I’m Being Sued on Private Student Loans But We Are Poor With Special Needs Daughters


Dear Steve,

Being sued for private student loans. Paid on them for 11 years balance never went down.

Say I owe 4 loans totaling $8937.49. Family of four only makes $31,325 a year and has 2 special needs daughters.

My husband is our primary income. I work as an independent contractor for DoorDash and make about $100 a week.

I have to go to court mediation Sept. 22, 2020.

All 4 loans and being sued individually. We have our home in my husband’s name and 2 cars which we owe more than their worth. Only have about $600 in the bank. The student loans are only in my name and we live in Georgia.

I have nothing to give them and I am afraid of what they might do. What assets can they take?

Can they garnish my husband’s wages since I don’t make much?

We honestly are just making ends meet and have nothing for them.



Dear Christine,

It sounds like you’ve been sued already over these loans. I totally understand that the loans are now unaffordable and that you paid on them for a long period of time. Ultimately you are only as good to your creditors as the last full payment.

The loans sound as if they are in your name alone. I am not an attorney so I can’t give you legal advice. You should always consult with an attorney that is licensed in your state to get a legal opinion.

You might be eligible for help from Georgia Legal Aid. It’s worth checking since these are debts in your name alone and you have no personal income.

Here is what I can tell you with certainty. If you have been sued, the worst thing you can do is not participate in the process and not represent yourself. You have no experience of what options are really available.

I was talking to my debt coach friend Damon Day about this situation in general and he said, “When it comes to private student loans there are a number of options. For example, being sued, losing, getting a judgment against you, and a lien or wage garnishment is not a fatal hurdle and different negotiable options are possible in every stage.”

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So you see, it just really depends if the debt advisor or debt relief company you talk to have the experience in these situations.

My concern right now is not if there are options to deal with the situation but I think you need someone to look over your entire financial situation and see what is a realistic option given household income you can actually afford to direct towards the process.

Depending on the type of private student loans and the school that you attended, they might be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy.

If these loans are in your name they should not drag your husband in at all.

Do you own any assets in your name alone or have anything they can put a lien against that you own? Let me know in the comments section below.

In nearly every case people don’t have assets that creditors want. The exception would be if you own a property and a creditor could put a lien against it. But then again, that’s not a given and it depends how the property is titled.

One last option to consider given your care of two special needs children is to think about contacting the nonprofit law firm HELPS. They typically help seniors and people with disabilities but let me know if you’d like for me to ask them to take a look at your situation.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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