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Why Your Defaulted Federal Student Loans Could Cost You That Tax Refund

Federal Income Tax Return InterceptIf you’re a Federal Student Loan Borrower, and you haven’t been making payments, be careful before filing your tax return.

One of the collection tools available for defaulted federal student loans is called a Federal Income Tax Return Intercept. Depending on the status of your federal student loan, you may end up losing your tax refund. Best to tread carefully.

If you’re not making payments becuase you have a deferment or forbearance, do yourself a favor and double check the status of that.

Deferments and forbearances come in 6 and 12-month time spans.  If you don’t know when it ends, make a call to your student loan servicer and verify it is still active.  If it is still active then you have nothing to worry about in terms of filing your taxes.

If, however, the deferment or forbearance ended, you may be in trouble depending on how long ago it ended.  If you only missed a few payments, even as many as 6, you should have time to save your loan from going into default.  Call your servicer and ask how.  If you’ve missed 9 or more payments, your loan is likely in default.

If your loan is in default, you may not get your tax refund due to a Federal Income Tax Return Intercept.

Mechanics Of the Federal Income Tax Return Intercept

Here’s how it works. The U.S. Department of Education sends a note to the Treasury who, upon being told by the IRS to issue a refund check, instead forwards the funds to the U.S. Department of Education to be applied towards your defaulted federal student loan balance.

Getting Income Tax Refunds Back After Intercept

If you file a joint tax return and part of the money is owed to the non-borrowing spouse, he/she can file an IRS form to get their share of the refund back.

You, the borrower, will not get back any refund money taken to pay your defaulted federal student loan. You can avoid future intercepts by rehabilitating your federal student loan and remaining current on payments.

What To Do Instead

Check the status of your loan.  If you’re safe, go ahead and file.

If you’re in default, use this time to take action.  Get your loan out of default, get a payment plan you can afford, and then you can file your tax return.  Can you fix your default before the April 15th deadline?  It is possible, but you may find it less stressful to file an extension until October to research and act on the best method to fix your default.  Do your homework now – it could cost you if you don’t.

Image credit:   cdedbdme


  1. jessica

    I just found out today my tax refund was intercepted for a student loan my husband had in 1998. We got married in 2011. This was our first joint filing. He doesn’t work. Hasn’t in years. So the entire income is mine. So they intercepted my money. Will I get it all back, and how complicated is?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Please contact me directly as I cannot give advice publicly.
      Thank you,

      • Bryan

        I’m interested in what happened in this. I have a similar situation in which my spouse works yet I did not this year and we just got married in 2013 but I owe student loan debt. Is there a way to avoid tax refund interception, since I haven’t yet submitted our taxes? Or do we have to submit taxes then try to get back what one spouse does not owe? Thank you for any help.

        • Joshua Cohen

          You can do either one. File and get back what your spouse is owed, OR get your loans out of default and then file, which means you’ll get 100% of your refund.

          • Bryan

            Thanks for such a quick response. Not sure how fast I can get my loans out of default before the deadline to file taxes (still reading up on that). But I read on the IRS website I could electronically send our taxes in along with an Injured Spouse Relief form: “You may file form 8379 along with your original tax return or your may file it by itself after you are notified of an offset.” Do you know if this would prevent an interception? Much appreciated!

        • SMG

          when filing apply for injured spouse status and you will get your full refund

        • molly

          look into filing an injured spouse form

      • chris

        my wife is default with her load..she only made like 2000 all year last year..i made 98% of our income..they said they r taking all of our tax can they do that when i made 98% of it..

        • Joshua Cohen

          They don’t know who made the money – they only know your wife’s social security number is showing a refund. File an injured spouse form with the IRS and get 98% of your return back.

          • Mark

            Where do I get the injured spouse form?

          • Joshua Cohen


          • Mark

            I wasn’t aware my wife owed student loans prior to our marriage. I just filed our taxes last week and just found out that they will take the refund. As previous people commented I made 99% of our income.

          • Tamarra Banks

            The state took my refund for a $200 balance I owe. My refund covers that amount and then some but hasn’t been applied yet. It has been 2 months and they still haven’t applied it. Now they want to garnish my wages. What should I do?

      • James cooper

        My wife just filed her taxes as head of house hold but I’m not on since I owe student loan money can they touch her taxes?

        • Joshua Cohen


          • Jeanna

            If my return was taken last year from me, is it safe to say that it will it be taken again this year?

          • Joshua Cohen

            Maybe, maybe not. Get your loan out of default!

          • Heather

            Hey Josh I am wondering if files as head of household and am expecting a return. My husband owes child support student loans and unemployment and now there is a tax topic of 203 on my tax refund that is supposed be deposited on the 30th of october. Can they do this when he is no where on the taxes?

          • Joshua Cohen

            They can’t touch your return if you file separately. They will touch your husband’s tax refund, if he gets one. He should do something to work out the kinks. On the bright side, child support takes priority. If child support takes 25% of husband’s paycheck, the gov’t has nothing to take. Still, resolution would be the best idea.

      • Katie

        If you are on government assistance, can you get your taxes back after interception?

        • Joshua Cohen

          Not necessarily. You need to request a hearing. Also, get your loan out of default so this isn’t a problem next year.

          • Dawn

            My student loan is originally from 1997. I only got $2500, but with fees etc it is now $8000 plus. My EIC refund was intercepted last year ,however I am prepared for it to happen this year too. I have read that after 20 years the loan is finally off my back. IS this true.?? I don’t think I can afford the rehab my student loan. Maybe them taking my EIC refund is best way to pay them back? I only make about 9k a year plus govt asst. It’s a bit silly for the govt to take the EIC, basically their own money, to pay off another govt dept. I thought the EIC was somewhat protected.

          • Joshua Cohen

            The 20 year forgiveness only counts for years you are NOT in default. You can be in default forever and never have your loan forgiven. Get out of default, then you can achieve forgiveness.

      • Phyllis

        I have the same question!

      • Chrystal

        Can you tell me how to get my part of a refund back as they took my return for my husbands past student loan debt. and Child support

        • Joshua Cohen

          File an injured spouse form with the IRS.

          • Stayling guzman

            Joshua can you please contact me.
            Theyve been taking money out of my paycheck since last july am i safe on filing my tax return this year?

          • Joshua Cohen

            Please call my office. If your wages are being garnished, your tax refund is in jeopardy too.

      • Sarah

        My refund was garnished last year, but I cant see where it was applied when I look at the NSLDS database. I have since consolidated them on the income based plan and my payments are $0/mo. So will I be garnished this year? I truly can’t afford it to happen again.

        • Joshua Cohen

          1) The NSLDS does not show an accounting. The only way to see it applied is to have a before and after report with a difference in the balance showing the credit.
          2) If you are not longer in default (which you’re not if you are making payments), then you should be safe.

      • jasmine

        If I have a forebearance that ends 3/31/14 will they take my federal refund?

        • Joshua Cohen

          If you are in forbearance, you are not in default. If not in default, your refund is safe.

          • Christina Zelaya

            I just consolidated my loans. The collection agency said to wait a couple of days after the first pymt to check with the irs to be sure the offset was removed. Do I have hope to receive my refund?

          • Joshua Cohen


      • Kris Foster

        I had a payment plan at one point trying to get back into school…. Lost my job at that time and wasn’t able to pay… A few months later I got a job and after a couple of checks they started to garnish wages…. Now I have a newborn and I’m afraid to file thinking that they will take it…. Is there anything I can do to get my taxes?

        • Joshua Cohen

          Yes! Get your loans out of default! Contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates for assistance.

      • Jamie

        I have a ? I have been making payments and mine is still in default so how do I get it out and get my refund ?

        • Joshua Cohen

          Are your payments going towards a plan to get your out of default? IF not, you’re wasting your time. Contact my firm or one of my graduates for assistance.

          • Jamie

            I was told thAt I would be out of default in April but I could get it interrcepted but I have already filed is it too late and how do I go about in doing this ?

      • tonya

        Joshua cohen,
        my taxes were taken because of student loans I owe from years ago. is there anyway I can file for financial hardship to get my taxes back?? please help

        • Joshua Cohen

          Get out of default and avoid this next year. It is extremely hard to get your refund back once taken.

      • Tiffany

        My loan is not out of default but I just started a payment plan to get it out of default. Who can I contact to see if they are going to take my federal return?

        • Joshua Cohen

          If you’re in default, they can take your tax refund. It doesn’t matter that you’re in a repayment plan.

      • tara

        I called to check on the status of my refund only to be told that it was intercepted. I wasn’t given any notice. I’m a single parent of 4 kids and have a 4 month old grandbaby. Really was counting on the money to get out of this whole now I’m in a bigger whole. Is there anything that be done. Was told by h&r block that I’ll be getting a letter in 2 weeks. By then we’ll be homeless

      • Cheryl Hodnett

        Josh which tax return do they take when u file ur taxes

    • Shalon

      Can you tell me what happen with you and how long did it take to get your some of your money back pls

      • Bryan

        This is all new to me and it could be months from now before I know what outcome this may be. Don’t know if I’ll remember to come to this site and tell you all the details to be honest (or if by then, even remember this website).

        But right now I’m reading that filing form 8379 Injured Spouse Relief along with your ‘Married filing Jointly’ taxes, that the IRS will send what is owed to the spouse that’s not supposed to be “offset” because of student loan debt from the other spouse. (It works the same for child support,etc.). What I’m looking for is: -will filing this 8379 form along with my taxes prevent an interception of the refund, or will it come later. All I know is that the IRS will pay the spouse (that doesn’t have the debt) his/her portion of the joint return. The question is, is it sooner or later. IDK.
        PS- If I find the answer soon I’ll come back to this page and let you know.

        • Maura

          Hi I just did my taxes and im getting 4.5k withheld for a student loan. The issue is that i have been paying on my student loans since October. I recieved a letter stating that that Mohela was now the company handling my student loans so I signed up for automatic withdrawls. I even pay more than what is needed. I dont understand why I am not getting my taxes??? Can there be another loan that I am not aware of ? It so difficult to track who has what loan? But the letter from the dept of education stated that my loans would be handled by Mohela. I dont know what to do now. I am single mother and use my taxes to keep me afloat during the year. Can they do that without sending you any forms or letters stating you are in default or that your taxes will be taken???

