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  • What happens if you default on your student loan

    Posted on September 13, 2017 by Michael Hoverson

    Just like any other creditor who wants to be paid in full when they lend money, the federal government and private lenders also have a number of ways they can seek to be paid in full when a person defaults on a student loan.

    If you’re dealing with a federal student loan, the IRS can intercept any tax refund you are due and apply it to the balance of your loan until it is paid in full. This is a very common way to collect on defaulted loans by the Department of Education. In some cases, you can challenge the offset, but you’ll probably need an attorney to help you.

    Just as common, the federal government can garnish your paycheck to help satisfy your debt. By law, they can take up to 15% of your disposable income (which is different from gross or net income). You can also challenge a garnishment, or you may want to attempt to negotiate a repayment schedule instead of being subjected to a forced repayment through garnishment.

    The federal government can also take some of your federal benefits to satisfy the terms of a loan, including Social Security retirement and disability benefits. By law, they are limited to taking no more than 15% of your total benefit amount or leave you with benefits that would total less than $9,000 per year.

    One of the least attractive options for defaulters is that they can be sued by the federal government to recover loans. There is no time limit and you can be sued at any time if you default on a loan.

    You can get some assistance from the Department of Education by visiting www.fsahelp.ed.gov where you’ll be required to take several steps to work out your loan problem. If you are still having problems after following the department’s instructions, you can contact their ombudsman at 877-557-2575 for additional assistance.

    Hoverson Law Offices serve clients in Minneapolis, Bloomington and other nearby Minnesota communities.

333 Washington Avenue North, Suite 308, Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone: (612)349-2728 / Fax:(612)349-2726