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The Debt Collector Says They Are Going to Garnish My Wages on an Old Student Loan. – Kim

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

Defaulted student loan; collectors after me; breaking many laws such as harassing me at work etc; no validation notice within 5 days of contact etc.

How soon after initial contact from collection agency can they garnish my wages. My angle here is to not panic, do LOTS of research, have my ducks in a row, be smarter than they are, and repay the debt on MY terms. I appreciate any insight you could provide. By the way, I reside in Washington State and the collector is in Arizona. The default is from 1988. Thank you!!!


Dear Kim,

They can move fairly fast on student loan wage garnishments because they don’t need to go to court to do it.

That being said, it’s a process and depending on the efficiency of the system it can take some time.

If these are government subsidized loans then you have some other options you should look at the Department of Education website

State of Washington wage garnishment information can be found here.

If these are not government backed loans and instead private student loans then the statute of limitations would be important. If they were expired under the statute of limitations then they could be discharged under bankruptcy. Click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss this with them.

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.

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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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