I am 30 years old, married, and wanting to return to school to finish my degree. I have no current debt. Since my marriage I no longer qualify for financial aid due to the increase in household income, so we paid for a few classes ourselves, which is unsustatinable, so my plan was to take the bare minimum of student loans I need and work part time. However I've hit a snag.
In 2011, someone got a hold of my SSN and filed a false tax return in my name (kind of. My legal name is Philip Robert, but they filed under just Robert). They received a huge refund (they claimed $12k in mortgage interest alone). I've moved a couple of times since then, so I received a letter this past March saying that my current refund is going towards the debt I just found out about in that same letter. I currently "owe" around $8,000.
My father in law is a CPA and has been a huge help in getting the proper paperwork filed. We got everything in and I received a letter from the IRS last March saying they received and accepted my paperwork and I could expect resolution within 180 days. That time has come and gone by far. I called last week and was told it has not even been looked at and should expect to wait another four months. I contacted my senator and his office responded very quickly. Other than the IRS debt, no credit was taken out or any other debt rung up.
I am now ineligible for financial aid or student loans due to "owing" money to the government. I do not want to have to skip a semester and wait to August to continue my schooling.
Are private student loans a viable option? My credit isn't fantastic but my wife's is. Also, if I choose the private loans for only a semester or two until my tax situation is handled, will I have to pay those back immediately, or will they be like the other loans where I can wait until after graduation assuming I meet certain criteria (stay enrolled, etc.)