NELNET is Going to Garnish My Wages and Leave Me Broke. – Sabrina

“Dear Steve,

I was enrolled in college in 2004, I withdrew and did not recieve any credits. I recieved a loan for about 4000.00, which is now 10,500 because of the fee’s. I have re-enrolled in a new college this year (2011) and I am paying out of pocket via Nelnet, monthly. I just found out my wages are going to be garnished (15%) for my 2004 loan in a few weeks. I have a daughter, Car note, cate insurance, Mortgage, utilities that Im struggling to pay for now.

Since I am currently in school, is there a way I can stop the garnishments until I am finished with school?


Dear Sabrina,

NELNET (National Education Loan Network) services private student loans if I remember correctly. Private student loans have few, if any, options for reorganizing the student loan, unlike government backed loans which have the Income Based Repayment program (IBR).

It sounds like you acknowledge you did receive a loan in 2004. You owe the loan regardless of your withdrawal unless you withdrew prior to being penalized for enrolling. In that case you would have had to take proactive action to get a refund from the school and repaid NELNET in full.

Student loans are one of the very worst types of debt you can have. The can administratively garnish wages without going to court.

The only option with a private student loan is to either negotiate a suitable repayment plan with the lender, if they are willing to do so. Your other choice, if your credit score is above 670, is to get an unsecured loan through a peer-to-peer lending network like You could either pay off the entire loan or pay enough off to bring the loan current.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode

5 thoughts on “NELNET is Going to Garnish My Wages and Leave Me Broke. – Sabrina”

  1. Sabrina, we would like to look into your account to see if you have any repymt options on your account.  Contact our customer service department at 888.486.4722.

  2. If you are enrolled in college again, you might be able to defer payments.  Try calling Nelnet and asking for a deferment.  You generally don’t have to pay until 6 months after you graduate from your college.  To be able to defer payments, you need to be enrolled full time in college.  It won’t make the debt go away but it will ease the payment issues.


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