Hey all. I'm not much of a poster--more of a habitual lurker--but I know of the great minds of COTH and thought I might throw this out there because I really don't know what options I have. It FEELS like I have none, but that may be my naivete.

I went to college for 3 semesters (for training horses). Without saying where I went, I was paying 10,000 a year to learn how to 'crank and yank' and bloody up my horse's sides with spurs... so I left. The last semester, I didn't have a loan lined up before I left.

So, when I got home I went through Wachovia and sent the school a student loan. I called the school twice to inform them that it was coming, called when Wachovia told me it got there (huh... and they said it wasn't there yet). Didn't hear anything else from them, and started getting bills from Wachovia on the loan (then for 9,800 or some such) which I happily paid.

Then I got a letter in the mail two months later saying I never paid them and that they sent it to collections. Excuse me?? Wachovia sent me back the money I sent them because the school SENT THE LOAN BACK TO THE BANK.

The collections agency tacked FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS onto the bill and told me I had to pay it. Obviously if I had that kind of money laying around it would have BEEN gone! At this point, it was no longer considered 'school tuition' and I could not get a school loan for it--and my parents credit (and certainly not mine with 13,000 in collections) is not good enough to get THAT much money in a normal loan. ...Not that I want to drag them into my financial pit anyway.

The agency did the normal thing where they called and lied and did their nasty stuff--the woman that was dealing with my case gave me two different names and hung up on me! I told them I wanted an address so I could send them payments, and the woman refused to give it to me and said they needed my bank information, as that was the only way they could take payments. Over the phone. AND she wanted lump sums, like 5,000 at a time. Yeah right!

With interest it is now something over 17,000. I'm 22 and I feel like I will NEVER find a way to pay this off. I would love to--I HAVE a job, I can easily make payments, and I just want this taken care of--but where can I start? Is this just 'debt', and bankruptcy will take care of it (The woman in the collections agency really did not want me to file for that so I have a feeling it would go away..)? I pay all my other bills on time and it kills me to have this just sitting there when I need to be building credit to buy the things I need to grow up and move on with my life. (Like a house?!)

Please, advice or ANYTHING!