Hi everyone. I'm rehabilitating my student loans after leaving them in default for a few years, and here is the breakdown:
1) US DOE, now in the care of FAMS. This is about $7.2k. I called FAMS, they said pay us 625 up front, and then $100 a month for the next 9 months. I agreed, I've paid the 625, and my first 100 will be at the end of January 2013. Note: I could write a check right now and pay this off, but I find it to be more benefiial to rehab this loan, and THEN pay it all off.
Now the problem:
2) College Assist / Nelnet, now in the care of Windham. This is about ~$80k, with $62k in principal + interest, and ~$16k in collection fees and costs. I called Windham to set up the rehab schedule. Without providing any financial details, they initially wanted $2,400 a month to rehab. I said no. Then the guy said $2,000. I said no. Then I proposed they take note of my finances and find something more fair. So they passed me to a supervisor. Here's where it got interesting:
I told them my net monthly income is about $2,200. My rent and util, groceries, gas, phone total about $800, and this means I'm basically living in a ghetto, there is no way I can live for less. I own my car outright. My other loan is $100. So that leaves me with roughly $1,300 to work with. She said the absolute lowest I can get, for the next 9 months, is $1,040 a month for the next 9 months. That is outrageous. I told her I would need a few days to consult some resources. She told me that if she were me, she'd take the $1,040. Well duh.
She also said that I qualify as a "hardship" and once the 9 months is over, my monthly payment would drop to about $350 a month. She also said that of the $1040, 90% would go to the principal/interest, 10% to fees. She also said after 9 months, that the collection fees would NOT simply be removed, and that instead the percentage of the principal that makes up the fees would be reduced from the now 24% to roughly 18%. This is almost completely opposite from what FAMS told me would happen with their loan. Does this sound right? Is she saying that Nelnet would NOT buy my loan back and that Windham is going to keep all of their fees on it forever? That seems to go against the Philosophy of rehab, and their fees should no longer exist after their collection servies are no longer needed when Nelnet buys it back. Correct?
What are my options here? Can I hardball them to go lower? There is absolutely no way I can sap my entire income and be left with 200 bucks a month. If any disaster happens in the next 9 months all of this will have been for naught, and I am not going to all of this work now just to have it fail the second something unpredictable goes wrong. My medical health is in great shape, I have no scheduled medical work that is going to be needed, etc, but $200 is not going to work for contingencies.
I am so desperate to get these back into a positive state. My CR is absolutely destitute and completely because of these loans. In addition, at some point in the next few years I'm going to need to go back and finish school, so I will need to be eligible for more loans when that time comes, so rehab is my only option.
Any and all help is appreciated, thank you
If your loans are eligible to be repurchased, the entire loan balance, including any collection fees assessed by Windham, will be included in the new rehabbed balance. Generally guarantors assess around 20% of the loan balance in collection fees, but it does vary based on the rehab company. I would suggest contacting them again to get more clarification on what will happen.