You’re reading this because you just learned General Revenue Corporation says it’s going to garnish your wages. They say you’re in default for a federal student loan.
You’re not sure what to do.
So you called. The GRC rep wasn’t helpful.
Now, you’re confused and scared. You can’t afford a wage garnishment. Money’s tight as it is.
Let me help.
TL;DR: Before the garnishment starts, set up a voluntary payment agreement and get out of default by rehabilitation or loan consolidation. After the garnishment starts, your only options are rehabilitation or bankruptcy.
In this post, I’ll go over your options to stop a wage garnishment.
Can General Revenue Corporation Garnish Wages
The government has given the United States Department of Education special powers to collect when you default on a federal student loan. As soon as you default, the Department’s allowed to take your tax refund, Social Security benefits, and garnish your wages via administrative wage garnishment.
The Department works with the IRS to take your tax refund. And it works with the Treasury Department to take your Social Security benefits. But when it wants to garnish, the Department goes outside the government and instead hires debt collection agencies like ConServe, Professional Bureau Collections of Maryland, and General Revenue.
So to answer the question. Yes. General Revenue can garnish wages when you have federal student loans that are in default.
» Sidenote. GRC can’t take money out of your bank account. They need a judgment to levy an account. So don’t worry, the money in your bank account is safe (at least from your federal student loans).
How to Stop Administrative Wage Garnishment
Your options for stopping administrative wage garnishment depends on whether the garnishment has started.
Before the administrative wage garnishment starts
You can stop a garnishment before it starts by:
- Setting up a voluntary payment agreement
- Entering into a rehabilitation agreement
- Paying the loan in full
- Negotiating a settlement and
- Consolidating the loans that are in default
Be careful with trying to consolidate your loans if you’ve gotten notice your wages will be garnished by a certain date. If your loans aren’t paid off before that date, a garnishment order may be sent to your employer, and then you won’t be able to consolidate.
You may be able to avoid this by first setting up a voluntary payment agreement and then consolidating your loans.
After the garnishment starts
Once it starts, there aren’t many options to stop a student loan garnishment immediately.
In fact, there’s only one: file bankruptcy.
» Sidenote. Technically it’s not the only option. You can stop a garnishment that’s already started if you can afford to pay your student loan debt in full, can afford a settlement, or are experiencing a financial hardship. But most student loan borrowers I’ve met can’t do either of those things so...
The automatic stay of a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop a student loan garnishment and other debt collectors trying to garnish your wages. Plus, a chapter 13 may allow you to get out of default, which is especially helpful if this is the second time you’ve defaulted on a loan.
I know this sucks to hear. I mean, who wants to file bankruptcy.
But the reality is, if you want to immediately stop a garnishment that’s already started, bankruptcy is your only option.
Now if you’re not wanting to file bankruptcy, your other options for stopping a wage garnishment is entering into a loan rehabilitation agreement or requesting a financial hardship.
The loan rehabilitation agreement will stop the garnishment after you’ve made 5 monthly payments. A financial hardship will stop the garnishment once it’s been approved. That might take 30-90 days.
About General Revenue
GRC is a subsidiary of Navient Corporation, which was spun-off from Sallie-Mae.
Navient spun off GRC so it could provide collection services made by the higher education industry.
As a debt collector, GRC’s debt collection practices must comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Basically, GRC isn’t supposed to make threatening collection calls and harass you and your family members.
» Sidenote. When it comes to federal student loans, GRC mostly collects loans made under the Family Federal Education Loan program and the Federal Perkins Loan program. This means that if you work for the government or qualified nonprofit and GRC is contacting you about a student loan, that loan may not qualify for forgiveness under the PSLF program.
GRC’s contact information
General Revenue has offices in Cincinnati and Mason Ohio and Horseheads New York.
4660 Duke Drive
Mason, OH 45040-8466
325 Daniel Zenker Drive
Horseheads, NY 14845
» Sidenote. Send any credit reporting dispute to the Ohio address.
You can call them at 844-688-2709 from 8am to 9pm EST Monday through Friday. They’re open on Saturday’s as well from 8am-12pm.
You can also email them at email@example.com.
In the email, include your:
- Phone number and
- Reference number (if you have one)
On the phone calls I’ve had with GRC’s reps, I’ve found them to be pretty easy to work with. That said, they are pretty aggressive with calling. Last week, they called me 6 times in one day about the same client.
You’re in default. That’s scary. And General Revenue’s representatives haven’t been helpful.
If you want to talk to someone who knows what to do to get you of default quickly, let’s talk.