What happens if you default on Federal Student Loans? - Mothering Forums
Frugality & Finances > What happens if you default on Federal Student Loans?
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 12:09 PM 12-16-2010

I know they can seize your paycheck, but what else?

 

I'm left with no other option - I can't get any more forebearances, am unemployed and not able to work. I have no income coming in. Am I correct in thinking there isn't much they can do except trash my credit? My credit is already bad thanks to medical debt, so doesn't make much difference to me.

 



Denvergirlie's Avatar Denvergirlie 12:14 PM 12-16-2010

They can and will take your tax return.

 

If you are married, you should file your taxes separtely, as they can't take your partners portion of the tax return, but they can take yours.


frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 12:50 PM 12-16-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post

They can and will take your tax return.

 

If you are married, you should file your taxes separtely, as they can't take your partners portion of the tax return, but they can take yours.


Not married - don't even make enough to file taxes. In 2010 I made a grand total of $75. So they can have the $25 or so I'm due back in January - it's not a huge loss.

 

Is there anything else they can do? I'm most worried about my home - they can't take it right? I know TX has different laws on taking your home {I'm in TX} but not sure how it works with federal debt.


la mamita's Avatar la mamita 12:59 PM 12-16-2010
Have you applied for the Income Based Repayment plan? That's what I'm on and I also have little to no income and my payments are zero...no forbearances needed, each month of zero counts as me "paying". It's pretty new as a repayment option so I want to make sure the word gets out. If you've already applied and been turned down, then ignore me smile.gif
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 01:02 PM 12-16-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post

Have you applied for the Income Based Repayment plan? That's what I'm on and I also have little to no income and my payments are zero...no forbearances needed, each month of zero counts as me "paying". It's pretty new as a repayment option so I want to make sure the word gets out. If you've already applied and been turned down, then ignore me smile.gif


 

Yes I have - if you don't make enough income to file taxes you don't qualify. I was told that I'd have to make at least $600 a year to qualify.

 

There should be a provision for those in the same boat - I can't be the only one.


la mamita's Avatar la mamita 01:14 PM 12-16-2010
because you don't have the tax records they need or there's an actual minimum income required? what is the reasoning for that? i wonder if they'll kick me off then because i don't think my earnings this year add up to 600...i do still plan to file taxes though, i have every year since becoming an adult.

eta: i just read that loans in default can't be placed on the IBR plan, so i hope you are able to contact them and work out something before they start seizing assets! it is very unfair that you don't qualify for IBR hug.gif
surrogate's Avatar surrogate 01:38 PM 12-16-2010

who is your lender?  My lender has something that is called "lender option forebearence/deferrment" and if you have used up all the unemployment ones you can apply for it.  I started college....10 years ago, and have made a total of 4 SL pmts.  I have used all my unemployment ones, and switch between lender option (6 mo) and low income when Ihave a "job"

 

GL


Mulvah's Avatar Mulvah 08:32 AM 12-17-2010


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post

Have you applied for the Income Based Repayment plan? That's what I'm on and I also have little to no income and my payments are zero...no forbearances needed, each month of zero counts as me "paying". It's pretty new as a repayment option so I want to make sure the word gets out. If you've already applied and been turned down, then ignore me smile.gif


 

Yes I have - if you don't make enough income to file taxes you don't qualify. I was told that I'd have to make at least $600 a year to qualify.

 

There should be a provision for those in the same boat - I can't be the only one.



I can't help you out on the loan information, but have you looked at www.workplacelikehome.com?  You may be able to find something, even PT.


Intoit's Avatar Intoit 08:47 AM 12-17-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

I know they can seize your paycheck, but what else?

 

I'm left with no other option - I can't get any more forebearances, am unemployed and not able to work. I have no income coming in. Am I correct in thinking there isn't much they can do except trash my credit? My credit is already bad thanks to medical debt, so doesn't make much difference to me.

 


If you can't get any more forbearances and are not eligible for Income Based Repayment, you should inquire about an "Economic Hardship Deferrment." I know this is available with Federal student loans. OP is correct they can/will seize FIT returns. 

 

Even though you say your credit is "trashed" with unpaid medical bills, depending on how much you owe in student loans you may not want that to be negative on your credit report... Hospital bills can be caught up eventually if able, if you can keep your student loans in a deferred status it's much better for your credit report, even if and especially if you owe tens of thousands of dollars on your loans.


cristeen's Avatar cristeen 08:49 AM 12-17-2010
They can garnish wages, seize tax returns/credits, ruin your credit. You cannot get another student loan until that one is paid in full, and chances of getting any loan, particularly in this climate, is slim to none.

But, all told, its not that big of a deal if you're neither concerned about your credit or planning on going back to school (and needing loans) anytime soon.
GirlBoyGirl's Avatar GirlBoyGirl 12:40 PM 12-17-2010

I asked this same question over on the forums at savingadvice.com and a financial "expert" told me that they can also take your social security when the time comes. Don't know if it is true or not but I thought I would pass the info on.