          • Joshua Cohen

            If you didn’t get a letter or notice, how do you know 4.5k is being withheld for your student loan? You can check the history and status of all Federal loans here:

      • tosha

        when i filed my takes in 2011 with my husband they kept all of them for him owing student loans it took me from February until November to get my injured spouse back!! and i called every other day to stay on top of it it was a train wreck and i eventually got my portion of my taxes back which was our only income anyway so it was the full return pretty much but it took almost a year and they do not even process the injured spouse forms until tax season ends.. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NO FILED YET do an extension. OR IF UR IN A REPAYMENT PLAN NOW call your loan company and ask them if they can check if ur still on the tax deduction list because mine tells me i check every other month and they straight told me to file and extension because it takes 10 on time payments to get it out of default so check that first just because you are on a payment plan does not mean that your taxes will not be taken! so check first!! hope this helps with everyone. AND STAY ON THE PHONES AFTER YOU FILE UR INJURED SPOUSE FORM mine got lost and finally they had to give it to a certain person to finish it because it was over the deadline and i would have never even received it if i hadn’t called and check literally every other day.

    • Christine

      I have a similar situation and am curious what the steps are to fix it. I filed my taxes on 01/31/2014 and saw that a large portion of the refund was taken by the IRS to pay the Florida department of Education on 02/07/14. The IRS took money this year from my tax refund from a student loan that my husband had in 2001. It was actually a parent loan and he was the recipient of the loan. I thought his parents were responsible for the loan since they were the applicants on the loan and he was just the recipient of the loan. We didn’t even get married until 2009 (8 years after he went to college) and he hasn’t worked in 4 years. All the household income is mine. Also, I have never received any letter from anyone stating that any loan debt was owed since the loan belongs to his parents not to me.

      • Joshua Cohen

        1) if it’s all your income, file an injured spouse form and get the refund back. 2) this is obviously not a parent loan because he would NEVER be responsible for it. Have your husband check the status of his loans at Perhaps he doesn’t realize he has loans too.

    • Kerry

      My entire income tax was taken because my husband owed back school taxes that I did not know about he does not work as well. How can I get my money back? Please help me

      • Joshua Cohen

        IRS injured spouse form.

        • Christina

          My husbands student loans are in default, so our refund was intercepted. I filled out the Injured Spouse form and sent it in after finding out it was intercepted. My income is our only income, and I was still unable to get the refund. They stated that because my income was the only income they used that as his. At the time, we had lived most of the year in a community property state, is this why my income was considerd “his”? Its very frustrating…

          • Joshua Cohen

            What they told you is not true. Your income is yours and your refund cannot be taken for his Federal student loan debt. Make sure you’re talking to the IRS to get this straightened out.

    • Jasmyn

      There is a form you can file with your taxes that will separate your tax return from his. This happened to me as well, so I know the process like the back of my hand now. It takes 11 weeks to get your taxes back. You cannot efile. You need to go to your local tax company to file unless you know how to file the extra form yourself. I always have mine done for me to prevdnt any mistakes. You will have to so this every year until his debt is paid.

    • My daughter is a senior in college and they are telling her that she cannot get her final year loan because i am default of a student loan. I was, years ago and it was paid with my tax refund. How do i prove this so she can finish school??

      • Joshua Cohen

        Your loan should not stop her from getting aid, unless the school wants YOU to take out a Parent PLUS loan. Go to to verify the status of your loan(s).

        • Julia

          My tax returns were taken for my student loans for about 5 years.

          Last year, I received my first full tax return. I lost my job in February of this year. I had been there for three years. My financial woes finally seemed to have turned around.

          In July of this year, I received a phone call regarding my federal student loans that are in default by a rehabilitation company and was told that I was wrong, that my loans weren’t paid off, that I still owe over $5000 and that I could get these loans out of default. I made four payments and as of last month, I informed them that I have absolutely no money. This company is now calling “references” after I informed them from the beginning that I did not want this to happen. I’ve answered every phone call they’ve given me in the last 5 months, with exception of this past week because I was unavailable when they called.

          My concern is, is my tax return going to be taken again? Why would I be getting tax returns back if this loan wasn’t paid? Why is it impossible to find out what exactly is owed? I haven’t been in school in about 10 years and unfortunately, have paid what is likely close to $15,000 after interest and everything else and I went to school online. My student loans were MAYBE $5000-7500 total by the time I was done.

  2. maria

    my refund just got intercepted due to default student loan. i started payment plan in january. but am still in default. is there ANYTHING i can do??
    I am completely devastated!

    • Joshua Cohen

      The intercept is allowed if you are in default. Did someone tell you the payment plan would stop the intercept? You might try calling the Dept of Ed Ombudsman to see if they can do anything.

    • Mike caron

      My son has the same problem. Student loans that weren’t payed. Now they say it’s
      30% interest.
      What should he do? They have taken the last two years of income taxes since then some years he didn’t work at all one year he made 15,000. What should he do?.

      • Joshua Cohen

        There is no way interest is 30%, but the collection fee can be 25%. Get the loan out of default, period!

  3. Cassandra

    I started a payment plan in Jan 2013, was assured my loan would NOT be in default, only to find out AFTER my return was intercepted, I had 2 other loans from the SAME group in default…why would they not tell me about the other loans in the SAME phone call and help me handle those? They’re still being handled by the same group and they have not sold my loans to another lender. Is there a way I can consolidate my loans and get refund back at all? Why would they help me with ONE loan and not the others in ONE phone call?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is hard to say what went wrong without knowing the details. Often times, servicers have different departments, one for current loans, another for deliquent loans. The two departments may not talk to each other. Further, once your loan enters default, the servicer no longer handles the account and does not always know the debt collector handling your default loans. You’ll need to contact the lender to find out what debt collector has your default loans. the worst part about all of this is that there is nothing you can do to get your tax refund back. You need to get your loan out of default so you don’t lose next year’s tax refund.

      • Becca Rhode

        I had my taxes intercepted last year for Student loans that were in default. The amount they took should have covered my past due amount. I filed form 8379 last year so that my husband would get his portion back. I am wondering if they have to send me an offset notice each year or what?? I haven’t received one for this year as of today. I just want to know if I should file form 8379 again or not. Or is there a way to get my loans out of default before I file. I don’t want to wait until Oct to file. Thank you in advance!

        • Joshua Cohen

          There is always a way to get out of default before filing your taxes. You should do that as soon as you can. Please contact my office directly for assistance.

  4. Robert

    How can I get a portion back so I don’t get evicted? I have two children please help

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is extremely hard to get your refund back once intercepted, but I have heard that if you contact the IRS direclty, you might be able to plead your case for a return of some funds.

      • melissa sabala

        I just started my rehab program with peformant from the u.s. dept of education and they told me if i made payments i would be ok and so i made my first payment this feburary of 2014 and went ahead and filed my taxes. later this week i learned my taxes were being withheld to go towards my student loan, but i heard if your in the rehab program they wouldnt take your taxes so why are they holding my taxes after i already started making payments? i need my tax return! i have two kids!

        • Joshua Cohen

          I hate to say this but someone lied to you. Making rehab payments will not necessarily stop a tax refund offset. Your tax refund is not safe until you are out of default.

          • Denise

            Was absolutely devastated to learn that my taxes were intercepted today. However, after talking to an H&R Block employee, they informed me that there is a tax interception forgiveness for those who are teachers. I am a teacher, is this true, and how do I go about filing in order to get all or some of my refund back? Thanks.

          • Joshua Cohen

            Hate to say this, but H&R block knows taxes, that’s about it. They are absolutely WRONG about your student loan situation. Being a teacher doesn’t get you your refund back. It does, however, get you some of your loan forgiven, IF you are in good standing. Get out of default! For personal assistance to get you back on track towards forgiveness, please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates.

        • chandice

          Same place just did that to me I set on up in nov and they still took my taxes I was told wasn’t anything you could unless u had a court ordered eviction I am very upset they would lie to me

        • Brewer

          I was told when I was put on a payment plan, you have to pay 6 months before the block is removed and 9 months before you can apply for a student loan again. I am just waiting for my six month period to be over before I file. Hope this helps.

          • Joshua Cohen

            Absolute LIE! You only need to make 6 payments to be elligable for more loans, but you need to make all 9 payments to get out of default. ONLY when you are out of default are you safe to file your taxes. If you were in my state, I’d sue the collector who told you this.

        • Shaneka Owens

          I was told by ECMC to call the IRS and see when the offset was lifted before filing. And that it takes 4-6 weeks for it to be removed. I am also in the Rehabilitation Program.

      • Santrysa

        Im disabled and yhey take part of my check monthly, im homeless because of that and now they took my tax refund as well! What can i do?

        • Joshua Cohen

          You need to apply to have your loans discharged. Legal aid should be able to help you.

  5. Lisa

    What happens when a refund has been intercepted (as a result of a student loan default), but the return was incorrect and an amended return needs to be filed that will result in a smaller refund? Will the additonal monies intercepted as a result of the incorrect return be refunded to the IRS/Department of the Treasury? Is there any chance that the taxpayer/student loan borrower could end up owing money to the IRS/Department of the Treasury as a result of the interception of the monies resulting from the incorrectly prepared return? Can you cite to other sources or legal authority that address this issue?

    • Joshua Cohen

      This is more for a tax expert. If you’re working with a CPA, ask that person. You might also try contacting the IRS directly.

  6. Lyana

    My husband filed jointly. I owe money for my student loans and have been in default for a couple of years. I also have not worked in a couple of years. He is the sole provider for our family. They took all of his income tax return. I qualified for the extra few weeks of unemployment in the beginning of 2012. That is the extent of my contribution to our household income all year. What can he do?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your husband can get his share of the tax refund back by filing an Injured Spouse form. You can find it on the IRS website.

  7. Talekia Claypool

    I had two defaulted loans which I have now paid in full. I was told I have to wait 30 days before I can file my taxes? Is this true and why such a long wait?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You need to wait to be sure that the informaiton, the fact that you no longer owe the debt, has been passed along to the treasury department. If they aren’t aware and you file your taxes, they’ll intercept the refund. Of course, if this happens you should still get your money back form the Dept. of Ed, but do you want to wait for them to catch the error? Wait the 30 days (I might suggest 60), contact ED to be sure treasury dept has been alerted, then file your taxes.

      • Audrey Morris

        Ok in regards to this I was told that I could not get my money back if it fell before a certain date that I filed my taxes although I completed my rehab program and my loan was picked up by another company. I am like how can I be in good standing and complete the program with success and they still take my taxes after the fact?

