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Can I Be Garnished for a Private Student Loan With a Cosigner?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I have private student loans that I defaulted on years ago and worked out a payment plan in 2011. I have been on that payment plan ($775/mo) for years now. This payment leaves me crippled as this amount plus other student loan payments (masters degree but done on Federal loans) also have payments. I have no savings. No retirement fund and no emergency fund. I literally live paycheck to paycheck while in a good paying job that I solely work to pay my bills.

I saw an old post regarding not paying your private loans. I have a cosigner on this loan as well. In your post you indicated that it may be a better option to not pay and save you money for something else. Do they have the right to garnish your wages? Is this still the case that there is a statute of limitations on my private loans? More information on this would be great! Thank you.



Dear Erin,

For readers, I believe the article you are referring to is Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan.

The bigger issue here is the cosigner. When someone agrees to cosign they are accepting all the liability and responsibility for the loan without any of the benefit. If you default it will impact their credit and they will most likely be contacted for payment. You both may be sued.

Strategically defaulting on a private student loan debt with a cosigner can be a strategy but all parties must be on the same page when it comes to intentions and consequences.

As far as garnishing your wages, you would need to be sued first.

Before you do anything I’d like for you to consider how the private loans were used and at what school. See this article and let’s consider options first for dealing with if the loans.

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Please update me in the comments below.


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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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