K1329's Avatar K1329 06:25 PM 12-19-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

They can garnish wages, seize tax returns/credits, ruin your credit. You cannot get another student loan until that one is paid in full, and chances of getting any loan, particularly in this climate, is slim to none.

But, all told, its not that big of a deal if you're neither concerned about your credit or planning on going back to school (and needing loans) anytime soon.



You can get another student loan, if you provide a letter from the holder of the defaulted loan stating that you have made satisfactory arrangements to repay - usually available after 6 months of payments. Are your loans with the federal direct loan program? If not, maybe you could consolidate them there and then see what options are available. I would definitely contact a government loan counselor, or two, or three and be certain that you have exhausted all options before defaulting. You might find more info on trouble making payments at: http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/difficulty.jsp?tab=repaying/   In   In   

Info on consolidation under the Direct loan program: http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/ 

 

Info on Income based repayment:  http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/IBRPlan.jsp 

 

Good luck!


GirlBoyGirl's Avatar GirlBoyGirl 01:36 PM 12-20-2010

If you default on Federal Student Loans, will they eventually accept a lower amount? I don't know what they call that but like if you don't pay a credit card (or whatever) won't they eventually settle for less?


Denvergirlie's Avatar Denvergirlie 08:53 AM 12-21-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

If you default on Federal Student Loans, will they eventually accept a lower amount? I don't know what they call that but like if you don't pay a credit card (or whatever) won't they eventually settle for less?



No, federal loans never go away, the remaining balance can and often does get taken out of a person's final estate. The government always gets paid.


GirlBoyGirl's Avatar GirlBoyGirl 12:25 PM 12-21-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

If you default on Federal Student Loans, will they eventually accept a lower amount? I don't know what they call that but like if you don't pay a credit card (or whatever) won't they eventually settle for less?



No, federal loans never go away, the remaining balance can and often does get taken out of a person's final estate. The government always gets paid.


Ok, I'll have to remember to die penniless... oh wait, I probably will anyway! ;) Just kidding, I was just wondering what happens. I am repaying my loans but sooooooooooooo slowly and honestly, and I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have no idea how they got so high. I know I have a masters degree but when you look at the tuition, it wasn't that high! What happened? I wish I had been more involved in my loans when I was in college. I was smart not to get a CC but dumb not to be more educated on my tuition costs and loans!


K1329's Avatar K1329 07:12 PM 12-21-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

If you default on Federal Student Loans, will they eventually accept a lower amount? I don't know what they call that but like if you don't pay a credit card (or whatever) won't they eventually settle for less?



No, federal loans never go away, the remaining balance can and often does get taken out of a person's final estate. The government always gets paid.



Federal Stafford loans are forgiven upon the loan holders death - they are not settled as part of the estate. You can also have them forgiven if you go on permanent disability - although in some situations they can then be reaffirmed. But, I think that's about it. No bankruptcy options, that I"m aware of, anyway.


Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 07:23 PM 12-21-2010

Is there a medical reason you can't work and repay loans? Disability can get the loans "forgiven".  Is there a state job you can do?  Can you become a teacher with little effort (schooling) then work in a high needs school?  There other government jobs that can get them forgiven. 


frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 10:13 PM 12-21-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

Is there a medical reason you can't work and repay loans? Disability can get the loans "forgiven".  Is there a state job you can do?  Can you become a teacher with little effort (schooling) then work in a high needs school?  There other government jobs that can get them forgiven. 



I have an autoimmune disease, and stress & fatigue make it worse. I might could get SSI, but I haven't tried yet as my doc says it's not very likely. I've tried three times in the last 4 years to work, and each time within 2-3 months I end up very very sick.


Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 04:13 AM 12-22-2010

Get a lawyer about the SSI, your doctor might not be the best person to give you advice about SSI. I have a friend with MS and at the time she could work, but that didn't means should could always work. Her lawyer gave her the advice that got her SSI....in her situation she volunteers the months she is feeling well enough to work. With some disorders you have to manipulate the system,  Manipulating the system is different than scamming.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post





I have an autoimmune disease, and stress & fatigue make it worse. I might could get SSI, but I haven't tried yet as my doc says it's not very likely. I've tried three times in the last 4 years to work, and each time within 2-3 months I end up very very sick.




zebra15's Avatar zebra15 11:41 AM 12-22-2010


Yes- this.  Also SSI is notorious for declining applications.  SSI is a long process, having someone help you is always a good idea.  Most SSI atty's get paid after the settlement, meaning you don't have to pay upfront.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

Get a lawyer about the SSI, your doctor might not be the best person to give you advice about SSI. I have a friend with MS and at the time she could work, but that didn't means should could always work. Her lawyer gave her the advice that got her SSI....in her situation she volunteers the months she is feeling well enough to work. With some disorders you have to manipulate the system,  Manipulating the system is different than scamming.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post





I have an autoimmune disease, and stress & fatigue make it worse. I might could get SSI, but I haven't tried yet as my doc says it's not very likely. I've tried three times in the last 4 years to work, and each time within 2-3 months I end up very very sick.