  8. kelly

    my taxes were intercepted and I was too very devistated as I am a mother of three and no help, I filed for a hardship and got approved to get half of it back I am very happy…I would fight if you are in hardship and depended on that money. Hope this helps : )

    • Joshua Cohen

      That is great news. Your message is an important one – keep fighting! Together we can all get through this mess.

      • Courtney Redman

        My entire taxes were taken last year for defaulted loans I was unaware about. I never received a letter notice or anything. Just realized what happen day my return was to be deposited. All loans are good this year, but curious about the interest on my return-do I file it or not?

        • Joshua Cohen

          If ALL of your federal student loans are in good standing, you are safe to file.

    • Jessica

      What form did you use? I was told there was no such form from the irs.

    • Danielle

      How do you file a hardship? I’m concerned about them taking mine this year. It’s been 2 years I think? I need to pay my grandparents back for the money I borrowed for a lawyer for custody after the ex and I split so I don’t want them taking all of it if they do.

      • Joshua Cohen

        You can contact ED directly to get a hardship form. However, paying your grandparents back will not qualify you for hardship. Please fill out the contact form on my site for a plan to deal with your loan and stop the tax refund intercept.

        • stephen hamilton

          man im in the same shape i had only enough money for my family barely and was really depending on my tax refund i have four kids and i lost my job due to the company kfc closed down i dont know if i qualify but if you gott contemplate stealing diapers like a bum its financial hardship

          • stephen hamilton

            man im in the same shape i had only enough money for my family barely and was really depending on my tax refund i have four kids and i lost my job due to the company kfc closed down i dont know if i qualify but if you gott contemplate stealing diapers like a bum its financial hardship i lost my mother from cancer that was my only help I almost lost it thats why i had defaulted loans ended up on housing untill 2012 august got my family a little house started working company kfc closed down now im flat broke didnt even know my tax refund was going to be taken or I could have atleast prepared GOD BLESS AMERICA THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD YOU CAN THROW A FOOTBALL AN MAKE 30 million

    • KeKa

      Who did you contact to do your hardship? I know that it was nearly a year ago for you but I still thought that I would ask. I am so ticked off. I contacted the IRS Debt Line the day before I filed my taxes and I had NO debt. Then once I filed my taxes my student loan company filed for and interception. I have not been notified by them nor did I receive anything in the mail stating that they would be doing so. They told me that I would need to set up payment plans with them and once I received the letter from the IRS stating that my taxes were taken then I could submit a hardship letter. It is just hard for me to believe that they will give you back this money once they have taken it.

      • Joshua Cohen

        You need to demonstrate extreme hardship. Contact the ombudsman for a hearing. Contact my firm or one of my graduates to go after the debt collector that failed to help you properly. You need to get your loans out of default.

    • tonia

      How do you apply for a hardship to try to get some if your refund back?

    • Shalon

      Who do you file the hardship with?

    • Danielle

      How do you file for hardship? This is my situation. I’d be happy to get even a portion back because otherwise I owe the tax company fees out of pocket and I can’t afford that! On top of the fact that I just set payments up with the debt collectors now that I know my taxes were offset. They were sending my mail to a address I lives at two years ago so I had no idea this was coming, I knew I owes but didn’t realize it was to this point. I can’t seem to find who I need to file hardship with though and I never received any letter about my offsets.

    • Heather

      My taxes were intercepted for my student loans. How can I file for a hardship to get some of my money back? I’m a single mother with 4kids and don’t have a job so I was really depending on my taxes.

    • Seara

      I was reading on this website & read that you filed for a hardship when your taxes got taken away, I am a mother of 2 with a new baby & I was soo depending on that money, can you tell me what you did, and how long it took for you to get your funds?? I am devastated because I wasn’t even offered a payment plan.

      Thank you

    • Royettte

      I would like to know as well. I just submitted the information a nd hardship letter to my lender. my house was deemed unfit for habitation forcing m e and my children into the streets. then finally a homeless shelter 30 miles away took us in. but nt before children and youth services threatened to take them if I don’t find adequate housing. they are taking my refund and I need that in order to get adequate housing and keep my family together

    • katrina

      How do I file for a hardship? I have lost my job, have two kids and am on government assistant. I did not received any notice prior to my refund being intercepted.

      • Joshua Cohen

        Contact the Ombudsman. Also, get your loan out of default.

    • Jamie

      How did you do this I also am a single mother or 3 I have been making payments since June of 2013 and they are taking my taxes and I really need mine . Also how long did this take

  9. Voy Byski

    Can IRS intercept SS payments of a student loan’s cosigner?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Let me correct something about this statement, and then point out a problem. First, SS is not intercepted by the IRS, rather it is the Treasury Department that does this. Can SS be offset for a default Federal student loan? Yes. However, the question asks about a co-signer’s SS. Federal loans don’t require a co-signer, which tells me this is a private student loan. SS can never be offset for private student loans.

      • KBerry

        Can a tax refund be intercepted for a private student loan in default serviced by Sallie Mae? If not how do I challenge this?

        • Joshua Cohen

          No. If your tax refund is intercepted, you have a Federal loan in default.

  10. Audrey Morris

    What if your tax return was offset after you successfully completed a rehabilitation program and received a letter from the agency stating that you are no longer at risk for tax offsets or wage garnishment? This has happened to me and I am very upset.

  11. Tima

    Hello! My income tax refund has already been taken this year. I only owe about 3700 now. What i wanted to know was if it’s taken again next year will i be out of default??? I went to school for something i haven’t been successful in being employed and i want to go back to school. Plz respond!! Thank you!!

    • Joshua Cohen

      I can’t respond publicly. Please call my office or fill out the contact form.

      • Priscilla Ramos

        I have the same problem can u help?

        • Joshua Cohen

          Yes I can. Complete the contact form on my site for more information.

  12. ElizaG

    Our 2012 taxes were intercepted and as a result I started and completed (early) a rehab program. All along, under a signed agreement, I’ve understood that I would have my offset refunded. Agreement reads as such:
    After the date on which my loans are transferred to ED loan servicer
    -ED would credit rehab loan pmts ED received I designate as pmt on rehabbed loan
    -ED will refund at address on billing stmt any involuntary pmt ED receives (ex. Treasury offset)
    -ED will refund at address on billing stmt post dated chks ED receives designated as pmt solely on the rehabbed loans
    Dept of ED is now telling me I am not getting anything back that that statement applies if 2013 taxes are intercepted; however, that is not implied in the agreement.
    Are my expectations of the agreement incorrect?

    • Joshua Cohen

      There is no refund for taxes already intercepted. I’m afraid you misunderstood. I’m further concerned about your “early” rehab completion. There is no way to complete a rehab early – you must make 9 individual payments over the course of at least 9 months. Please check to be sure you really were rehabilitated.

      • carlotenz ruiz

        Joshua cohen, i hope that you can still read this.. my wife has a loan and i did not work so basically she made money then they intercepted our tax. Can i still file the spouse thing and claim our two kids or not

        • Joshua Cohen

          You can always file the injured spouse form. Now get your loans out of default and stop worrying about this.

  13. christen green

    hello so i have defualted on my school loans for a couple years now my husband is in the service and we were in germany where i could not get a job. well now we have a child and i have a job so i really want to start makig payments so they dont take our taxes again this year, it really hurt us last year seeing i had. no idea they were taking it. i need your help please im so confused in this process and we are counting on this money next year to help us through my husbands process of getting out of the service.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Someone from my office will be contacting you.

  14. Asheley

    I completed my rehab program for my defaulted loans in Sept. I filed my taxes in October and was told that the refund would go to the US Dept of Ed where they would then send it back to the IRS who would then refund it to me. Is this true?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Not necessarily. Rehab is not complete until you receive a letter stating that it really is complete. Until that time, your account is still in default. If you file during that time, your refund will be intercepted and you likely will not get it back.

  15. Justin

    I have defaulted on two of my student loans. Both of them are with different service-rs. I entered both loans into a loan rehab program however one of the service-rs are garnishing 5 percent of my paycheck because i failed to negotiate with them but I eventually did. The result was 70 dollars a month for nine months with a 5 percent garnishment i order to get out of default status.

    Recently another collection agency contacted me in relation to my other defaulted loan, This time I took advantage of the loan rehab program right away so they would not garnish my wage and i could get it out of default as well.

    My question is can i get the garnishment waived now that i am making good effort? Also, I do not want my tax return taken. Will they take my tax return even though I am in a loan rehab program for both my loans? I started one of my rehab programs in September an one in October 2013. Last year 2012 i received a full return. If I am on the list for them to take my tax return should i file an extention and wait for them to go out of default?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is difficult, but not impossible, to have a garnishment lifted once it starts. As for taxes, yes, they will be taken if you are still in default (that means yes, during rehab). I suggesting waiting to file until you are out of default – if possible.

  16. chris

    I need to file two years of returns,& I have an offset because of student loans going in default..I have since consolidated..but still remain on the fms list! How long does thiss take to be removed? I was wondering since i have to paper mail my return will my refund still fo to the lenders?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Keep checking the status of your loan and make sure ALL default loans were included in your consolidation. One default jeopardizes your tax refund.

  17. chris

    Hello,I consolidiated my loans with TG & College Assist on 10/18/2013. I was mailed letter and told that I would be able to file my tax return since I was inactive. Well I made the fatal mistake of mailing my return on 11/03/2013 & now I called the FMS automated and it shows College Assist has not removed my offset. I am devastated. I contacted College Assist and was informed that even know I have a 0 balance with them They will keep my refund or forward it to the new lender for payoff! If you could please let me know what my options are, at this point I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      Someone from my office will contact you Chris. Thanks,

  18. Katarina

    Hello! The past 2 yrs i have had my refunds offset. Around march 2013 i had had enough and entered a loan rehab program, i have just made my 9th payment and was taken off the offest list only to realize that i had another loan through the dept of ed. I started a rehab program with them as well. I realize that by the time i make my 9th payment with this loan it will be in july maybe august. Will i still be offset if i file my taxes so late in the year?

    • Katarina

      Also is there another option that i can do without having to wait so long and still be able to recieve my irs refund.

      • Joshua Cohen

        Please contact my office to discuss.

        • Kiera

          My loans have been consolidated and my taxes wgere set to be offset,how long does it take before you are removed from the offset list and who would I need to call

          • Joshua Cohen

            I would say about 30 days after consolidation you should be removed from the offset list.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your tax refund could be offset if any loan is in default – that includes during rehabilitation.

