Hi everyone. I really need some help/advice. My wages are currently being garnished from my job, and I need to know what to do. Here is the problem: I had consolidated my loans a couple of years ago, and had been making payments regularly. I had been sent letters in the mail that I was in default. I was confused, and had made several phone calls about this, and was told I was in default on a loan taken out in 1994 from a private school I had attended (and had dropped out from). I was shocked, as I had assumed that all of my loans had been consolidated (and my fault for not paying attention). I made arrangements and put my payments in autopay. I unfortunately had to put my other loans in forbearance because I could not pay both. So I made ontime payments on the defaulted loan for a year, but was unaware that I had to reapply for payments after a year and missed two payments before being notified that my wages were now being garnished. I applied for a hearing, and was given a partial forgiveness due to financial hardship (meaning my garnished wages were lowered). I applied to reconsolidate all my loans with Great Lakes, but was told that as long as that one loan is being garnished, I could not reconsolidate. This is turning into a nightmare for me, as I cannot make payments on the consolidated wages in forbearance, because the garnished wage payments are too high (360 dollars month). The loan was 10,000 dollars, and currently stands at 8000 dollars after I have paid approximately 4000 dollars. The interest and fees are killing me. As it stands, I will never pay this off, and my consolidated loans will go into default when my forbearance runs out. I don't know what to do. I am thinking my only options are: hire a lawyer to help, or take out a personal loan (and put myself in debt more) to pay off the loan. What do I do?
You have to treat both the private loan and consolidation loan very differently.
It sounds like you're on track with your private loan? When you can have that paid off and/or eliminated? What is the specific status and balance of it?
For the Federal consolidation loan, you need to get on an income-driven repayment plan ASAP (like today) before your forbearance runs out. You can do this by calling your lender or going online to StudentLoans.gov. This will setup a repayment plan based on your income, which you need to figure out how to afford - it will be the lowest payment you'll ever be able to get.
Then, look at boosting your income by working a second job, driving for Uber, etc. to get more income to pay down these loans.