How to File for Hardship After a Student Loan Wage Garnishment

After you receive notice of a wage garnishment to pay your student loan debt, you can request a release due to hardship, but you must act quickly. Your loan provider will process requests for hardship consideration within 30 days from the date shown on your garnishment notice. Some notices might even have a “respond by” date, which typically also indicate a 30-day deadline. In order to process the request, you must submit forms and documents to prove the garnishment will cause undue financial hardship for you or your household.

Confirm your 30-day deadline. Look for a "respond by" date on your wage garnishment notice. If your notice does not contain this date, look at the date of the notice. You have 30 days from the notice date to object to the garnishment.

Complete a Request for Hearing form. This is a formal, written request you make to request consideration of your case. Hearings can be held in person or by phone, depending on the method most convenient for you. The Request for Hearing form should be included with your garnishment notice. If it’s not, contact your loan provider for the form, or download U.S. Department of Education forms on the website.

Complete the Financial Disclosure Statement form. This form should also be attached to your garnishment notice, but if it's not, you can download this form on the site. On this form, you’ll provide information about your income and expenses. Your loan servicer uses your information, plus national allowances for expenses, established by the IRS to determine if you meet hardship criteria. You can view IRS allowances for common expense categories on the IRS website ( to get an idea of what your loan provider is looking for.

Mail your completed forms and documents to your loan provider. The address to send documents to is included in your wage garnishment notice. However, if you’re unsure of the name and address for your loan provider company, you can view your loan information in the National Student Data Loan System database at


About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.