Hi guys, I recently defaulted on my private student loan (about 25k) I came under some hard times and was not able to afford payments. Now I have a better job and want to fix my credit situation. I spoke with the collection agency and they are VERY difficult to work with. I absolutely don't have 25k siting around to settle this. Do you think I can work out a long term payment plan with them for a reasonable amount?

Also want to add they sent me 1099 C that I had to include on my tax return for cancelled debt. Is it legal for them to continue to come after me for this debt? I never settled with them, but they sent 1099 C for the full loan amount. I find it confusing that after including this in income on a tax return I then have to still pay this debt?

I Honestly want to turn my life around and pay down my debts and get my credit on track. I spoke with a lawyer and they charge up to 3k to work with the student loan creditors. Is it possible to work with the creditor myself or is it worth it to pay a lawyer?

Thanks for any help!