Your payment and interest rate will depend on the prime rate. As you probably heard, everyone's student loan rates just went up this month because of congress. So your interest rate and the payment amount may be increased a little. Sometimes private lenders offer income based repayment and/or financial hardship repayment plans
. You should at least ask if this is an option.
Next, under the FDCPA a debt collector must verify the debt in one of the following ways: 1) Proof the debt collector owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt in the form of a direct contract
2) A copy of a statement from the original creditor with complete payment history, starting with the original creditor, including evidence of how this debt was calculated. See, Fields v. Wilber Law Firm, Donald L. Wilber and Kenneth Wilber, USCA-02-C-0072, 7th Circuit Court, Sept 2004.; or
3) A copy of the original signed loan agreement.
It sounds like they verified the debt by sending your the agreement and the payments you have made. The next step is determining if they are claiming the debt was assigned directly to them. Under the FDCPA, if a debt is assigned, they have to provide you a copy of the contract which provides for such an assignment and contains your signature. Most contracts do permit assignment somewhere in the fine print. So as long as they gave you the original or subsequent contract that says the original lender can assign the loan, that is all they need to provide. If you are disputing the amount owed, you should contact them with a copy of the Bankruptcy claim they (or the previous lender) filed in your case and ask why the amount is different. It may have merely been that interest was accumulating. Don't forget that anytime you send a creditor or debt collector a letter, make a copy for your file and send them by certified mail, return receipt requested.