What will the government or bank do if I stop paying my student loans?

I’m currently in foreclosure and lost my job, I have been making $330/month payment for my student loans for 11 years and have 13 more years to pay it off but as of next month can’t afford the payment anymore and am scared about it. What will happen? Can I go to jail?
Won’t they garnish my wages if I ever find a job? I feel like giving up, everything is hopeless at this point. I’ll never got out of all this debt. I regret going to college.

You shouldn’t regret going to college, you should regret borrowing so much money though. However, the past is the past and you can’t change it. I am sorry about your situation right now… I can’t imagine having lost a job and a home, so I hope that things will change for you soon.

Obviously, defaulting on your student loans will affect your credit (but I’m sure you’re not too concerned because the foreclosure will have affected this already). Federal student loan defaults will result in an inability to receive further financial aid, they will seize your federal returns, they can garnish your wages, and they will seize your passport (or make you ineligible for a passport). Private student loans can also garnish your wages and will negatively affect your credit.

You will not go to jail. Don’t worry about that – there is no debter’s prison. Don’t give up – you will get out of the debt. I know this is going to sound goofy, but there is a show called "Til Debt Do Us Part" on CNBC (Saturdays at 10pm). I like this show because it shows you a couples’ debt load (and sometimes it’s 80k-100k). It also shows how much they’re spending each month (and many spend 1500-3000k more than they make each month). This woman works with them and gets them on a schedule to have all of the debt paid off in 1-3 years (depending on the debt load). If you can get to a television (or watch it over the internet), it may give you some hope and give you some ideas. Sometimes you have to get creative in how you can pay it back. It’s definitely not easy, but if you could get your student loans paid off in 3 years, instead of another decade — you know you will feel so relieved and you will feel more positive about life in general. Obviously, take some time to find work first… you may also have to look for a second part-time job depending on what other expenses you have. Find the cheapest place to live, whether it’s a studio or renting a room, etc. If you are married or have children, your living arrangements may need to reflect this. Good luck to you and don’t give up — there are financial advisors who can help you, or simply look at books (from the library) or internet to Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, etc — they do offer some realistic advice.