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Help Deciding How to Proceed

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Aphrael View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26/August/2018 at 7:02pm
Hi, all :) 

I need assistance figuring out how to approach my student loans from 2004. From the best of my knowledge I have 2 - one for just over $7,000 and one for just over $8,000.

Let me explain some backstory to give some context...

At the time I went to school I had severe mental health issues (C-PTSD/trauma issues) and had just aged out of care completely on my own. Me being interested in design, I saw an ad for MacTech Distance Education somewhere...they made it sound fantastic. Like I would graduate out ready to work even though it was a home study program, which was perfect for me because of my issues.

For anyone who recognizes that name, it's the school in Cape Breton, NS, that was literally closed and apparently "had the worst rate of student loan repayment in the country." Well, there was a good reason for that: the course was basic to the point that it would probably qualify to be on Udemy for $14.99 if listed today. It was a bad choice, but I was completely alone at the time and didn't really know any better.

(https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/mactech-distance-education-closing-1.3338651)

Fast forward to 2004. I graduated and within a year, my MH issues had become so severe that I was not only not working, I was completely unable to leave my house at points. I was initially in Interest Relief.

That was fine until around six months after the last time I sent in my files by fax...they told me that they had no record of my files being recieved, and thus, I had been in default for six months. I never got a call, a letter, nothing. Because I was in default, I couldn't even get OUT of default and back on Interest Relief.

The problem at the time was I was making $450 a month on disability boarding with someone. They tried to push me to pay $50, but I would have literally starved....so I just let it go. To be completely honest, I ignored it because there was nothing I could do and I was too sick to even handle it anyway.

Over the years, my mental health became worse and I began suffering from physical health issues, too. I remained on disability until just this year, mostly on welfare and/or under the care of my partner.

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Make no mistake, I am still sick...my mental health issues have vastly recovered to the point where I would consider myself rather "well," but I continue to struggle with protracted physical health issues that limit my ability to work outside of the home.

However, I HAVE been able to find work and make a go of working inside my home.

Over the course 2018, I have successfully been able to use one of my god-given talents (writing) to launch a career as a freelance writer/copywriter. I have been relatively successful; in fact, I'm making more now than I ever did, even when I did work B&M jobs.

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Which brings me to the next question...

I'm now at a point where I need to decide what the heck to do about my defaulted student loans. I do recieve letters about at least one of them; they want me to pay $500 a month which is absolutely out of the question. Any research I've done seems to suggest that they determine 20 or 30 percent of your income to be "affordable" which is...my god, there is just no way to afford that much.

I did some digging and it seems I have a few options...

1. Offer to start making payments for the $500, risk losing my mortgage (hey, it's a trailer, and it's in my wife's name, but it's actually cheaper than renting here in NS) and starving.
2. Continue to ignore the loans and hope they magically disappear (please note sarcasm)
3. ??????

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As of next year, it will officially be 15 years since I graduated and I have never made a single payment in my life. I am in no way saying I *don't* want to pay my loans; in fact, I am actively trying to improve my credit with a few snafus along the way.

I'm at CK score of 623 now with a couple of actual credit cards and no more collections on record...except for this student loan. I would love to pay it off but $500 is just astronomical to me.

However, I'm not sure if it is even in my interest to try and seek out information or make payments at this time. I'm in NS, so there is no limitation...but they say you're never supposed to have to take more than 15 years to pay it off. Does that mean it would drop off next year? That seems wrong. 

I am extremely sorry for how long this went. I guess, the TL;DR is I need advice on how to proceed and step up to be a responsible financial citizen now that I am able....without trashing my life in the process ;)

TIA <3


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/August/2018 at 6:16pm
Depending what province your loans were from, your loans may be statute barred... DO NOT WRITE OR CONTACT any lenders until you get professional advice. Writing to them may be considered acknowledgement of the debt.


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Mark O'Meara

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Aphrael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aphrael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/August/2018 at 10:19am
Hi. Mark!

Thanks, I'll take a look. Unfortunately, I live in Nova Scotia, and I believe we're one of the few provinces that do not have statute barred student loans :( I would love to find out I'm wrong, though!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29/August/2018 at 11:54am
I would suggest talking to John at Solvestudentdebt.com   He would be knowledgable in this area.  He charges fees but they are reasonable and he has the knowledge...

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Mark O'Meara

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aphrael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/September/2018 at 11:20am
So sorry I missed your post. Great idea, I'll reach out :)
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