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Student debts can be difficult to pay off, but there are ways to stop collection efforts. One way is to send a formal request to stop phone calls and mail from a collection agency. This request stops phone calls and mail, but it doesn’t prevent the loan holder from transferring your account or filing a lawsuit. In addition, you can try to get a silent phone to give you peace of mind.
Unwieldy collection system
There is a growing concern among advocacy groups that the Trump administration is mismanaging the student debt collection system. With thousands of borrowers facing the prospect of missing paychecks or being denied pay, this is a significant problem. However, the ED is taking action to correct the situation, including erasing debt. One program – the PSLF program – will forgive student loan debt for borrowers who are in public service, are disabled, or were defrauded by predatory for-profit schools.
A new letter from 12 Senate Democrats urging the Education Department to eliminate the use of private collection agencies is aimed at shedding light on the problem. It notes that more than seven million former undergraduates and graduate students have fallen behind on their federal student loans. Meanwhile, taxpayers are footing the bill for millions of dollars in collection fees and commissions. Moreover, this system does little to promote long-term repayment success for borrowers who manage to get out of default. Further, it exacerbates the problems faced by students who dropped out of college or who are people of color.
Costs of collection efforts
Student loan collection efforts can be costly, but there are several options available to minimize the amount you have to pay. One option is to make voluntary payments to the government. However, this is often not practical. If you cannot make voluntary payments, the government can garnish your wages. This is one option, but it’s not a good option. Depending on the method, it can cost you as much as half of what you owe.
Another option is to use a third-party collection agency, which charges a fraction of the amount owed. This approach is also less costly for the taxpayers. Private collection agencies are less expensive than the government, so it makes sense to use them. However, the cost of these services must be justified and the federal government should do everything it can to reduce them.
Depending on your loan type, the Department of Education can charge up to 25 percent in collection fees. However, this percentage can be lower if the loan is consolidated through an educational loan consolidation service.
Steps to avoid collection efforts
If you are in default on your student loans, you must take steps to avoid the collection efforts of your lender. Those efforts are often extremely powerful and can trap you from going back to school. First of all, you must be aware of your rights and be prepared to fight them. Make sure you understand the types of loans you have, how much each one is, and how to get in touch with your loan servicers.
If you have a federal student loan, the federal government has extraordinary powers to collect it. They can garnish your wages without a court order, take a portion of your Social Security payments, or even garnish your tax refund. In addition, there is no time limit on the collection of these loans.
Defaulting on your student loans can be devastating to your credit score and your ability to obtain credit in the future. It can also prevent you from receiving additional student loans or receiving federal aid. Your school can also withhold your transcript until the debt is paid.
Contacting a collection agency
If you’re behind on your student loan payments, you may receive phone calls from a collection agency asking for repayment details. While a debt collector’s goal is to collect a debt, you can stop them from harassing or threatening you. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
You can stop the collection agency from calling you by filing for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal. However, the federal government’s student loan rehabilitation program only works with up-to-date student loans. If you’re more than nine months behind on your payments, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to catch up. Fortunately, the federal government has a repayment assistance program known as Repayment Assistance Plan, which helps people who have fallen behind on their monthly payments. You can also get help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
You should also consider your rights under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which limits debt collectors from making unsolicited calls. If you are in the military, you can use the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to reduce your interest rate on your student loan. Another federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, governs collection agencies and makes sure they follow ethical guidelines. However, if a collection agency contacts you after sending you a letter, it is violating the FDCPA and could result in a lawsuit for damages and legal fees.