Wage Garnishment

I Have Not Paid My Student Loan Since 1988 And Now They Want Money

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

Went to a computer school in 1988, I got a 4600 student loan, which I didn’t pay but from 1991 until 2016 my income tax was taken, that stopped in 2016,

Now I’ve received notice at my job that I owe 16,000 on my student loan.

Soon after I finished the program the school was closed for fraud, with student loans.

What can I do about this the loan was paid 10 times over, now they want more.
What do I do now?



Dear Dawn,

The fact your income tax refund was intercepted indicates to me this was a federal student loan.

The notice to your employer sounds like an Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) notice.

If this was truly a federal loan then nothing good is going to come from ignoring it. Any Social Security benefits you may receive in the future could be garnished if you don’t deal with this.

Because you attended the school so long ago, programs like closed school discharge don’t apply to your situation.

Logically, a reasonable course of action would be to rehabilitate your federal loans and get them on an Income-Drive Repayment (IDR) plan. This will stop the wage garnishment and avoid having future tax refunds or Social Security benefits intercepted.

IDR plans will keep you out of default but they are not perfect. See this.

If you were hoping for a perfect solution for student loan issues, as of now, it doesn’t exist.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


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