Wage Garnishment for Student Loans in Texas: How it Works

#1 Student loan lawyer

Updated on July 3, 2023

Living in Texas and facing wage garnishment for student loans? It can be stressful. This guide helps you understand Texas wage garnishment laws, especially for student loans.

Ahead, we’ll explore whether your wages can be garnished, the specific rules for private loans, how to halt or avoid wage garnishment, and legal limits on garnishment.

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Can Student Loans Garnish Wages in Texas?

In Texas, wage garnishment for student loans can happen, but only under set conditions. Federal student loans? The federal government can take up to 15% of your spare cash, no court order required.

For private student loans, it’s a different ball game. Texas laws mostly ban wage garnishment unless a court backs the lender. And your spouse’s wages? Safe, unless they co-signed your private loan.

Related: How to Stop Student Loan Wage Garnishment

Can Private Student Loans Garnish Wages in Texas?

Private student loans can garnish wages in Texas, but only with a court’s say-so. Unlike federal loans, private loans need legal backing for wage garnishment. And Texas law often shields unsecured debts like private student loans.

The twist?

Texas courts may greenlight bank account garnishment for private lenders or collectors.

This move bypasses your paycheck, pulling funds directly from your account. There’s no cap on the amount or how often they can do it. So switching banks just puts off the inevitable, as creditors can still seek a new writ to levy accounts at a different bank.

Consequences of Defaulting on Private Student Loans in Texas

What if you default on private student loans in Texas? The fallout can be severe:

  • Credit damage: Defaults can hammer your credit score, block future loans or credit cards, and even thwart your rental plans.

  • Persistent collectors: Lenders may hound you for the debt or bring in a collection agency. Expect calls and letters demanding cash.

  • Lawsuit threats: If collection hits a wall, the lender may sue you for a court judgment. Winning could mean wage garnishment, bank seizures, or property liens. But remember, Texas tends to block student loan wage garnishment.

  • Professional license risks: In Texas, pros like teachers, dentists, and nurses can lose their licenses due to defaulted student loans.

To ease these effects, explore your options.

Refinance loans, negotiate a payment plan with your lender, or seek advice from a student loan lawyer. In dire straits, consider bankruptcy. This can halt wage garnishment but requires an adversary proceeding to wipe out student loans.

Related: Will IRS Take Tax Refunds for Student Loans 2023?

How to Stop a Garnishment for Student Loans in Texas

In Texas, to halt wage garnishment for federal student loans, borrowers can try these options:

  • Negotiate repayment: Reach out to the U.S. Department of Education or the assigned collection agency to reset repayment terms.

  • Consolidate loans: Bundle defaulted loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. This halts collections, moves your loan out of default, and opens up income-driven repayment paths.

  • Rehabilitate loans: Sign a loan rehabilitation deal. This requires nine consecutive payments based on your income. After the last payment, your loan exits default, and collections stop.

  • Dispute garnishment: If the U.S. Department of Education sends a wage garnishment notice, you might fight it. Grounds could be severe financial hardship or recent job loss.

  • Pay the debt: This might be tough, but it’s the quickest way to end default and halt wage garnishment.

For a limited time, federal student loan borrowers can take advantage of another option to get out of default: Fresh Start Program Student Loans. This program gets you out of default in a few weeks, sets you up with affordable monthly payments based on your income, and even clears the default from your credit report.

Bankruptcy is another option.

It can offer temporary relief from wage garnishment, especially if you’re swamped with other consumer debts. But this route has serious implications, so consult a legal expert.

To stop wage garnishment in Texas, consider paying the debt in a lump sum or negotiating a payment plan. Though Texas generally shields wages from garnishment for consumer debts, other collection methods may still apply.

Maximum Limits on Wage Garnishment for Student Loans in Texas

The wage garnishment amount for student loans in Texas depends on the loan type. The government can take up to 15% of your disposable income for federal loans—no court order needed.

For private student loans, the landscape changes. Texas laws typically don’t allow wage garnishment unless a court judgment favors the lender. Even then, the law usually shields unsecured debts like private student loans from wage garnishment.

What Other Debts Allow Wage Garnishments in Texas?

In Texas, wage garnishments apply to certain debts:

  • Child Support and Alimony: Texas permits wage garnishment for court-ordered child support and spousal payments.

  • Federal Student Loans: Employers in Texas must adhere to garnishment orders for federal student loans.

  • Unpaid Taxes: Wage garnishment can happen if you owe back taxes to the IRS or state. Related: Garnishment of Tax Refund for Student Loans

  • Other Federal Debts: Texas employers must follow garnishment orders for federal debts under the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA).

Notably, Texas generally resists wage garnishment for unsecured debts, such as credit card debts and personal loans. But once wages enter your bank account, they can be frozen or seized if a debt collector secures a court order.

Related: Student Loans Sold to Collections

Bottom Line

Navigating Texas’ student loan debt maze is no small task. It’s crucial to grasp wage garnishment orders, federal law, and how to plan repayments. Your disposable earnings, minimum wage, and income tax are all at stake. Look into exemptions and types of debts for potential relief.

Struggling with student loan payments or loan default? Concerned about dependents or spousal support? Take action today.

Book a strategy session with our team. We’ll help you tailor a strategy to tackle your student loan debt.

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