I am 60k in debt with federal student loans and don't know where to start

Hello, This is my first time posting here.

I have neglected to pay my student loans since 2010, when I graduated. There is no excuse, I simply neglected to pay when I was living outside of the country for the better part of of that time. I have been back in the U.S. for two years and now am back in the workforce.

I currently have about 60K in loans, half of that (if I am reading correctly) in interest.

I contacted studentaid.gov and they said my loans have been transferred to a company called Reliant Capital Solutions–a collection agency out of Ohio.

I did not speak to an actual person when I reached out via phone to StudentAid.gov, but instead entered my information on their phone menu and was told I would have to reach out to Reliant to figure out next steps and begin repayment.

My question is if this is the only option I have at this juncture. I have dug around on the fed website and looked at available options considering my situation but it seems I must start with Reliant. Does anyone have experience with this? Is there someone other than Reliant that I can speak with to explore the options available to me.

Lastly, does anyone know if I have options to reduce the amount the debt I owe? I hear that most of these consolidation companies are scammers.

I hope I have clearly explained my situation. Thank you in advance.

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Hi @Ty_Woo1, welcome!

It sounds like your loans are currently in default. One thing you can do right now is to reframe that default as being on strike and join our national student debt strike to win full cancellation and College For All: strike.debtcollective.org

There are a lot of things that are in flux at the moment given the current health and economic crisis. For the time being, the Department of Education has suspended interest on federal student loans and is allowing people to request an administrative forbearance. I’m not 100% sure (there is still some confusion and vague info about how this is all supposed to work) but I believe that would apply to a situation like yours if you are in default.

I have heard of Reliant before, but I’m not super familiar with them. Again I can’t be 100% sure about this without more info, but my guess is that your loan is currently being managed by an entity called the Default Resolution Group and that they have hired Reliant to collect. You could try calling Default Resolution Group and request that your account be placed in stopped collection in accordance with the temporary suspension of loan payments and see what they say. Here is there contact info: https://myeddebt.ed.gov/borrower/contactusSubLinks

Under normal times Default Resolution Group is very difficult to actually get a human on the phone and you have to wait on hold for a long time and then what the reps say can be confusing. Under the current situation I would expect it to be even more difficult and you might need to set aside a few hours to wait on hold, or hold off a week or two to call them. Alternatively you could try talking to Reliant and asking to be put in stopped collection due to the crisis. I don’t know what they would tell you.

There are several proposals floating around Congress right now that would go further, cancelling at least some debt. We don’t know if any of those will become law or not. Please call your Senators and Representative and demand that any stimulus package include full student debt cancellation. You can find them here: Organizing to win College For All

I hope this helps.


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Thank you very much for the reply Thomas.

Do you recommend that I reach out out to the Default Resolution Group before Reliant Capitol Solutions? If nothing else to find out about “administrative forbearance?”

Ultimately, my goal is to NOT have my paycheck garnered, which I am thinking might be the next step not that they have already offset my tax return.

My loans are in default and I know for sure that they have been given over for Reliant. However, I am nervous about contacting Reliant before knowing if I have other options to look in to, especially given the situation with Covid19.

Thank you again for the help.

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Hi @Ty_Woo1, I would start with the Default Resolution Group.

The stimulus package that is likely to pass soon has some new restrictions on wage garnishment / tax offsets for student loans. I don’t feel like I understand it all well enough to really help someone navigate their options just yet, but it is likely that you will have more options as a result.

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