My 24 Year Old Student Loans are Unmanageable and Ballooned. – JoAnne

“Dear Steve,

24 years ago I left college owing about 9000.00 in student loans. Over the years I was not able to pay and it ballooned to 20,000.00. I have been working the last seven years. For the past five years my wages have been garnished.

I have tried to find out who has my loan but have been unable to get an answer. I never got a letter or any notification that my wages would be garnished. I just looked at my paycheck one day and it was less than usual. I contacted personel and was told that an outside company deals with garnishments.

When I contacted the outside company they said it came through the courts even though I had received no notice. I have tried through out the past few years to do something about it but I can’t afford a lawyer and legal aid said they don’t handle this type of problem. It just keeps getting more and more depressing. I was wondering if you had any advice.

What can I do with a 24 year old student loan? My wages are being garnished and it is a hardship for me. I don’t even know who has my loan now. Any suggestions on what I had do??


Dear JoAnne,

Well that’s certainly the definition of a bad situation.

Student loan garnishments do not need to go through the courts. This is probably just an administrative garnishment and the payroll company just guessed when they answered you.

Hopefully these are federal student loans. If so you’ve got some good options, including the INcome Based Repayment (IBR) Program.

You can always call your loan servicer and talk to them about what options may be available for you. If you have any doubts about government program eligibility you can use the CFPB student debt repayment assistant tool to see what is available.

I’d also press the payroll company for information on the garnishment. They obviously know where they are sending your garnished wages, hopefully!

See also  Should we file a chapter 13 bankruptcy? Legal Helpers got us a wage garnishment. - TLRP

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


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.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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