  19. darla

    If I filed joint n they took it all partial money belongs to my spouse n we don’t know anything about the injured spouse form till now is it too late to file one at the moment? I want to go back to school also n if they took most of what I owe am I allowed to to apply for regular college ?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Two issues. 1) It is probably not too late to file the injured spouse form. Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.
      2)You can always apply to college, even with a default fed loan. The problem is, if you have a loan in default, you are not eligible for fed aid. Contact my office to learn how you can fix this issue.

  20. Jennifer

    I have began a rehabilitation program to get my student loans out of default. They told me the program would be 9 months. My tax refund has been taken for the last 3 years due to my defaulted student loans. Will I be able to get my refund in 2014 since I am now in this program or will I need to wait until the program is done? If I have to wait until the program is done that won’t be until July of 2014. Can I file a request for an extension to file my taxes after July so I can get my refund? I really need it.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You must complete rehabilitation before filing, or you will not receive your tax refund. You should be able to file an extension, but check with a tax person for absolute certainty.

  21. Jen

    I just received a letter 10/22 from Delta management Associated (I collection agency for loans)on behalf of my Stafford loan that is now defaulted. I have emailed the Dept of Education for information and I had just received a reply from an earlier email I sent them requesting my loan to be dismissed based on my public service. It was of course denied. I am petrified that my tax refund will be intercepted. Will it definitely be intercepted? Is there a way to find out before it happens? If so, what can I do to prevent it from happening? my debt amount listed from Delta is $1866.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Someone from my office will contact you.

  22. Tabetha Mata

    I had my 2012 refund intercepted. My husband filled injured spouse form and received his part, he had worked very little and it was only a small part of the refund. Now I would like to clear my defaulted loan. According to my old paperwork for the amount due, I shouldn’t owe anymore, if my refund was applied. When I checked the website it says over a thousand. So was my refund never applied? How can I verify this?

    • Joshua Cohen

      There is likely additional interest you were unaware of.

  23. Crystal

    I have student loans in default, not sure of how much I have to find the paperwork but anyway I haven’t worked since they defaulted in 2011. I just now started working in October of this year and I’m concerned about my filing my taxes in 2014. I don’t want my income taxes to be intercepted, especially now that I have 2 small children both under 3 years old. I want to start making payment but I want to be sure that I have all of the advice I need before contacting any department to make arrangements. I’d appreciate your help or advice on what steps I should take to resolve this problem before it starts. Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      My office will contact you shortly.
      Thank you,

  24. Shawna Davis

    I have a loan in default…they are garnishing my wages. I owe 3,000 but my tax refund will be about 5,200. If they take my taxes will I get the remaining balance back after the 3,000 dollars are taking?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, you should receive back any amount over what you owe. But be careful about how much you think you owe. Interest is always accruing.

      • Ruth Rodriguez

        Same issues as above. I called after I filed which was 2/15. I was told I owe on that loan 5556.00 and my refund is 6867.00 they are currently garnishing 15% of my pay checks. I just want to know when they take some of your check .. What is turn around time to get your money… Normally two weeks for your money .. How much time will this add to it?

  25. Daisy

    I just got out o default. Now what? Will I be able to do taxes without them taking them away?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you have official notice that you are out of default, you should receive your tax refund. Make sure you get on a payment plan you can afford.

  26. ashley

    I just began my loan rehabilitation program this month for my federal defaulted loan. I would really like to get my taxes back next year. Correct me if I am wrong, but can I file an extension until october? I will be out of default in August. If I file in september will my taxes get taken? Also, if I file for an extension will I be peanilized?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You can file for an extension until October. Do NOT file until you receive official notification that you are out of default. If you file before then, you may not receive your tax refund.

  27. Keith T

    I defaulted on my loan in 2009, I have not had an offset yet. What are the chances of me getting offset his year. Is it too late to get on some sort of payment plan to stop an offset? is it true that if I make arrangements and pay at least 6 months on time I will be out of default and able to apply for college?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is never too late to arrange a payment plan. Make 6 payments and you can qualify for more aid. Make 9 payments and you’ll be out of default. BUT, it must be an approved payment plan.

  28. Daniella

    Hi I have a question me and my husband went to school and got qualified for student loans in 2012 I ended up dropping out for health reasons and I owe 2,000. My husband graduated in march of 2013 his loan is 40,000. I believe they were gonna give him 6 month period to pay the loan back. Me as well.. I am not working and he started to just start to work a few months back. We want to file a tax return but are worried we might not get it . due to lack of payments. I want to call and start a payment plan . but I am worried that if I start to pay it will be to late and we still won’t get any return back. We are depending on that money so any advise on what to do would be helpful

    • Joshua Cohen

      You will only lose your tax refund if you are in default, not just late. Default means you’ve missed 9 payments. Anything short of that is not default and you will receive your tax refund. If you’re not sure, check your records. You must get on a payment plan if you want to avoid default. Contact my office directly for assistance.

  29. melissa

    Hello, I have student loans in collections. I am planning to pay them back. It is 12/1/13 and I want to file my taxes in 2014. I was told so long as I am paying them off in payments, that they can’t intercept my tax refund. Is this true? If not how do I go about making sure they can’t take my tax refund?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You are being mislead. It doesn’t matter if you’re making payments, your loan must be out of default status, otherwise you will not receive your tax refund. Get out of default, THEN file your taxes.

  30. Idermis

    Hello, I apply for forbearance for two loans that where in default and they approved both of them for 12 months. If I file my taxes will it get intercepted. I want to make sure that if I file my taxes on 2014 they wont take the money away. the forbearance is approved until Feb 2013.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Someone is lying to you. You cannot have a forbearance if you are in default. Double check the status of your loans – in default OR forbearance. If forbearance, you’ll get your tax refund. If default, you likely will NOT get your tax refund.

      • Idermis

        I just check the status on the website and it state that the balance is 0.00 for payments and also I also download a letter that it say that my loans is on forbearance until 02/10/2014. With this on file can I file my taxes with out been intercepted?

        • Joshua Cohen

          If you are in forbearance, you should be safe to file your tax return. The bigger question I have is why are you using a forbearance. You should be able to get an affordable payment plan. If you’re having issues, contact me please.

  31. MoGo48

    Joshua, is it too late to get a loan out of default before the 2013 Tax filing? My last return was intercepted and I’d like to avoid that this coming tax filing in February/March. Also, is there any way to make payment arrangements with the federal loan dept. instead of the collection agency?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is never too late to get your loan out of default. The timing is based on when you file your taxes. Just be sure not to file before you receive official notification that you are out of default. For your last point, no, you cannot get around the collection agency. Contact me if you need assistance.

  32. D Dav

    I was listed on the tax offset line for student loan and unemployment. I paid off the unemployment debt and was in the 9 month program for student loan but didn’t complete. I called a week ago and both debts were listed. I called yesterday and the only debt is listed for irs . I called the number given and the tax preparer messed up my 2010 taxes and I owe 212.00. My question is will student loan still take my taxes although it’s not listed as a offset and how can I make sure. The other statment contained the wrong email address.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your facts are a bit confusing. Bottom line, if you’re in default, you’re likely to loose any federal tax refund owed to you.

  33. scott

    my wife is in default. what is the best way for me to protect my tax return. she has not worked most of 2013 but collected some uc?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Either file your taxes separately or file an injured spouse form with IRS after the refund is intercepted. That’s the short-term fix. Long term, your wife needs to get her loans out of default. Please fill out the contact form for more information.

  34. Last year we went through this. I was on the federal tax offset list, but no money was taken. We started paying back the loan since I got work( husband is active duty) so its hard for me to work. In may of 2013 my 5 month old at the time was diagnosed with cp, pmg, epilpsey and the list goes on. Anyway I lost my job and can no longer work due to her disability. I’m on the list this year again. Should we file separate since I’ll have a little coming back so they take that, or is there anything to do? We file in Ohio not sure if it’s a shared debt state. This debt was occurred before marriage as well. Any advice or tips would help. Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      Either file your taxes separately or file an injured spouse form with IRS after the refund is intercepted. That’s the short-term fix. Long term, you need to get your loans out of default. Please fill out the contact form for more information.

  35. toni

    I have defaulted from my loans, but i have a hardship filed and approved. Can they still take my income tax? Or will the suspension stop them please repond soon i need to know what to do.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If hardship was approved, it is only for one year. You’ll need to reapply. You should work on getting your loans out of default. Please fill out the contact form for more information.

  36. Corita

    My loans are being consolidated by William D Ford officially December 24th. They are in default but I have proven financial hardship and am being consolidated and placed on an ICR. Am I still at risk for offset? I am a single mother of six and really need money to catch up on bills.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You are at risk of offset until you receive notice that the consolidation is complete and no longer in default.

  37. Mallory

    Thank you for this very helpful information. I graduated in the dreaded ’09 and only got a job at the beginning of 2013 – part time minimum wage. Nothing glamorous but better than a sharp stick in the eye. I still haven’t been able to make the payments on my loan because I barely make enough money to live, and the tax return would be an incredibly huge help to get caught up and get my husband his next green card (so expensive). I am in forbearance so hopefully that helps.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You don’t need a forbearance, you need affordable repayment based on your income. Contact me for more information.

  38. Teresa

    I have a student loan back in 1998. I just called the offset hotline and it says that my refund will be offset. This has never happened to me before and why after all these years. Will the really offset my taxes after all this time?

    • Joshua Cohen

      There is no time limit to collect a default federal student loan. I can’t tell you why it took ED so long to do this, but it is legal and very well could happen. Focus on getting your loan out of default and back into good standing. Please complete the contact form on my site for more information.

  39. John Shulak

    I have a parking ticket that is very old but is not mine. I disputed it but they are still trying to collect it. They said it would be intercepted in my tax refund if I don’t pay it, but there’s also a 5 yr statute of limitations. If I delay the collection of my tax refund by applying it to future tax years until the 5 yrs is up, can they still intercept my refund?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should talk to a tax attorney about this.

  40. Jamie

    Question, I called the treasuary number to see if I had a tax lien, it just said I have a debt to the us dept of education. I just started the rehabilitation program. Doesn’t it have to say a offset or lien? am I ok? I called the collection agency she said to call before I file. im confused.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your tax refund is at risk if you are in default. Even if you are on a rehabilitation plan, your refund is still at risk. Once you receive notice that the rehabilitation is complete, you are safe.

