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DOE Announces Wage Garnishment Relief Initiatives

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education announced relief initiatives for student loan borrowers.

“These are difficult times for many Americans, and we don’t want to do anything that will make it harder for them to make ends meet or create additional stress,” said Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Beginning on March 13, wage garnishments and collection actions were stopped. This relief will last for at least 60 days. The relief also automatically reduces interest rates to 0% for federal student loans, borrowers are also able to suspend payments during this period.

The Department of Education noted that they are relying on employers to make these changes on borrowers checks. If borrowers find that money is still being taken from their paychecks they should contact their employers’ human resources department.

Borrowers who have defaulted student loans or relationships with private collection agencies with an interest in continuing their current collection plan, consolidating their loans or arranging a loan rehabilitation program with a private agency should contact the Department’s Default Resolution Group at 1-800-621-3115.

While the period of relief currently only lasts for 60 days, the Department of Education has said they are monitoring the situation and may extend the period if necessary. When the 60 day period is over borrowers can expect a message from their loan servicer about resuming payments, which may be emailed or posted to their account.

For more information borrowers can visit the Federal Student Aid Coronavirus webpage at https://studentaid.gov/coronavirus.