 



mattemma04 08:00 AM 12-25-2010

Yes, a lawyer for the disability payments.My friend was denied for years.Finally hired a lawyer and got all her back money.Yes,the lawyer got some,but without them she would be getting nothing.And she has COPD,lupus,and who knows what else.She is dying,but they said she could still work as a nurse aide.

 

I have read student loans will not disappear. If they wre covered under bankruptcy I bet a lot of people would get out of them that way.I am still paying mine,and it has been 12 years since I finished college!


GirlBoyGirl's Avatar GirlBoyGirl 06:35 PM 12-25-2010

I saw on the news the other day where they were saying student loans are going to be the next "mortgage crisis" since no one can pay them back!


changingseasons's Avatar changingseasons 09:28 PM 12-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

>


 

Yes I have - if you don't make enough income to file taxes you don't qualify. I was told that I'd have to make at least $600 a year to qualify.

 

There should be a provision for those in the same boat - I can't be the only one.


I haven't read all the responses, so this might have already been covered... but the bolded part is absolutely NOT TRUE!!! I applied, and was approved, for the IBR plan with both Direct Loans and Citibank, and I filed no tax returns last year. I will tell you that Citibank was a PITA and kept telling me that I didn't file the necessary paperwork, and that they didn't have my tax return (didn't file one!) and giving me the run around for a few months, but it did finally get approved, with me telling them that I had ZERO income (at the time). I got an approval from Direct Loans in just a couple weeks with no hassle.

eta: Both places had something like an "alternative income" form that I had to fill out since I didn't have 2009 tax records. But there's a box on the form to mark if you have no income.
la mamita's Avatar la mamita 05:31 AM 12-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

>


 

Yes I have - if you don't make enough income to file taxes you don't qualify. I was told that I'd have to make at least $600 a year to qualify.

 

There should be a provision for those in the same boat - I can't be the only one.


I haven't read all the responses, so this might have already been covered... but the bolded part is absolutely NOT TRUE!!! I applied, and was approved, for the IBR plan with both Direct Loans and Citibank, and I filed no tax returns last year. I will tell you that Citibank was a PITA and kept telling me that I didn't file the necessary paperwork, and that they didn't have my tax return (didn't file one!) and giving me the run around for a few months, but it did finally get approved, with me telling them that I had ZERO income (at the time). I got an approval from Direct Loans in just a couple weeks with no hassle.

eta: Both places had something like an "alternative income" form that I had to fill out since I didn't have 2009 tax records. But there's a box on the form to mark if you have no income.

thanks for clarifying, it seemed like a really awful rule!
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 02:35 PM 12-26-2010


I really see this happening.  Funding for higher education needs to change.  I also think parents needs to be more proactive -- it isn't a matter of just saving but there are so many things parents have to do.  I am learning it. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

I saw on the news the other day where they were saying student loans are going to be the next "mortgage crisis" since no one can pay them back!




Pariah's Avatar Pariah 02:59 PM 12-26-2010

I've defaulted on both my federal and private student loans. I feel like I'll never pay them off...we so badly want to buy a house too, but I'm afraid it will never happen. It is extremely depressing.


Pengwen56's Avatar Pengwen56 10:55 AM 05-19-2011

You can file for a unemployment deferment.  Contact your lenders that can help you, or even a economic hardship.


moneymama 06:39 PM 05-19-2011

If you have a disability that prevents you from working then you have a chance at getting your loans forgiven - it is one of the few circumstances that qualifies for forgiveness.  And yes, they will deduct what you owe from social security, sadly.


kristandthekids's Avatar kristandthekids 07:23 PM 05-19-2011
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babygirlie's Avatar babygirlie 01:39 AM 05-20-2011

You guys mean SSD not SSI. Disability versus Insurance. SSI is easy to get once you have the other. I've been on SSD for almost 10 years and student loans say it's not good enough for them to excuse a loan. It's illegal for them to garnish SSD or SSI. I own nothing but they love to call and threaten me and put an already stressfull situation on someone who is extremely anxiety ridden as it is. I just gave up.. they can come get my car but they're not allowed to. I think you're allowed one car and one house? Some lady calls me three times a week desperately wanting me to sign something ike a consolidation but that will forfeit my SSD qualification for forgiveness. But then again a year long process with 10 docs saying I can't work isn't evidence enough for them to forgive the loan. I don't know what else I can do. I would love to get married and have a home and stuff in my name (huge fear of being homeless and I will be if anything every happened to DP) but I guess they won't allow me to. I don't want them coming after him too.

 

There's a story that goes they filed for SSD student loan forgiveness for a lady that had been in a coma for 5 years and they denied her because she MIGHT be able to work one day. Student loans are evil. I will never advise anyone to ever take one out for any reason.Total scam imo.


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