  41. Brian

    Ok here is my cituation…I went to school for like 3 weeks I was told I wouldn’t have to pay any money cause I didn’t go to school long enough…so like a dummy a week later I went back again and for about the same time…so now they said I owe like 3500…in 2013 they took my taxes cause I was in default but they told me if I made payment arrangement and made a payment they would not take my taxes but they did…The first person didn’t tell me I had to have like 9 payments…but the second person did…so now we’re in late December is it possible for me to get out of default…can I make 9 payments and be out of default…like make a payment every week for 9 weeks?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You must make 9 payments over 10 months. You cannot accelerate the plan. If you try, you will not be rehabilitated.

      • Brian

        ok i talked to the education department, they said they were not going to take my taxes this year, i been making payments, i called that number that you can see if there is an offset on my taxes, so far there is no offset on my taxes…will i be safe to file or will the irs intercept them anyways?

        • Brian

          and i have not got anything in the mail about my taxes going to be offset either…

  42. kelcey curtis

    Hello quick question. Back in aug I got a letter stating my loan had went into default and if I didn’t set up a payment plan my taxes could be offset. I set up a payment plan that same day and haven’t missed one payment. I called the board of education about my taxes being offset and they said as long as I didn’t miss a payment my taxes wouldn’t be takin. I have also caled the treasure office 1800 number and it says I have no debit on my ssn number but people keep telling me my taxes can be taking. Is this true? Or should I be safe to file my taxes in jan?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your loan is in default, your tax refund can be taken. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a payment plan or not. Once you get your loan out of default, you tax refund is safe.

  43. Alice

    If I’ve defaulted on my Student Loans, will they take out as much as I’ve defaulted, or will they take all of it to apply to the loan? Also, If I stay in default, will they just take my refund until all is paid off? If I don’t have the funds to pay anythings towards it before filing taxes, and they intercept it, if I am able to pay it during the year, will it set it straight for the next year (2014 filing).

    • Joshua Cohen

      They will take your entire tax refund, apply it to the full balance. You will receive a refund of any amount taken above the balance owed. You should be able to afford a payment since there are payments based on income. Please complete the contact form on my site to learn more.


    My student loans are in default and have been for a few months I called to have them start a rehabilation payment. They said they have already set me for an intercept but if I start making my payments and wait four to six weeks that I should be clear to file my tax return. Is this true? I will have made two payments by the time i can file. I have been told this several times by my lender but after reading on here it seems like thats not the case and that I have to be out of default in order to get my tax refund.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your tax refund can be taken if you are in default. Period. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a payment plan or not. Your tax refund is at risk until you receive notice that your loan is no longer in default.

  45. Ed

    Isnt there a website to check to see if your flagged for the IRS to take you taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your loan is in default, your tax refund is at risk. That’s all you need to know. Get your loan out of default, that is the only safe bet.

  46. Melissa

    I’m happy to say I made my 9th payment for loan rehabilation to get myself out of default. My taxes were taken last year. Waiting on my letter to inform me I’m officially out of default so I can file my taxes. You can do it! Stick with it!!!!!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Great Job!!

    • Karen

      Congratulations Melissa and good luck!
      I’m very proud to say the same thing my loan has been rehabilitated I’ve made my 9th payment in November 2014 and have received a letter stating my student loan is out of default, whoo hoot! I’m already set up with a payment plan and payment date beginning 1/21/2015. through Navient. it’s a great feeling to get back on track! it really can be done everyone, continue making your monthly payments on time, and if your payment date falls on a day the funds will not be available please make sure to contact the company who is handling your rehabilitation. to schedule a date within that month for the payment to be deducted. For me Performant was handling my account, and they were really flexible when I need to arrange another payment date within my due month I would always call them before the due date. Good Luck Everyone.

  47. Kim

    I have a defaulted loan and contacted ecmc today 12/29/13. The first person stated that my taxes were not in jeopardy but then I was transferred to the collections dept and my rep Joan help me set up a rehab paymt plan she said after I make the first paymt on time that I could contact the irs and would be removed from the list that would take my return. But after reading this I feel duped. Am I correct in understanding that until I finish all 9 months of the rehab payments that my taxes can be taken?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your understanding is correct. The only way to guarantee your tax refund will not be taken is to get your loan out of default. You weren’t duped, you need to get your loan out of default.

  48. Christian

    Last year my tax refund was intercepted,this year I want to file in order to make a payment for my student loan that is default what can I do?? discuss payment options with lender then file??

    • Joshua Cohen

      You can discuss how to get out of default with the debt collector, or you can contact my firm directly. Choose wisely.

  49. sade

    I’m trying to figure out if I file and they paid my student loan will I receive what’s left after they take what I owe them will I get the remain of my taxes

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your tax refund is more than the balance of your federal student loans, yes, you will get it back…eventually.

  50. Les

    Hi, what happens if I just keep letting the IRS intercept the tax returns? I tried rehabbing the loans in 2010 and College Assist or Nelnet, ( I don’t remember which one) automatically debited for 4 months skipped one and then did 4 more months. ( Of course this didn’t get the loan out of default, and they denied doing it. ) So now the IRS has intercepted 2011, and 2012. It’s actually easier for me to let them intercept, because it’s more than I would be able to pay back in a year.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You can continue to let your tax refunds be intercepted until the balance of your loan is paid, but is it actually paying down your loan? Remember, interest continued to accrue during default. Also, you are at risk for a wage garnishment if you are a W-2 wage earner. You should learn about your options. Complete the contact form on my site for more information.

  51. Derrick

    I just got in to all of this mess with defaulting my loans. I have spoke to someone about my loans, AND I called Department Of Treasury to see if my social was added to the TOP and the automated service says there is no Debt found for this Social. Should i still file my taxes or do I RUN THE RISK OF BEING INTERCEPTED?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your loan is in default, your federal tax refund is at risk of being intercepted. Get your loan out of default, then you’ll be safe to file.

    • yvonne

      please let me know what happened.
      I was a full-time studeent and acs filed a default on my loans. I started the rehab program in december 2013, and am scared to file.
      thank you

      • Joshua Cohen

        Do not file taxes until you have received official notification that you are out of default. You have a bigger problem – how did you default while you were in school. Contact your school for help.

  52. reagan

    How do I go about finding ALL of my student loan lenders or creditors? I KNOW all of my loans are in default but this is the first time I’ve worked in several years and don’t want my 2013 refund intercepted but I have NO clue who now holds my defaulted loans..who could I contact to find out this information? & is it too late to worry about it, as its already tax season??

  53. Tonya

    I have spoke to someone about my loans, AND I called Department Of Treasury to see if my social was added to the TOP and the automated service says there is no Debt found for this Social. Should i still file my taxes or do I RUN THE RISK OF BEING INTERCEPTED? The same thing the automated service said last year. I’m so confused at this point what should i do now

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, you run the risk of losing your Federal tax refund. Get your loans out of default to be truly safe.

  54. Tonya

    Question with my loan being less than 4500 am i still able to talk with someone to stop wage garnishment and tax offset. Or is it a waste of time and continue to let them garnish my wages and intercept my taxes. Which is putting me in a bad situation please help. Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is always worth talking to someone (like me) about getting your loan out of default.

  55. Sonia

    Hi I’m in the same situation I haven’t being paying mi loans and I need to file my taxes I need help please.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You need to get out of default. My office will contact you.

  56. Maria

    I just started the process of being placed on a forbearance so I can submit the documents needed to reciece a deferment on my student loan. My question is since I am only three payments behind, but considered 82 days late, does this mean that I’m in default and even though I’m in the process of a deferment as a status if forbearance can they still take my tax return?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You are not in default unless you are about 270 days late. Further, if you were in default, they would not offer you a forbearance or deferment. You are safe.

  57. Judisha

    OK I owe student loans…. it is in default I never received any letters concerning my payments … now I owe these people 14,000 dollars…. now they are taking money out of my check every two weeks….is this considered as me making payments or just them guarnnishing. N how in the world can I get out of this mess… one more thing is it true that it can take years for them to take or taxes….. please help single mom low paying job n no help does not mix…. I need that. Money

    • Joshua Cohen

      If they take money from your check, it is a garnishment. You need to get out of default. My office will contact you.

  58. sulay

    How do i know that my student loan is in default…i already made aplan payment with them…..i ask that when i file for income tax would they take it they said if i ever received a letter from the department of education i said they just told me to call before i file for income they could check if dpartment of education left a note on my file saying they could take my refunds i have two kids under 3ineed to know if they intercep my refunds this year…they actually took my refunds last year.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’re in default if you didn’t pay for 9 months without being in deferment or forbearance. You can check the status of all of your Federal loans here:

  59. Stephanie

    My husband had been default on his school loan for at least 5+ years. Once we were marriage I did what needed to be done in regards to getting his loans consolidated through FedLoan Servicing. When we signed up for consolidation I was told over the phone that by doing so it would bring his loans out of default and have been making on-time payments for the last 6 months. I’ve heard of people who are current on past default loans having their taxes intercepted and want to be certain how to file as I don’t trust they will give him his return and don’t want mine to be taken either. Would it be best to call Fed Loan Serving, IRS, both? I appreciate the help! 🙂

    • Joshua Cohen

      IF you don’t want your tax refund at risk, file taxes separately. If his loans are in good standing (not default), his taxes are safe.

  60. Hello, I am a cosigner for a student loan and the person responsible hasn’t paid. I tried to make a payment plan but the company wants the full amount. When I file my taxes in 2014 will the loan company take my taxes? Please help. Thank you.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Sounds like this is a private loan. If so, your taxes can NEVER be taken.

  61. Brenda

    Hello quick question this is the first year my husband is filling married but separately would they still take away what I owe on my student loan if we file married separately

    • Joshua Cohen

      If a married couple files taxes separately, only they borrower’s tax refund will be taken.

  62. Stephanie

    I have a loan in default and last year we had to file the injured spouse form to get our refund back. I do not work, but we file our taxes jointly. What is the best way to file our taxes this year, so he doesnt have to worry about not getting our refund? Should we file seperatly? or do I even need to file since I do not work?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you don’t work, you don’t file taxes. But if you file separate, you may lose tax credit. Best to speak with your tax prepare about this. Also, why not get your loan out of default and stop worrying about this?

  63. Bonnie

    Hello, if my Fedloan statuses say REPAYMENT meaning Ive been paying on them but not as long as I should have, am I safe to file my taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your status is repayment, you are safe. IF status is default, you are not safe.

  64. Robin Lyles

    The IRS has took our refund to pay for my defaulted student loan. All the income on our tax return was from my husband. The tax return included earned income credit also. When I am told for my husband to file injured spouse to get his share of return wouldn’t all the return be his since it was all based on his income?

