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How to Find Out How Much Is Owed on a Student Loan if a Tax Return Is Being Garnished

Original post by Jamie Wilson of Demand Media

There are few things more disheartening than opening your anticipated tax-return check notice only to find that it has been garnished in order to pay off your defaulted student loan. Worse, your student loan, once in collections, will be collected from your federal tax returns every year unless and until you can rehabilitate it or pay it off entirely.The first step is finding out how much you owe. However, to solve the garnishment problem, you need to rehabilitate and start repaying the loans.

How Much You Owe

Step 1

Call financial-aid offices of colleges you have attended and request that they mail or email you a list of student loans you took out while you were a student.

Step 2

Call the Federal Student Loan offices at 1-800-4-FED-AID. Ask where your student loans are being serviced and who you need to contact, including telephone numbers, to arrange for consolidation and repayment. Ask them to send you information on loan consolidation as well.

Step 3

Call the agencies that are currently servicing your loans. If there are multiple agencies, call each one. Ask the status of your loan and what the current balance of your loan is.


Step 1

Contact the Federal Student Loan offices again and ask about rehabilitating your loan. The agents will tell you how much you must pay monthly directly to them. This is a non-negotiable offer, regardless of your circumstances.

Step 2

Pay the Federal Student Loan office the specified amount within 10 days of the due date every month for nine months.

Step 3

Call the Federal Student Loan office at the end of your rehabilitation period and ask about consolidating your loans and getting on an affordable payment plan. Double check the loans they list in consolidation against the list that your college financial-aid offices sent you to ensure every single loan is accounted for. Make your student-loan payments on time every month to avoid falling into default again.


Tips & Warnings

  • If your loan is approaching default or is in default, be proactive and call the Federal Student Aid offices.
  • Only federally guaranteed student loans can be collected by garnishing tax returns; private loans must seek other means of collection.
  • If you can work out a consolidation deal to rehabilitate your loan, you can greatly reduce penalties, late fees and even interest.



About the Author

Jamie Wilson has written online content for over a decade on a wide variety of subjects. Currently, she is the Augusta Military Lifestyles expert for a prominent website. She is also a published fiction writer and experienced Web designer working on a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.