Advice on debt and legal matters before attending University

Hi, it's late so this may be brief and baffling.
I'm going to University next year, in August/September. Before that time I have about £3500 of debt to pay off, with various companies.
The debts are each between £500 and £900.
In most cases this is fine - I've been issued demands by the collection agencies representing the companies, and am arranging payment for them. However, in a couple of cases (Dell Financial Services and Monument Credit Cards (Barclaycard subsidiary) I haven't been contacted in a while, and foolishly I don't have any documentation relating to my accounts (it was thrown out a long time ago by mistake).
Being that they haven't contacted me in a while, is it likely that they are no longer chasing the debts? I defaulted over a year ago, and haven't heard from them in over 9 months.
I am trying to contact the companies to settle my accounts, however it's not proving easy. Does the fact that they've stopped hassling me about money mean that they have chosen not to chase payment, and are essentially dropping the debts? Does it often work this way? I'm young and inexperienced, as you've probably figured out by now.
My current plan of action regarding these debts is to save the money to pay for them, and keep it aside in case I am contacted them (even if it is a summons to court, yuck).
Now, just to ease my mind - what terrible things would a full time student with debt problems have to endure? If I found myself brought to court over a payment, would they force me to drop out and work full time to pay the debt, or would an amicable arrangement (perhaps postponing the debt until after University) be arranged? I simply do not know how these things work. I imagine that some people go to University with a whole host of financial problems - how do they cope?
Thanks for reading. I hope you can de-puzzle me.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Usually by having the standard of living of a dole bum.

As long as they are non-priority debts ie. Utility bill or Rent debts, tell them you are a full-time student, have no money, and offer them a pound a month. Otherwise offer them GBP 2.75 per week. These are the minimum figures you can offer and they have no choice but to accept.
They cannot force you to pospone your course and work instead.
In short, do not worry about it, if you cannot afford it, it is their tough shit, just offer them the minimum payments.
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Morlock wrote:

If they are loans, credit cards etc, they are classed as non-priority.
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Even if they are low priority surely the interest payments will be racking up at a high rate of interest until the company is contacted to say the OP is in financial difficulty and payment arrangements are made? A £500 credit card bill may have risen by a couple of hundred pounds in a year with high interest charges and non-payment fees.
--
Alan
mailto:news2me_a snipped-for-privacy@amacleod.clara.co.uk
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Alan wrote:

I've defaulted on my credit agreements. I don't think they're still adding interest.
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So I could convert all my loans to 0% loans by defaulting?
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Adrian Boliston wrote:

Sort of. Your credit worthiness would suffer, and the lender could still chase you for the debt at some time. And they continue to add charges onto the debt. IMO, it's not worth risking your future on... it's better to get free advice from the CAB first.
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Morlock wrote:

ll

res

gh

Hooray! That's just what I needed to hear, really. I didn't like the idea of having my entire life disrupted by what are essentially very small and petty debts.
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On 14 Sep 2005 19:34:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
<snip> >>

Just because it is what you wanted to hear, does not necessarily make it correct.
He is certainly right that they cannot force you to work (whether postponing your course or not).
But he is wrong about there being amounts you can offer that they "have no choice but to accept". They probably will, because if they went to court, that is the likely amount the court would order you to pay, but they do have a choice.
And interest will almost certainly still be accruing on the debts, unless you have come to an arrangement that stops it, so if you pay them an amount that is less than the interest charge, the debts will be increasing in size even though you are paying something.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come
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Alex Heney wrote:

Yes, they may take you to court first, where you offer a pound a month, the judge agrees, then they have GBP120 of court costs to add to your debt, which you offer to pay at 1 pound a month, it will take a year before they start recovering any debt. Most companies will not throw good money after bad.

Most of the time, once repayments are obviously defaulted, the account will be frozen and no more interest added.
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Morlock wrote:

Oops, *Ten Years*.

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wrote:

dependent upon the original t&c of the credit agreement , most state that you will be responsible for interest and solicitors / collection costs on the debt and that interest is paid off first followed by the principle some , the op would have agreed to this on accepting the credit agreement
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wrote:

Hooray! That's just what I needed to hear, really. I didn't like the idea of having my entire life disrupted by what are essentially very small and petty debts.
unfortunate what you here is a fools tale , they will find you , they will screw you for any form of credit for many years to come
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you reckon how about being able to run up over 45,000 of debt over six years ago and never pay a penny of it , and now ones credit file is spotlessly clean again due to the fact these debts no longer are shown anywhere, oh theri are so may tricks to avoid debt collectors and the like.
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yes your credit file may well be clean now but they will find you eventually and as you have just admitted the debt , the time bar will have just started again .
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wrote:

ignoring your debts will only add interest and collection fees to the original amount a 500 debt can quite easily escalate to 2000 within a very short period of time .
The debts will be collectable for 6 years and will lie on file for several years behind this if they remain unpaid , this will hinder you gaining mortgages or other financial services in the future (may also prevent you entering certain professions)
If you go to court , any offer you make does not have to be accepted by the other party , even if it is then you only need to be late with the payment and they can apply for an order to obtain monies from your bank accounts or any one else who owes you money , every time they go to court or send bailiffs or collection companies after you it adds to the outstanding balance .
Do your best to contact them , it really does help your cause
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