knowledge for our most pressing social and environmental needs. My company, Matter Inc., has donated $18,000 to GRN & IBRRC for their continued work for restoration post BP oil spill disaster. Matter is growing and has so many good ideas in the pipeline ready to help the next social & environmental needs. We just need to get past this student debt hump and on to the next things.

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