I have other bills I must pay to survive, so I’ll just ignore this one

Here is a scenario I get from time to time that makes you sad because it could be so easily avoided.  A person calls in they are 200 days delinquent.  You are talking to them about their options and they proceed to tell you that they have all these credit cards, high rent, medical bills, etc. and because as they say “when you are choosing between food and loans you have to eat.”

While I understand here is where it gets sad.  They are calling because you are sending them information telling them they are in danger of default and having things such as wage and tax return garnishment coming.  But when you look  they have yet to use a single day of their General Forbearance time.  Basically when they saw they couldn’t pay they just stuck their head in the sand and decided if they couldn’t pay it, they would simply ignore it.

This is a horrible idea.  If your loans are federally backed you have options.  You have at a minimum three years of General Forbearance to use.  In addition, depending on your situation you may be able to qualify for another forbearance, deferment, or payment plan based on your income.  But the least you can do is call and find out your options.  Worst case scenario is you qualify  for no options (after your General Forbearance time is done) and you are in the same place you are ignoring it.  But just ignoring it without checking on options will cause you negative credit consequences and can lead to much much worse things down the road.

The lesson:  whenever bad things are happening or on the horizon, contact your servicer.  We are always here to help and if there is an option we can help you with, we will do whatever in our power to do so.