  65. Kaeleb Kelley

    I am curious to get some clarification, I am currently in default and have been since they took my return last year. Now that I have steady work, I know I will need to show 6 consecutive payments for them not to take my return. So is it true you can get an extension to file your taxes so that you can make these 6 payments?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You can get an extension. If you’re going to make 6 payments, make sure they go towards getting you out of default. Making payments that keep you in default are useless.

  66. P .Porter

    My paychecks have been garnished all of 2013, does this mean I will be awarded my federal income tax for 2014 or will that be held?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your refund might be taken. Get out of default and stop worrying.

  67. Matt

    Hello. I was recently married (july 2012) and 2013 was the first year that i had filed taxes in a marital status. With that, my wife had previously accumulated student loans back in 05 to 06 i believe and no taxes were withheld from her previous marriage. Last year, 100% of the taxes were withheld and i was wondering if there is any way i can get around this once. I know the loans will eventually need paid but there are some extreme circumstances where i need to be able to claim both my step children to help us take care of this. Would filing an injured spouse form fix that, or would i not be able to claim both of my children on it? Thanks in advance – Matt

    • Joshua Cohen

      Filing an injured tax form gets tax back for the non-borrower. How you claim dependents is immaterial. If you want to avoid this, get out of default, don’t make excuses. You’d be surprised the payment plans you can get.

  68. Teresa

    I would like to ask. I have been in default in the past and my loans are several years old at least 5 years old and they gave me a Forebearance which ends 2-2-14. If i call back can i get another Forebearance for just a while before I start making payments? and if i do get a Forebearance will this stop them from taking my income tax refund?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’re either in default, or they are giving you a forbearance, not both. You can’t have a forbearance or deferment while in default. Clarify your status. And stop taking forebearances – get on a payment plan that is affordable, they do exist!

      • Teresa Fitch

        No i am not in default any longer, When i called them and spoke to them they put me in a Forebearance until Feb 2,2014. If i call back before Feb. 2,2014 and asked to be set up on IBR (Repayment plan) will that help me and will they still take all my taxes?

  69. Teresa

    Could you give me the ways to get out of default also and how long to wait before filing taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you contact the office, we can help you.

    • Teresa Fitch

      at this time until feb 2,2014 i am in Forebearance. I just dont want to get into default again. I wasnt making any payments at all, finally i called one day and they gave me a Forebearance until the above date. so that is why i wondered with the above question if i call and set up a payment arrangement will it keep me from losing all my taxes.. My husband is disabled and our income is very limited.. Plus I have a daughter in college myself so payments are gonna be hard right now.

  70. heather

    i have an old student loan of $10K. In the 2001 tax year my refund of $12K was redirected to the Department of Education. To this day, this loan is still in default and is now $18K. The agency that now has the loan says they do not see IRS offsets. When I called the Deparment of Eduction, they told me it was over 7 years so they do not have visibility to that IRS offset. Is this accurate or is there something else i can do:?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you’re in default, you are still at risk of losing your tax refund. The best thing for you to do is get your loan out of default. Contact me if you would like assistance.

      • Melinda

        We found out, after filing our 2008 taxes, that our refund was being kept because of federal student loans that my husband had before we got married in 2002. His is from 1996. His Army Reserve unit was supposed to pay them as part of his enlistment. It was through the G.I. Bill. So we found out that they haven’t paid any during his 8 yrs of service. He’s no longer in the Army. Who should we contact regarding the nonpayment? His unit has moved and reorganized into a different kind of unit at a different location after my husband’s deployment to Iraq.

        • Joshua Cohen

          You need to contact the military about this. The Ombudsman may have a contact as well.

      • Riickeema

        If your income tax is offset you shoud write a letter and ask for a refund based on hardship. Thoroughly explain your situation and be honest about bills that you owe like rent, electricity, etc. My $8,000 income tax was taken last year and after filing for hardship I got back $6,000. It a long wait but good luck. This year I applied for loan consolidation and am waiting until I get an approval to file my income taxes.

        • Joshua Cohen

          That is encouraging information. Even better, you’re getting out of default to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Great work!

  71. kelly

    I just found out that I have $8000+ in students in default. I have contacted DE and informed them that these are not my loans, they have me in offset and I as a single mom And really depending on my income tax. Is there something I can do to get help taking care of this, or some way to get me out of offset until they investigate this matter?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You need to verify that these really aren’t your loans. Please contact me or one of my workshop graduates directly. This is not something that can be answered on a forum like this.

  72. samantha

    I defaulted on a loan and they took my taxes last year. They will take them again this year but only part of them. Will there be a delay on the amount that I am entitled to recieve back? If so how long on average would the hold be? Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you’re in default, your tax refund is at risk. Get your loans out of default.

  73. Ann Spears

    My student loans are in Forebearance also. They are coming up to end soon sometime next month. If i call in and set up a cheaper payment with them will this keep me from losing my taxes to them. The only way your in default then is if you dont make payments , is that right? And if i call in and explain i cant make the 140.00 amonth payment they have me down for , will they reduce that payment and it wont make me be in default?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You can only lose your tax refund if you are in default. If you want a cheaper payment, ask them about ALL payment options. If that doesn’t work, contact me directly or one of my graduates.

  74. Brooke

    My loans are currently in default, I’m working on arranging a payment plan. I did not work in 2013. What would be the best way for my husband and I to file taxes this year? Should he file separately or should we file married and use the injured spouse form? Does using the injured spouse form cause a delay in receiving your refund?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Filing separately would protect his refund, but it also changes the amount of refund. See a CPA for that.

  75. Last me and my wife did a injured spouse form because she owed a student loan. Than she filled out a disibility form so we called and they told her it says discharged and she dont owe anything so I called department of treasury and says drfault feb 2013 still that was before she filled out the dosbility form a year later it stills says the department of education told her she dont owe anything

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should contact the department of education Ombudsman to get final answers. If loan was discharged, your should be fine. Perhaps there is another loan out there you are not aware of.

  76. Wendy

    Last year, my tax refund was offset for the total amount, but that did not pay off the defaulted student loan. When I call the hotline to find out if there is an offset for this year it tells me about the payment from last year but does not mention one for this year. I have been in contact recently with the collection agency, but they did not mention an offset for this year. Will I receive my refund this year?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, your federal tax refund is at risk. That is all I can say. The best thing you can do is get your loan out of default and stop worrying about the offset.

  77. Liz H


    I have had my tax return intercepted for the past couple of years. My question is, how is the loan amount the same after those interceptions?

    As of Tuesday, I am now in a rehabilitation program and have only paid my down payment and will start paying my monthly as of next month. I work part-time and know I need to file taxes but how long can I offset having to file? Do I need a valid reason to ask for an extension to file?

    Please advise.

    Thank you,


    • Joshua Cohen

      You should not file taxes until you officially complete rehabilitation. Your loan balance hasn’t gone down because interest continues to accrue during default. Has your refund been enough to pay a years worth of interest?

  78. Good morning,

    First I want to thank you for the great advice and suggestions you have provided everyone. You have answered a few of my questions already. My pressing question/situation is a doozy. In fall of 2008 I was attending grad school for a teaching program. I was pregnant put on bed rest and was unable to work or complete my program at the time because I was labeled an at risk pregnancy. I contacted the institution I was attending immediately. They withdrew me from school yet continued to charge me fora term I did not attend. They returned my spring loan and fall loan creatinga balance on the account after I provided hospital records of what was going on. They never contacted me to inform me of any of this. It wasnt until I applied two years later to reenroll in school that this came up. Is this legal?

    • Joshua Cohen

      This is not a question I can answer on this forum. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates for a specific answer and assistance.

  79. This is the second part of my issue. Now my loan has defaulted with the company I had one default several years ago because the company kept selling my loan info and I had a difficult time tracking it. My income tax was offset and took most of my refund. I am trying to avoid that now. I went into a rehab program made my 9 payments the company kept adding months to the payments a tenth and eleventh month which created a financial hardship on me. They refused to acknowledge my payments and even changed their policy on payments to get more money. I have notified the company and researched other avenues to try to avoid default and offset. They defaulted me anyway yet I did not find out about default or written amount defaulted until I called offset number and it stated one item was found under my name. I looked up ways to get out of default and came across rehab programs, teacher forgiveness, and consolidation programs. I was leery of rehab after being burned once already, so I applied consolidation with ICR. I have three children receive no assistance and my income even as a teacher places me as low income. My question is will they still intercept my refund that I really need right now with my loans being consolidated under ICR? When I reviewed the docs it stated my payments would be 0 then as my income increases it will then increase payments but I must update each year. Please help I know it was a lot but Ive tried diligently to stop this to no avail.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are no longer in default, your refund is safe. It sounds like you fixed your default with consolidation.

  80. Brandi

    Hello my loans are in default. I called the offset number and it says offsets my occur. I have not filed my taxes, but I am in the process of starting an IBR repayment plan through loan consolidation. My question is if I file my taxes after I set up my consolidation payment plan will they still offset my taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You are at risk until you receive official notice that the consolidation is complete and you are out of default. Even then it is best to wait at least 30 days to make sure it has gone through the system and removed you from the offset list.

  81. Ni King

    I found out one of my loans did not consolidate and is in default from the collection agency. I tried to talk to them several times about rehabilitation and a reasonable payment plan to begin the process but was told that I didn’t have an option and that I had to pay over $300 a month when I’m currently unemployed and only receive UE benefits. I really want to work on getting this resolved so that I can file my tax returns but they are so nasty and refuse to work with me.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Please contact my firm directly, or one of my graduates. This is a big issue and we can help you.

  82. Chelsey

    Hi. I am a mother of 3 and barely getting by. And in need of my tax refund to pay bills. I called the irs line and it did confirm that my taxes will be taken for my defaulted student loans. How do I go about filing for a hardship? Is there somewhere online I can do this? Also if I start the process now, would the process even be done before I need to file taxes in a month or two? Would filing for a hardship keep them from taking my refund? I dont even know where to start to get this taken care of before its time to file taxes. Please help. And Thanks in advance.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Dept of Ed Ombudsman for assistance. You can also try your local legal aid.

  83. Nicole

    Apparently one of my student loans just went into default last month. Will they take my husbands tax return? I set up a monthly payment plan today.
    Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, your tax refund is at risk. Period.

