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A whole mess of questions (Student loans, credit cards and hospitals...help!)


SilverShamrock
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Hi! New to this forum - what a comforting saving grace this is! I'm looking for advice on a a large amount of student loans I currently owe as well as credit report issues.

I recently graduated school with about $40,000 in private loan debt and $20,000 in Stafford Loans. In all, I have a little over 61K that I need to start paying back in April.

I'm basically trying to create some sort of plan to minimize my payments while also bringing my balance down. My goal is to have the loans under 20K total by the time I'm 30 (I'm 23 now). I just started a job that has me netting ~$2,200 a month.

That all being said, I have a couple of questions...

1) Can I lock in an interest rate with the private student loans? Right now they're at a variable rate of about 8%, but I want to bring that number down. Some people have told me I can while others have basically told me to keep dreaming. I don't know if companies out there do so or not because of all the conflicting answers I've received.

Currently I'm facing about 20-25% of my salary going toward my loans, which hurts to even think about.

2) Unfortunately, while I was getting myself into student loan debt, I was being an idiot and not paying back low-balance credit cards while I was in school. You guessed it - they went to collections (two of them). I hurt my credit pretty bad there, and currently I stand just below a 600 because of my early stupidity.

The balances are now paid off (I worked my butt of to pay them) and I was wondering if there is a way to negotiate with the card companies to take those two follies off of my report?

3) I got sick while I was at school and went to a hospital to get checked on. The bill came out to about $500 but should have been covered by my insurance (which has now expired). For some reason, the hospital never billed it through them, though I did contact them telling them to contact my insurance company. Sure enough, it went to collections.

Should I call the hospital to tell them to call the insurance company yet again or should I seek legal action? It seems they messed up, yet I am getting hurt because of it. It is the one outstanding balance on my report, and I'm convinced that if it was removed my score would be much improved.

That's basically my screwy, ruined and messy credit history in a nutshell...Any advice on where to go from here? Thanks!!

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I'm moving the post to Student Loans so you can find some answers here on that question.

As to the other two:

Do a search for "paid collections".......you should find a wealth of information on how to handle them.

On the medical collection.....so a search for medical collection. There is also a really informative sticky going over medical collections specifically.

Read through all the info. Come back with specific questions.

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You dont need to go running to the library for student loan informtion. It is all available on the web with a google search. DOE site is a wealth of information.

1) Can I lock in an interest rate with the private student loans? Right now they're at a variable rate of about 8%, but I want to bring that number down. Some people have told me I can while others have basically told me to keep dreaming. I don't know if companies out there do so or not because of all the conflicting answers I've received.

....There are companies that offer private loan consolidation but with the dings on your credit now, you are not likely to get a better rate than what you have now, plus they may require a cosigner. They also charge origination fees...3-5%...some are more and from a what I am reading, the rates are all variable. http://www.finaid.org/loans/privateconsolidation.phtml

One suggestion I would give you now is NOT to wait until April to start paying. Your interest is accuring daily on your private loans. Start nailing on them NOW!

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