Liz was losing hope over ever getting her finances in order, with seven student loans in default. In fact, she had tried to bring the loans out of default four times before in previous years but had become discouraged due to the predatory nature of default resolution and the mysterious intricacies of the federal student loan collection procedures.
She called 311 and was recommended to a Clinic financial coach who helped her to use the National Student Loan Data System to track down the current loan holders and negotiate a payment plan to get loans out of default, aided in part by newer federal student loan collection policies. This process took five months of weekly meetings as the debt was being bought and sold by a number of third party debt collectors who demanded Liz sign repayment agreements without seeing any contracts, with thousands of dollars of collection fees tacked on to the original loans.
In the meantime, Liz and her coach worked together on a realistic budget that would allow Liz to repay the loans to bring them out of default and eventually consolidate them to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Now, she is free to concentrate on her dream of returning to school for a PhD!
UPDATE: Liz called her coach, ecstatic, to let her know all her loans were out of default!