I have a debt that has been in collections for a significant period of time (>10 years). The debt is from a college loan that defaulted when the lender (a private school) didn't send the deferment papers to my correct address.
As a result, the original loan amount (approx $17,000) was placed in collections. I started making payments right away ($150/mo) and have been paying that amount for more than 10 years, but the principle has only been reduced by about $5000. I have around $13,000 remaining in collections.
My credit is excellent, 760+ and the debt is not being reported on my credit report as far as I can tell. I really want this debt off of my mind and my life...
How can I negotiate with the collector? I have a feeling that if I called them up and said "I can give you $7500 for satisfaction in full of this debt" they would say "well if you have $7500 you can send that to us and continue making payments". Now I've exposed my hand (that I have extra money) and they still hold the chips... I'm assuming that they paid pennies on the dollar for this loan and are well into the black on the account.
Should I get a professional to negotiate this for me? What type of professional deals in that service?