I have about $33k in student loan debt. I have yet to pay any of it and in the last few years alone from not paying it, the interest has brought it up to $38k. I was making minimum payments here and there and struggling. I have to find a way to manage it now that I am working more hours. It would be easier if I could find a job in my field but there just isn’t anything out there right now.
I paid mine all off by sticking to a number I could manage and paying more when I could. The faster you pay it off, the less interest you have in the long run. Figure out what you can pay and just start paying it. If you want to get a house, a new car, or anything of the sort, it will bite you in the butt if you don’t sort it out.
I think Alex is right about his process. You want to find a number you can pay and do it every month. If you contact the bank, they might be willing to work with you because they want the money back by any means possible.