Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

I Went to Culinary School and My Student Loans Are Sinking Us – Colin

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Question:

Dear Steve,

I went to school in 2000-2001 (private culinary) borrowed 12,000 from Key a student loan bank? paid every payment on time until 2009 when I received a 10% reduction in pay due to the looming economic crisis. Crap hit the fan and I have never recovered. we are constantly overdrawn, behind in every thing unable to purchase enough food for a family of four etc… My fed. income taxes were taken which has exacerbated the situation drastically, and now my wages are being garnished to the tune of 192.00 per two weeks. I have a decent paycheck (50,000) per yr. but my wife is a stay at home mother and we are going to lose everything if I don’t get some relief. can you help us?

Can I put a halt (even temporary) to wage garnishment that is based on private student loans in order to keep my home and feed my family?

Colin

Answer:

Dear Colin,

You mentioned that your income tax refunds were being captured but private loans can’t do that. Are you sure you don’t have federal student loans or a federal student loan as well? That is the only type of student loan that can intercept you federal tax refund.

Of course the surest way of stopping a refund intercept is to not get a refund. Adjust your withholdings so you breakeven at the end of the year. It will put more money back into your pocket each month as well.

Avoiding a federal student loan garnishment is really easy, you just need to enroll your current loans into a Direct Loan and then opt for an income driven repayment program.

If your wages are already being garnished for a federal student loan then you should read The Easiest Way to Stop a Student Loan Wage Garnishment – Loan Rehabilitation.

If your garnishment is due to a private student loan then that tells me you were sued by your private lender, lost, and they obtained a judgment and wage garnishment.

If the private lender did obtain a judgment and wage garnishment against you then you have little leverage. You could file bankruptcy to stop the garnishment but unless you take additional action it is unlikely the private loans would just be dismissed.

You could attempt to negotiate with the private student loan lender but if they obtained a judgment and wage garnishment then there is little motivation for them to reduce what they can legally take from your check.

But it might be you have other debts that are getting in the way of you being able to afford the wage garnishment. In that case a consumer bankruptcy could help to make room for being able to afford the garnishment. It could give you a fresh start.

It would be worth it to talk to a local bankruptcy attorney in your state and discuss your situation.

My hope though is it is the delinquent federal loan which is actually garnishing your wages. In that case it’s a relatively easy issue to fix.


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