Protect Your Wages: A Guide to Student Loan Wage Garnishment
You can lose 15% of your paycheck due to student loan wage garnishment, but there are ways to stop it. Here's what you need to know.
The American postsecondary education system is broken.
The system expects young people, with no resources of their own, to pay tens of thousands of dollars on tuition, books, lab fees, housing and costs of living to get an education. That means taking on debt.
And all of that is done with no promise whatsoever that it will pay off, no promise that the education will translate into income.
Latest data show that 5.2 million, or 12%, of federal student loan debtors are in default, meaning millions of people are at risk from student loan wage garnishment.
If this impacts you, know you are not alone and there is something you can do.
Read on to learn how you can save your paycheck.
First Steps Are Procedural
If you get notice of garnishment, you have up to 30 days to demand a hearing from the agency that submits the garnishment notices. Then from there, it will take a certain amount of time to get a date set for the hearing. That all should be used to prepare a case against your debt and for your financial case.
From there, the agency can't collect on you until the process is resolved. This is the key first step to preventing 15 percent of your disposable income from evaporating out of your paycheck.
Make sure that the proper procedures and disclosures are followed. The federal government sets the rules for the loans, the appeals process and the proceedings will happen in their settings. It's incumbent on the government to follow its rules.
Show Student Loan Wage Garnishment Is a Burden or Unenforceable
There are a few basic arguments that you have to prove out in a formal hearing to get the garnishment stopped.
The first is to try to prove that the debt is wrongly in default. you would need to show that you have not been past payment for more than 270 days.
If you haven't made payments but entered a repayment plan with another group, be prepared to show that the debt doesn't apply to you anymore.
Debt collection efforts have to stop if you've filed for bankruptcy. This is a separate court proceeding that may result in hitting a financial rock bottom. But it can help reset your
The final and most potent argument is to show that the garnishment would cause undue financial hardship.
More Ways Out
Student loan wage garnishment can feel like the end of the world. But it's not. And there are ways that you can get out of it. Being prepared to take on a hearing to argue why you shouldn't have your income docked.
In more ways than one, most of those ways are complicated if not a secret to most. Be sure to dig into what you can do to protect your financial future.