20 years is likely past the statute of limitations for the college taking the loan money. But if they registered you, and you simply didn't show up, then it would have been on you to try to get the money back at the time. At this point, I hear that you don't have the money, but my advice would be to go to a non-profit credit counselor from nfcc.org , and get some advice on how to budget and save. When you get enough to pay off the original loan, do so. Then keep saving, so you can pay the tuition without getting a loan. I know, it's so much harder to save in advance. But you made it 20 years without college, you can make it a few more. And saving in advance is actually easier than taking a loan in the long run.