Federal student loan creditors CAN garnish your wages without first having to take you to court. And therefore, thousands’ of students across the nation have been receiving wage garnishment notices like the one illustrated below. But don’t worry, if you just received a wage garnishment notice, it’s not too late. You have 30-days to resolve your student loan debt and stop the wage garnishment. We will show you exactly what to do!
Did you receive a wage garnishment notice that looks like this? (30-day notice)
First; let’s examine the wage garnishment law. There are requirements under the wage garnishment law (Public Law 102-164; 20 U.S.C. 10945a et seq) that must be met before a creditor can legally garnish your wages. These requirements include:
- Your creditor must give you a 30-day notice.
- Your creditor cannot garnish more than 15% of your disposable income.
- If you were reemployed within 12 months after having been involuntarily separated from employment, no amount may be deducted from your disposable pay until you have been reemployed continuously for at least 12 months.
The reason why I want you to get familiar with the different clauses in the wage garnishment law is so that you can spot any violations if any occurred. If you spot a violation, you can call your creditor on the phone and mention to them that they are violating section .. whatever it is … and they may drop the garnishment.
It’s good to let your creditors know how educated you are on debt collection laws, to ensure they don’t try to take advantage of you.
Threaten that you will report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) if you find out they violated this law.
Federal law (Public Law 102-164; 20 U.S.C. 10945a et seq) Wage Garnishment Requirement
I underlined important clauses that you should carefully review.
Source: Cornell Law, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1095a
Request Forbearance if you are “Past Due” on Monthly Payments & Trying to Consolidate
For those of you who haven’t been served a wage garnishment notice, let me give you a few words of advice on how to proactively prevent your situation from getting worse.
At Golden Financial Services when we help a client consolidate their federal student loans, if they are delinquent on monthly payments we suggest they request “90-days forbearance” to avoid getting their wages garnished. The forbearance gives us enough time to consolidate and get their loans paid off. And forbearance puts your past due balance back to $0. Just call your creditor and request 90-days forbearance due to “financial difficulty” and let them know that you are in the process of consolidating.
How to stop wage garnishment on federal student loans if you received the wage garnishment 30-day notice
You need to consolidate your federal student loans immediately.
You have roughly 30-days to get your consolidation approved.
We’ve seen cases where the consolidation took longer than 30-days, but the creditor delayed garnishing the individual’s wages because they knew that the consolidation was being processed, so we were able to save the client from garnishment. Our AFSLR certified professionals stay on top of the creditor and the student loan servicer, almost nagging them, but that’s what you need to do!
After you submit your consolidation application; Contact the creditor who is suing you and let them know you just consolidated. You can even request a 2-week extension on the 30-day garnishment date. Ask for a 2-week extension to ensure there’s enough time to complete your consolidation. Your creditor may or may not give you the extension, but at least they will notate your file that you’re consolidating. You want to take every extra step that you can possibly take to give you enough time to get this consolidation completed prior to your wages being garnished.
At Golden Financial Services we see at least one client per week that’s in this same situation. They contact us after getting served with the garnishment notice, we then take immediate action –and were able to successfully help them consolidate and get everything paid off in time. So don’t worry, if you move fast, it is likely that you can avoid the garnishment and end up in good shape.
The “wage garnishment notice” example we provided ABOVE – turned into this successful consolidation today!
Step by step instructions on how to Consolidate, Get on an Income-Driven Repayment Plan and Loan Forgiveness (free instructions to do it on
Step 1: Get FSA-id to consolidate federal student loans…
You will need your Federal Student Aid Username and Password (FSA-id) to consolidate your federal student loans. Visit Fsaid.ed.gov to get it. (Click on where it says “Create an FSA-id” and follow the instructions)
Step 2: (optional) Get a quote on what your new income-based repayment will be before starting the process…
Log in to the Student Loan Consolidation Repayment Plan Estimator to get a quote on what your new payment will be after consolidating. Get an idea of what your options are, prior to starting the consolidation process.
Step 3: Start consolidation… these are step-by-step instructions on how to consolidate.
Consolidate your federal student loans at StudentLoans.Gov.
Once you log in at StudentLoans.Gov, to start the student loan consolidation process simply click on where it says “Apply for Loan Consolidation” and then follow the instructions.
Step 4: Review all federal student loans that you’re looking to consolidate
After clicking on “apply for Loan Consolidation“, next you will be prompted to review all of your federal student loans that you want to consolidate. If everything looks correct, continue.
Student Loan Relief Case Example: $181,901 in student loan debt
SIDENOTE: We will be using screenshots to help explain the process throughout the rest of this post. This particular person had $181,901 in student loan debt. Golden Financial Services consolidated their student loans — and took screenshots of each step of the way. These screenshots are being used today to provide a visual that makes it easier to understand the process.
Step 5: Select “(1 of the 4)” loan servicers’ to consolidate with…
You can select Navient, FedLoan Servicing, Nelnet or Great Lakes Educational Loan Services as your loan servicer. I recommend using Great Lakes as your loan servicer if you’ve already received the garnishment notice. Navient can get very busy where you have to wait on hold when calling them.
Within 1-2 weeks after you submit your consolidation application you can contact the loan service by phone and ask to speak to a supervisor. Tell them about your situation … that you just received a garnishment notice and you only have 30-days to consolidate and get your loans “paid in full”.
They will prioritize your file.
Normally, within a few weeks after submitting your consolidation application, you will receive a letter that shows you all of the loans being paid-off (summary of loans that will be included in the consolidation). And then a few weeks after that, your loans will get paid off. But if your loan servicer is aware of your situation they will speed up the process.
You want to contact the creditor who is suing you every week or two throughout the process just letting them know that your consolidation is going through and the loans will be paid off any day now — keeping them updated. You want to stay on top of the loan servicer who you selected to consolidate, always speaking to a supervisor, and just asking them to push the process faster.