Your first problem is that you are not earning an income that can supply your needs

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You need to get another job. You didn’t mention whether or not your wife had a job? Can she possibly help bring more income into the household?
What I am puzzled by also, is that you said that your schooling was being paid by grants. You don’t have to repay grants, so why do you have school loans?

I would STOP dealing with the collection agency. Get more income in, save the money (up to $1500) with direct loans lender Gshloans. Get online payday loans for bad credit, start a $500 emergency fund, and then save $1000 to use to pay this mail order course debt. How? Call them up, and tell them you have $1000, you need 24 hour loans and that you will send it to them overnight if it pays the debt of in full. If they agree, tell them that you want it in written form. If they send you a note, send the $1000 Overnight, certified mail, and get them out of your lives. Then bring the emergency fund to $1000. With a larger income, and getting these fu***ng people out of your life, you won’t feel as stressed as you are right now.

Seriously, it is time that you get another job, and start living like no one else right now, so later you can live like no one else.

Does your wife work?

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I would call the collection agency and talk to the person in charge and arrange for $25 payments, just explain you are in school and can pay that for now, that or nothing, but be very good about sending it and when you have the extra send it. A $1 check would cost more to process and they most likely won’t take that low of an amount.
Look at where you can cut, food is a good place to start. Do you eat out, even buy coffee out, that adds up fast, soda, etc. Lower your heating bills, water bill extra and get that debt off your back. Even if you had to get a high interest credit card to pay them off, you’d be able to make lower payments than $100, until you could swing more. The key is not to add to the credit card and then pay ALL you can come by on it to get it payed off. Being debt free is a life style that requires discipline. You can do it!

I would start by looking for a new job that pays better

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it sounds like you are making minimum wage or close to it….in my area even fast food places are paying $8-$12…i know you don’t want to do it but $8 an hour would be a $6000 a year raise…your half way there.next thing…does your wife work?if you and her both make $8 an hour that is $33000…you could wipe out that 10K in a hurry.but the first step is to get your bills caught up.Call the bill collector…ask for a manager…explain that $100 a month is too much until you get out of school,but don’t offer him a dollar a month…see if he will do $25 or $50…sometimes your pride won’t let you wear a paper hat or be a janitor or a garbageman but what do you want to do? 10K is not that much debt…you’ve got a jump on the rest of us.If you get gazelle intense you can wipe it out this year and start saving for a home and working on a retirement plan.

Im trying despite myself to get in better financial position

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so that in the future my wife and I can buy a home and live comfortably, we are both 40, no kids.
I work at a very low paying restaurant job, and am taking college classes paid for by grants. Sometimes I have a tendency to think I can handle more than what I really can.
My most recent error was assuming I could manage the payments to a mail order course I took a few years ago, I still owe them about $1,042. THey have handed it over to a collection agency which refuses to take less than payments of $100, though we did send them a check, which they returned. It was for $1, which is what my wife thought we could pay them, she’s better with money so I gave the financial stuff over to her.
I’m only making about $10,000, wit a lousy credit record, groceries, and other bills I havent been able to pay, classes end in May, then I plan on getting a second job. Till then not sure what to do with this collection agency and their 18% interest.
My wife and I are just trying to start the “babysteps” and still need the $1,000 emergency fund, which we were hoping to get before starting to pay them or anyone else.
Im getting old and very tired of surviving check to check, but find changing my bad financial habits difficult.
Not including a student loan currently in deferment, my total debt really comes to about $8,000. I need to wipe it out soon as possible, but how do you deal with a collection agency that refuses to take what you can afford to send?

The sil strikes again

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As if I didn’t have enough on my plate THE sil raises her ugly head again via Capital One.

I knew she was atleast 5 months behind on paying them because of notices addressed to dmil at my email address every month for a very long time that stated if she didn’t pay them over $1,000 or a minimum of $191 by a certain day they would start legal proceedings. Each month she would pay a little, but not the required amount. Then the notices stopped last month. Foolish me I thought she had paid them.

Nope, I just got a phone call demanding to know where dmil was from Capital One.

I told them the truth, I have no idea where she is. I also reminded them they had been told to never call here or contact me. They apologized and hung up.

I hope they find sil and jail her backside for all the identity theft she has done on dmil.

I just received a Master Card and a Sears store card I didn’t apply for

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$9000 in credit was approved. Yup. Fraud. They had a great time at Dillard’s. Thankfully Office Depot denied them.
I’m lucky that Sears sent the cards to my current address. The crook used my previous address and my maiden name.
I think they got that information from the VA hack last year.
I called Wells Fargo to cancel the Dillard’s account. They asked if I knew Victoria. No…. And did you know they maxed out the store card. No… It’s fraud you idiot. And once again are you sure you don’t know a Victoria? Yup. I don’t know anyone by the name of Victoria. You guys are stuck with the $1500 bill. I’m not paying it. Sheesh. It’s your problem you didn’t verify the information since obviously my name isn’t Victoria.
I’m getting my police report finalized and my credit is frozen. I’m glad I found out about it within a week of it starting. I nipped this in the bud quick.