The first reaction is to panic and it’s okay to do that, but your second reaction needs to be rational and reasoned in order to stop student loan garnishment.


If you stop paying your student loans, something we really don’t recommend, the amount you owe will continue to grow.

Heavier loans go into default can have a serious effect on your credit score, and worse than that when a loan defaults the entire balance plus interest is due immediately. This would be bad enough, but collection charges can add almost 20 percent to the balance and interest that you already owe.

You may receive notices from a collection agency, be reported as delinquent to credit bureaus, and the federal government can contact your employer and garnish up to 15 percent of your wages. In a community property state, they can even garnish your spouse’s wages. Even when you’re eligible for Social Security, the payments can be garnished as well in order to repay your debt.

What Should You Do If Your Wages Are Garnished?

The first mistake you can make when receiving a student loan wage garnishment noticed is to think that nothing can stop it.

There are steps that you can take.

  1. The company that is servicing your loan is required to provide you with a Notice of Intent to Garnish 30 days before garnishing your wages.
  2. The Notice of Intent to Garnish must include an advisory about your right to request copies of your student loan records, a hearing to present evidence against the garnishment, and your right to negotiate a repayment plan with the servicer.
  3. Requesting a hearing will put the garnishment on hold, but you must carefully read the notice to find out what window of time you have to request this. Even if the window has passed and the garnishment has begun you may still request a hearing and the garnishment will be terminated if you prove your case.

Never request a hearing as a simple delaying tactic. You need to have concrete financial and grounds in order to stop the garnishment such as:

  • Your loan has been repaid or forgiven, or you have qualified for forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge of your loan.
  • You were fired from previous employment and have held your current position for less than one year.
  • You are making payments under a consolidation or loan rehabilitation program.
  • You have filed for bankruptcy, thus stopping all collection activity while your petition is pending.

Contacting An Attorney At Van Horn Law Group

Possibly one of the most frightening pieces of news that you can receive is a notice that your wages are about to be garnished in repayment of student loans.

Very often this happens as you are already living hand to mouth, trying to cover your debts and your living expenses at the same time. You will absolutely want to make sound financial decisions at this critical time, whether you are filing for bankruptcy or not, and the experienced attorneys of Van Horn Law Group stand ready to help you.