A person once asked me why he should get his student loans out of default. He could live with the amount being garnished from his paycheck, and he figured he had to pay the loans anyway.
The problem is he wasn’t only paying the loan. By allowing the collection agency to collect while in default, the borrower is also effectively paying the collection agency’s 25% fee. The borrower will also pay more interest while in default due to interest capitalizations.
The collection agency isn’t motivated to help you get out of default for these reasons. The longer your loan is in default status, the more money the collection agency makes. And the longer it takes to pay the loan.
Getting out of default also helps your credit rating, especially if you do it by means of rehabilitation. And you’ll never be able to take advantage of the IBR repayment plan until you get out of default.