Unfortunately, Student Loan debt cannot be removed within a bankruptcy, nor is there a statute of limitations on this type of debt.
You will need to either 1.) show up in court by yourself or 2.) obtain a lawyer. You may be able to obtain a lawyer pro bono, or one that deals with these cases fairly cheaply.
However, if you decide to represent yourself, I would state that you would like to pay the debt and set-up a payment plan. Keep in mind, that unless you have legitimate logs that you have taken showing that you have attempted to set-up a reasonable payment plan with the collector, the judge may not allow you the option to set-up the payment plan.
If a judgement is entered against you, that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll garnish your wages. It may take them several months to have an order or wage garnishment placed against you. They may also choose to instead freeze your assets and/or any funds in bank accounts under your name.
All in all, I'd say call a lawyer, regardless of if you think you can afford one or not.