With student loan wage garnishment, debt collectors are allowed to have up to 15% of your paycheck in order to pay off your outstanding debts. A wage garnishment typically takes place after you have a defaulted on one or more of your student loans.


Whether you are expecting a wage garnishment or not, you need to have a deep understanding of the entire process; it will help you determine the expectations required of you, and it becomes easier for you to know the essential steps to resolve the problem.

  1. Student Loan Defaults

If the borrower fails to pay their student loan within 180 days (and has not been granted a student loan deferment of forbearance), it can result in putting your loan into a delinquent situation. If your loan maintains a delinquent status, going past 270 days on non-payment, it will default. Default means that your student loan debt is required to be paid in full. When in default, there are few actions you can take to resolve your financial situation – to learn more about them, click here.

A loan can also be considered as a default according to the type of loan you applied. Loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, your loan will default if you fail to make payments within nine months (270 days). Loans like Federal Perkins Loan Program, however, your loan will be marked defaulted if you do not make your scheduled payment according to the due date.

  1. Notice Of A Hearing

A garnishment order can be placed by the Department of Education without having to first sue and receive permission from the courts, while private loans require the extra step. If you have defaulted on a private loan used for educational costs, then you will be sued and receive notice of a hearing. With a federal student loan, you are given notice of the wage garnishment and can still request a hearing. The Student Loan Advocacy Group can advise if requesting a hearing is vital to your wage garnishment removal or can still assist should your wage garnishment already be in effect.

At a hearing you can provide the following defenses if they fit your circumstance:

  • You are not the individual responsible for the debt (i.e. the student loan was taken out by an (ex)spouse or person with similar/same name).
  • The debt is unenforceable.
  • There is an error in how much is stated you owe.
  • Your student loans are not in default.
  • You are currently going through bankruptcy.
  • You are currently in a rehabilitation program.

At the hearing you can also attempt to negotiate a settlement or reinstate your installment plan, preferably at a more affordable rate.

  1. Judgment

Following the hearing (if there is one), a judgment is issued. If the creditor wins the case or you do not attend the hearing, then the wage garnishment amount is set. Typically, the wage garnishment begins five to thirty days after the judgment (the judgement will specify). This process will continue until the loan balance, and any of the court interest and fees, are paid off in full.

On the other hand, if your case to prevent wage garnishment is stronger and you win the wage garnishment case, your income will not be garnished within a year – or the wage garnishment is reduced depending on the case outcome.

How Long Does A Wage Garnishment Last?

Wage garnishment will continue as long as you have a loan balance. However, you can consider a negotiation process so that you can end the wage garnishment and attempt to resume regular monthly payments.

The Student Loan Advisory Group is well versed in helping borrowers have a wage garnishment removed after defaulting on their student loans. If you have been have difficulty with your student loans to any extent, including a need for wage garnishment removal, give us a call and speak with one of our financial loan counselors.

Is It Possible to Stop Wage Garnishment?

If you already have a wage garnishment against your paycheck and are interested in stopping the wage garnishment, here are the few ways the Student Loan Advisory Group can help you remove your wage garnishment.

  • Win the hearing before the wage garnishment is levied against you. As described above, if you have a sound defense against the wage garnishment and win your hearing, then
  • Should you have a significant change in circumstances, then request a new hearing. You can state that the current wage garnishment is causing a tremendous financial hardship, especially if you can show that you are being laid off, your hours are being reduced, or you have recently filed for bankruptcy.
  • Start loan rehabilitation. With the help of loan rehabilitation, you can get out of a defaulted loan through monthly payments for about ten Also, you can opt to stop the wage garnishment after five consistent payments.

Other Options

Consider a loan consolidation through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program is a good option depending on whether your wages have already started garnished or not. If your wage garnishments have not been started yet or have not even been initiated yet, a debt consolidation with a Direct Loan can help prevent wage garnishment and allow for more affordable payment plans.

Wage Garnishment Rights

It is essential for you to determine what your rights regarding wage garnishment are.

  • One of your wage garnishment rights is for you to be legally notified that you will undergo a wage garnishment.
  • You have the right to file a dispute in the case that the notice appears to be inaccurate or you discovered that you do not owe the debt.
  • You have the freedom to challenge the judgment if you think there is an error, or the wage garnishment can harm your finances and put you into extreme hardship.
  • You need to be aware that veterans and social security benefits will be exempted from garnishment.
  • Further, your employer cannot fire you if your wages are garnished. However, if you have more than one wage garnishment, then your employer is allowed to fire