Student loan garnishment can break the budgets of many low income families. Ignoring your student loan debt is the absolute worst thing you can do, especially when you can’t afford your student loan payments. Eventually, the money will be recovered by garnishing your wages or even your tax returns!
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Fortunately, there’s a better way. You can prevent student loan tax garnishment by signing up for one of several income based repayment plans. Low income student loan borrowers can sign up for payment arrangements that offer very low payments (some as low as $0/month!) and eventual loan forgiveness.
However, if your wages or taxes are already being garnished, it isn’t that simple. The court has already authorized the company to collect on your taxes. Although it is certainly possible to stop it, you will face an uphill battle trying to convince them to stop your student loan tax garnishment.
What is a student loan tax garnishment?
Tax garnishment occurs when your employer deducts money from your tax returns to pay a debt. This can only happen when you owe specific kinds of federal debts.
Usually, student loan tax garnishments are only authorized when you do not have standard wages that can be garnished instead. I personally know several people who were subjected to wage garnishments but not tax garnishments.
If your tax return suddenly disappeared because of a student loan tax garnishment, you shouldn’t be taken by surprise. Legally, the IRS is required to notify you in advance with a Notice of Intent to Levy. If you receive one of these documents, do not ignore it!
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There is a way to avoid the student loan tax garnishment, as long as it hasn’t already happened.
1. Contact your loan servicer to rehabilitate your loan and enter an income based repayment plan.
Although stopping the garnishment isn’t as easy as preventing it, it is still very possible. It all starts when you call your student loan servicer to discuss your options.
If you are low income, point out that you qualify for one of the income based repayment plans and that you were unaware of this option when you fell behind on your payments. These repayment plans can cost as little as NOTHING every month and include eventual debt forgiveness. No joke!
You may need to rehabilitate your loans in order to pursue an income based repayment plan. Rehabilitation requires you to make nine affordable monthly payments on time over the next ten months. Your rehabilitation program repayment could be as low as $5 per month!
Under the rehabilitation program, the payment amount is 15 percent of your discretionary income. Your discretionary income is the difference between the adjusted gross income on your last tax return and 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for your state and family size. If this payment is too large, your loan servicer may allow you to negotiate an even lower payment based on your monthly expenses.
You need to act fast!
You will need to make at least one payment before the tax return is seized, so act quickly if you receive a Notice of Intent to Levy from the IRS!
Better yet, don’t even wait to receive that letter. You can apply for an income based repayment schedule today with payments as low as ZERO dollars per month with eventual loan forgiveness after 20 years!