Usually, consolidation is a faster way to get out of students debt than a reasonable and affordable payment plan. Once you go through the application process and get a direct Consolidation Loan, you will immediately be taken out of default status. You will stay this way as long as you keep making payments.
Although student loans are not secured debt, and therefore you will not lose your home or car if you dont pay them, they are also different from most other unsecured debts. If you dont pay your student loans, you wont be able toget additional student loans or grants in the future. In addition you will be subjected to a number of special debt collection tactics that only the government can use.
These government collection tools can have very severe consequences.
First, the government can charge you collection fees, often far in excess of the amount you originally borrowed. Second, unlike almost every other kind of debt imaginable, there is no statute of limitations for collection of student loans. This means that every 20-30 years after you went to school, the government can continue to try to collect your loans.
If you dont pay your student loans, the government can also:
- seize your income tax refund
- garnish a certain percentage of your disposable income
- attach some federal benefits that are usually exempt for collection, such as Social Security income
If you get notice of a wage garnishment or tax intercept, you have the right to challenge it by requesting a hearing.
Sometimes just the act of requesting a hearing prompts the collector to agree to a payment plan. if you can pay a small amount, you should consider the various affordable payments plan that can get you out of default.
The department of Educations student loan assists borrowers with student loan problems.
If you are having problems making your student loan payments because you have a low income you may be able to get help from your local legal aid or legal services office.