  84. jay

    So I defaulted on some student loans when I was 19, and last year when I filed my tax return they intercepted my refund and now theyre taking 15 percent of my pay or as they say wage garnishment for the defaulted student loan.. theyve already taken about 1100 dollars from my pay to put towards the defaulted loan and like 600 or so if left, so my question is if I file my tax return this year will I get my return or will it once again be intercepted towards my defaulted loan??

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, your tax refund is at risk. Period.

  85. Bao

    My husband has been in default with his student loans. For the past 3-4 years IRS has been taking a percentage of my refund to pay for his student loans, even though he didn’t work. Am I able to claim last year’s payment as a credit on my 2013 1040? I made some payments on my student loans and received a 1098E to use for my taxes. But am I able to do the same with the $1,000+ IRS took for him? I didn’t receive a 1098E or any documents, except when they sent me my check. A courtesy letter was sent along informing me they intercepted a portion for his defaulted loans.

  86. Mark

    I consolidated almost all of my loans except one. It went into Default status. It’s a loan from my college for $3,200 to be collected by a Private Collection Agency called Performant.

    The woman claims that I cannot have that loan consolidated–not sure if I believe her. If I did consolidate the loan, would I be able to still collect my tax returns?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you get your loan out of default, your tax refund is safe. Performant may or may not be telling the truth. Not all default loans can be rescued by consolidation. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates for a specific answer dependent on your particular facts.

  87. Dawn

    I just entered a payment arrangement for my defaulted student loan. My tax returns have been taken the past 3 years. Through reading the questions and comments on here, am I correct, that I must make 9 payments on this approved arrangement before I am considered no longer in default? I am currently a single mom of a one year old abd to keep my car running, it is imperative that I get my refund this year. I cannot wait 9 months though.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You may not have a choice. It is possible that your tax refund could be intercepted while you are on the payment plan. If you are in default, your tax refund is at risk. You can contact the Ombudsman for a hardship hearing. OR, you could contact me or one of my graduates to see if there are other options to get you out of default quicker.

  88. Dwayne

    Like other people, I had 4 loans totaling approximately $50K (Master’s). All loans used to be handled by the SAME company. Then 2 were “sold” to another company and I did not realize this. So, when I filed for a deferment, the original company granted it for the two loans it serviced, leaving the other two to fall into default. The whole situation was confusing to me. I would get a notice and would call the company. They would tell me I’m “okay” and I wouldn’t think anything of it. Then more notices came in and I was getting upset because it was always, “You’re okay”.
    So 2012, I get a tax intercept ($5000+) to repay my defaulted student loans. Then I get clued into the National Student Loan Data System and find out the loans had been split with 2 servicing entities, one being the US Department of Education. I call the US Department of Education and they tell me, “Too late”. The offset setoff a domino effect that set me back in many bills, auto, electric, etc. I have consulted with ECMC and enrolled into a REHAB payment arrangement with my loans.
    I checked to see if the $5000+ was applied to repay my loan and NOTHING shows that it has.
    My question is this…Since the payment has not been applied and my status now is supposedly out of default, it there a possibility of the Ombudsman was notified, that a refund of the intercept would be available?

    • Joshua Cohen

      The tax intercept was indeed credited to your loan. Only ED has that information. Double check the NSLDS website. You can also contact the ombudsman.

  89. sheliia williams

    My federal student loan is in default. My income tax was taken last year. I contacted the debt company and made payment arrangement. I have monthly payment taken out of my bank account. I started making payment in Oct 2013. Is it safe to file my income tax., or will it be intercepted. The debt company told me I need to make 6 payment to bring my loan out of default. What should I Do to get my income tax .

    • Joshua Cohen

      You will not be safe until you receive official notification that you are out of default. If you’re making payments to get out of default, you are still at risk.

  90. Amber

    I am currently in default and my last 2 years tax returns have been intercepted. How do I stop my 2013 taxes from being intercepted? Does making payment arrangements with the debt collection agency stop the interceptions? Or, does being out of default automatically stop interceptions?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Payment arrangement to get out of default will not stop a tax refund intercept. The only way to stop it is to get out of default.

  91. Diane

    When I called the Dept of Ed. they told me my taxes would be offset unless I paid the amount in full. I am currently in a repayment play but I applied to consolidate my loans. Is there any way to prevent this? I am married with 3 children on a low income (my husband has not worked in over a year) but I do not receive any state assistance.When I spoke to the guy at DOE he was extremely rude and would not help me at all. He just continued to tell me all my taxes would be taken. Please help me! I cannot afford to lose my tax money!

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you can’t afford to lose your tax refund, do not file until you are out of default. Consolidation is quick. Once you receive notice you are out of default, wait 30 days, they file. You might also contact the Ombudsman to file a hearing.

  92. Williams

    My whole refund was taken last year will it be taken again if I owe some still?

  93. evonne

    what if you are already being garnished for student loans, have called the offset line and nothing is showing up will they still take the taxes?

  94. Bridgette

    So last year an 8 thousand dollar check got offset, i set up a payment plan and i pay very minimal payments every month, well I missed a payment in august and i tried to pay it but the lady i talked to told me thats ok your allowed to miss a payment and i tried but she insisted it was ok.. wellllll i missed another payment in november which i hadnt had the funds within the 20 day time limit. So i looked at the student aid page and it says they are defaulted from august. Does this mean there will be an offset? i have paid 10/12 payments. will it be offset? if so how can i fix this?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, you are at risk. Get out of default. If you keep missing payments for a plan to get out of default, your payments are too high. Renegotiate. If that fails, contact my firm or one of my graduates.

  95. Miguel Yanez

    I filed for and was granted a forbearance on my student loan, it says the forbearance begins on February 15th till February 14th of next year. If I file my return before the 15th will it be taken away? When I filed for the forbearance my loan was coming close to default. So I wanna know if I should wait till after the forbearance begins to file my return.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You cannot have a forbearance if you are in default. If you have a forbearance, you are not in default. You should be safe to file your taxes.

  96. tiffany brown

    I have a student loan from 2006 I only when to school for 1 week and I return the books now I’m getting collection notice should I file my taxes or call the credit bureau

    • Joshua Cohen

      Calling the credit bureau won’t do anything. You are in default, your tax refund is at risk. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates.

  97. joann king

    I recently found out I. Have loans in default, and I called the number and found out I have an irs offset in place. I didn’t even know my loans were in default! I had contacted both cfnc as well as seaa to have them both tell me my loans were in good standings as I have filed and been granted deferments, only to have a 3rd party co call me the next day. I set up payment plans, is there anyway to get taxes back this year? I’m 7mo pregnant and a single mother, without my return I’m sure to end up homeless w my son and brand new baby girl. Please help! I only work part time. For min wage.

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is extremely rare to get back taxes. Contact the Ombudsman for a hearing. You also need to get better information about our loans. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates to get assistance.

  98. Stanley

    I defaulted in December 2013 and after calling the Treasury Offset Hotline, the Dept. of Ed has an offset for my tax refund this year. My father cosigned on private student loans and a few of my federal loans, can they offset his taxes, as well? I really don’t want him to be involved in my mess and am making the plans to set up the repayment plan. I just need to know if I should forewarn him, thanks for all your help.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Taxes cannot be offset for Private student loans. Only Federal loan default can result in tax refund intercept.

  99. Quinn

    Is there anyway I can get my taxes this yr if I set up a payment plan?

    • Joshua Cohen

      A payment plan will not save your tax refund. Only getting out of default will do that.

  100. Lani

    I havent paid on my student loan and last year the took my taxes and didnt tell me are they allowed to do that? and i havent filed my taxes this year and i really wanna claim my daughter but scared they are going to take my entire income tax. Is there anything i can do so they dont garnish me? so that i can take care if my daughter!

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should have received a letter that your tax refund would be intercepted. They can send it at anytime during the year. You need to get your loan(s) out of default. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates for assistance.

  101. heather

    ! i am behind on my student loans. they take my tax return every year. i have a 6 month old son and a 4 year old daughter if i claim them on my taxes will i get their half of the return ? or will my student loan agency take the entire return? thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, your entire tax refund is at risk. Get your loans out of default.

  102. terri

    My refund will be more than I owe for student loans. They took all of my return last year but this year only a small portion. How long does it take to get the remaining refund due? Weeks? Months? Years? Thanks 😉

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’ll need to contact the Ombudsman or treasury department for that one.

  103. amos b. m

    I never got a full explanation why I never received my tax refund 2013. I am a single dad with 2 kids struggling to make it. I need to know before I can file again his year since I am facing extreme hardship.

    • Joshua Cohen

      The explanation is likely that your loans are in default. Get them out of default. Contact the Ombudsman for a hearing.

  104. Angela

    I currently am in default in my student loans but I have not worked all year due to a serious heart condition. I have been told my taxes are going to be intercepted but can I stop this by filing an Injured Spouse tax return since I am married?

    • Joshua Cohen

      An injured spouse form does not stop the tax refund intercept – it merely returns the money that was intercepted for the non-borrowing spouse. To stop the intercept, get your loans out of default.

  105. Felicia Goodloe

    Hi, my loans are in default but I’ve made a payment arrangement and made my first payment I believe I can be out of default by paying off a certain amount I can’t exactly remember if that amount is $300 or $900 the collection agency doesn’t explain things well enough for me. I was wondering two things 1. Does the IRS take all of my taxes to pay off my loan or do they take whats in default? 2. If there is a way I can be out of default by April 15th could I then file and be safe to get my return without anything being taken? And could I then apply for financial Aid again?

    • Joshua Cohen

      1 Your entire tax refund would be taken – you would get a refund if over paid. 2. You must receive official notice that you are out of default, then you can file. 3. You are eligible for aid after making just 6 payments, even if still in default.


    I entered a reabliataion agreement but they already place a claim to my 2013 taxes is there anyway I can file my taxes next year to avoid them taking my income tax.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You must get your loans out of default before filing. There is no other way around this.

  107. Lamona Anderson

    Hello, dept of education offsrt my taxes last year, im in a rehab program, ive made 7 pymnts and will make last pymnt march 5th 2014. I called treasury to see if i have an offset and it said no! Am i safe to file or do i still need to wait til after ive made my 9th payment.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You have to wait until you receive official notification that you are out of default; its not just a matter of making 9 payments. Until that notice, you are at risk of losing your tax refund.

  108. Ashley

    My 2012 tax refund was intercepted due to my student loans being in default. My two questions are: 1.) Where would it show my tax refund was credited towards my student loans? 2.) Can I continue to have my tax refund intercepted to pay off my student loans?

