in around 1985 I made the mistake of taking out a student loan while living in texas ( I am currently in Nebraska).
the loan was only for $2500. I did not graduate, left the state, and went on with my life which included divorce, remarrying, college again, (this time I did graduate) followed by another divorce, and unemplyment.
This student loan has haunted me, but I was never in good enough financial condition to even think about paying it ( usually it was all I could do to keep the utilitys on).
Now however, I have had an ok job, though I am still under poverty level ( 7-10K a year) , and a single mom.
The last time I received a statement about this defaulted loan, a few years ago, the balance was over 7 thousand, 2500 principle, 2500 interest, and the rest a charge to the collection agency!
This seemed outrageous, besides the fact that I didn't have 7 dollars to spare, let alone 7 grand.
However, like I said, I finally have a job that allows me to barely make ends meet. But last week I recieved my paycheck with a copy of a garnishment "order" that my employer had recieved last month, and 15 percent of my 'disposable' pay gone.
The "order" has my balance at $8,100. It does not break down how much is principal, intereste, etc.
I also never received any order to appear in a court, or any advanced notice of any kind. I didn't know about it until after the first garnishment.
My pay also varys greatly as I work 'as needed', so I may go for a couple of months without any hours.
Now I wouldn't mind paying towards the principal, and a fair amount of interest, just to get this thing off my back, but several thousand dollars just for the collectors? That's the part that irks me.
I did call two lawyers who basically told me I was SOL, and actually lucky it is only 15%. Is there ANYTHING I can do? Is there anyway to reduce the balance, or just get out of it for long enough to give me leverage to negotiate a lesser amount?
Thank you for your help.