Who Can I Talk to About Student Loan Repayment Issues?


Dear Steve,

I took a federal student loan for grad school in 1975. My Social Security now is garnisheed. Since 1993 loan collection has taken $35,000 from me, and not one cent has been applied to the loan amount only to interest.

Is it legal not to put payments on to loan principal?

Do you know of a lawyer who has special knowledge regarding student loan repayment issues?


Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach


Dear Crystal,

It seems to me that your federal student loan issue has been a long time in the making.

Social Security can be garnished for delinquent federal student loan payments. That part is easy for the government to do.

If the mandatory amount garnished is insufficient to cover the interest owed each month then no payment would be applied to the underlying principal amount. But we don’t know what that amount has now grown into. Along the way, your delinquent account could have had added fees and penalties assessed.

Sadly, this could have been avoided a long time ago by either consolidating your defaulted federal student loans into a new consolidated loan (it can happen) or getting on a rehabilitation program with the Department of Education to stop the garnishment and bring your loan back into good standing. Then, you can get onto an Income-Driven Repayment plan with a potential zero-dollar monthly payment.

For more about rehabilitation, click here and here.

You can compare the different features of rehabilitation or consolidation by looking at this page. You can also decide to follow the guidance on the U.S. Department of Education website or talk to a student loan consultant like Damon Day.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Check Also

My Husband Was Desperate and Went With Simple Path Financial

Question: Dear Steve, I’m married to a husband that refused to listen to me about …