    • Joshua Cohen

      1) only on the NSLDS report. 2) you could, but is your refund enough to pay down the annually accrued interest? This is not the smartest way to pay off your loan, unless you are self-employed with a small balance due.

  109. Janell

    I am in a repayment plan that goes by my income. I am at a $0 payment until next year due to low income/single mom/etc.

    I’ve filed my taxes and as far as I know am not in default. Will they take my tax refund for this? How might I find out? I am depending on that money this year.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you have a $0 income based payment, you are not in default. Your tax refund is safe.

  110. My taxes was taken last year for a studen loan. I called the irs they said im in offset. I called the us treasury they said i have to restar my program because i missed two payments. I have to wait 9 months can i do my taxes on august? What other option do i have its only 4.200 please help

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should not file until you are out of default. You can wait until August to file IF you are getting a refund. If you want to learn all of your options, contact my firm or one of my graduates.

  111. One more thing i was on a payment planwith an agency and because i missed those two payment i have to make the payments directly through us department of education. Im due on february and i really need my tax return for my newborn. Single mom.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should not file until you are out of default. If you really need the money, you should consider changing your tax exemptions on your w-4 and have your employer take less money from your check.

  112. Ashley

    My husband and I are both in good standing with our federal loans. However, my husband has defaulted private loans. Could we still be at risk of losing our refund? I want to file jointly, but I’m nervous. Thank you!

    • Joshua Cohen

      No, private student loans can NEVER touch a federal tax refund.

  113. Ernesto

    I have a old school loan from 2004(private loan) that has grown enormously, It started at 40k but with such a high interest rate it has reached 189k through sallie mae. I was unable to even get started paying it back due to the career path I chose to follow(culinary) and was barely able to even live with the money i was making. I do also have a federal loan which I am paying monthly and have been doing so for 4 years now. I get calls from dept collectors to pay up but even the settlement and the amount they need down is still outrageous! what do i do?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Please contact my firm or one of my graduates. This is not something I can answer on this forum.

  114. Scott

    My taxes for 2012 were taken which is fine. This year I have a remaining balance of $1500 and my tax return is $5500. Will they take only what is owed and leave the remainder $3000 direct deposited into my bank? My wife is worried that they’ll take the whole thing. When they do intercept it which I know they will, how long do I have to wait if they do give me back the $3000. Suppose to have it in my bank in 21 days. Please help so stressed. Thanks

  115. sofia rodriguez

    Will financial aid overpayment that has went to collection will it intercept my tax returns

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default on a loan (owing an amount and not paying it), then your federal tax refund is at risk.

  116. andres

    I worked this year but my wife did not. I have student loan debt that, over the past three years, has been very hard to get control of. Last year, we both worked and we received a good portion of our refund. We had one child at the time. We now have two children and my wife didn’t work at all this year but she did go to school and has the school form that they send for your taxes. My question is, since we qualify for the child tax credit, is there a possibility that we can still receive a part of the refund? They are not only my kids…but I am the only one with debt and who earned money this year.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, your tax refund is at risk. Get your loan out of default and stop the intercept.

  117. Blake

    Hey I was wondering, if my full payment was mailed to the loan company on Jan.27 and I already filed my taxes. Will they clear me from default in time to receive my taxes? Are do the IRS send offset’s out first at a different date?

    • Joshua Cohen

      There is no way to know if the default will be cleared in time.

  118. Shannon Griffin

    If your student loans are in consolidation can you file your taxes without them being took from you?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If the consolidation is complete and you are not in default, you are safe.



  120. ALiR

    I am about to get married next year and I have 15,000 in student debt. Will my new husbands paychecks be garnished for this or only our tax refund?

    • Joshua Cohen

      A spouse’s wages are ALWAYS safe from wage garnishment. It’s jointly filed taxes that create a problem.

  121. Lawrence Pearson

    My same sex husband and I got married last year. His student loans are being rehab’ed and he is current. I have a garnishment that is being paid back via my employer. If we file jointly, will our refund be captured? Where do we find out the status of our loan and if it is going to be intercepted? Thanks for any assistance.

    • Joshua Cohen

      IF you are in default, you tax refund is in jeopardy of being intercepted. Get your loan out of default. Do you realize that up to 25% of your garnished amount is going into a debt collector’s pocket and NOT towards your loan? AND, interest is still accruing. Is your garnishment enough to cover interest? Get out of default!

  122. penny

    I have an old student loan that is in default. I had no income this year but my husband did. In order for him to not lose refund can we do filing separate even though I didn’t have income or do we still need to go with Injured spouse form?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you file separately, his tax refund is safe. BUT, if you want the tax credits you can only have if you file jointly, the tax refund may be intercepted and he’ll have to file an injured spouse form to get the money back.

  123. Mary Hancox

    If I file head of household and claim my daughter as a dependent who lives with me and does not work can the IRS take my refund if she owes on a defaulted student loan?

    • Joshua Cohen

      No. It is not HER refund so it can’t be taken. She should take this time to get out of default so she doesn’t have to worry about it when she starts working again.

  124. tessca

    Is there a way for me to consolidate my loands thru direct loans that doesnt take 30-120 days to remove leans and to prosses after my first payment clears so that i can file my taxes before april 15th ?

    • Joshua Cohen

      No. You’ll just have to wait like everyone else. It takes 30-90 days, that’s just how it goes. You can file your taxes as soon as you receive official notification that your loan is no longer in default. It has nothing to do with you making your first payment. I would advise waiting a little after receiving notification, to make sure any intercept notification is removed.

  125. shequita

    My student loan is in default but it’s less then my tax return. If they take my return will I get back the amount left from once my loan is paid?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, but don’t ask me how long it will take to get that money back.

  126. Talaya

    I owe a community college for a partial refund i received because i didn’t complete my classes for personal reasons. My state refund says that their is a hold on my refund by that community college. What i would like to know is, will my federal refund be placed on hold also? I checked the treasury hotline and it says that as of today I have no debts. I am in a forbearance state with my student loans.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you don’t have a Federal student loan in default, your fed taxes should be safe. Your issue is on the State level, not Federal.

  127. Nicole

    The amount I owe on my defaulted student loan is $2200. My refund is for $5596. Will they take only the $2200 & refund the rest? I have filed injured spouse for years (as this debt isn’t my husband’s & he’s the sole provider) & am tired of the hassle & wanted to just pay it off this way. I’m assuming the remaining will still be refunded. Please advise.

    • Nicole

      I had setup payments several times, but would forget about 1 here or there & be right back to where I started, in default, which is why I would simply file injured spouse so my husband wouldn’t be effected & would get the tax refund he worked for. With his new job his biweekly checks far surpass the amount his refund would be, so we decided to just take care of this once & for all by letting them keep what’s owed out of the return. I’m hoping only the amount owed is kept. I can’t imagine the whole thing being taken. Just curious.

      • Joshua Cohen

        They will intercept the whole refund, then give you back the overpayment. There is no telling how long that will take.

    • Joshua Cohen

      They will take the whole thing and then refund you the remainder, but no telling how long that will take.

  128. Tonya

    Ok.. I have defaulted on a student loan but I am currently on a repayment plan for 9 months! I don’t want my husbands taxes to be taken because of my stupidity and we also have two children! Can we file married filing separately and him claim the children on his tax return? Please let me know ASAP he made an appt to get our taxes done on Thursday!!

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’re asking me a question that you should ask your CPA. He does taxes, I do student loans, but your question is about taxes.

  129. Jenna

    When I filed my tax return my loans were in an active forbearance do you think my return will be intercepted? Or have any troulbe with it

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your loans are in forbearance you are not in default. If you are not in default, your tax refund is safe.

  130. Jasmine

    If my husband has a loan in default, but he claimed temporary undue hardship and the department of education stopped garnishing his wages temporarly, will they still intercept our tax refund. I am nursing student and a stay at home wife/mother, we really need the extra money so I rather know what to expect.

    Thank you

    Jasmine .

    • Joshua Cohen

      They might, yes. A garnishment hearing and a tax refund intercept hearing are different. Get the loan out of default. The wage garnishment only stops for a year, it’ll come back if you don’t get this loan out of default.

  131. Lindsey

    My 2012 taxes were intercepted last year because I had defaulted on a student loan. In August 2013 I paid my first payment in the rehabilitation program and have been paying ever since, I paid my 6th payment in January. I called the department of education today and a gentlemen told me there was a number I could call to find out if I am still on the list to have my taxes taken again this year. I called the number, waited on hold for 30 min, and the guy who answered asked me for my information, I heard him count my payments he said I was still in default but my taxes were not going to be taken and then it was silent. When asked how he could tell he said um well I mean you can call the IRS so I am not really confident in his answer. Is there a way to find out for sure?

    • Joshua Cohen

      I do not trust the system. The only way to be sure your tax refund will not be intercepted is to get your loan out of default. Do not file your taxes while in default, if you want to be sure to get your refund.

  132. Gerry

    My refund was intercepted last year due to my defaulted student loan. I was out of work the whole year of 2013, my girlfriend is claiming me since we leave together & she supported me for the whole year. Is her refund in a risk of being intercepted as well this year?

  133. lakita

    hi I had my refund token last year like 4000 something for a student loan I called the deptof educationto see how much I owe they say that 1077will be taken out of my taxes when I file this year..isthere any hidden fees I should know about im kinda scared they might take all my teaxes help plz

  134. Shannon Trew

    I just entered a payment plan with the US Department of Education, They STILL intercepted a bulk of my return, anything I can do to get it back? I am on a payment plan with them now.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Unless you have an exceptional hardship, you are not likely to get your refund back. Being on a payment plan doesn’t stop the tax intercept, completing the payment plan does (meaning you’re no longer in default).

  135. Rod Wood

    My refunds have been intercepted for the last few years to satisfy my student loan debt. I was told it would happen again this year; however, I just received my refund via direct deposit. I’m certain the loan is not paid off so my question is: Is this money mine to keep or will the IRS deduct this back out of my account once they realize they made a mistake?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you received your refund, congratulations! You got through the system this time. Get your loan out of default and stop worrying about losing your refund.

  136. mike

    Government doesn’t care if were struggling or have kids and can’t afford to pay loans. As long as their pockets get fatter like their bellies they want to screw us

    • Joshua Cohen

      Ya know, there’s a way to take advantage of the system too. Just gotta know how. And no, I’m not posting that here.

  137. april

    my student loans intercepted my refund last year and then 3 weeks later started garnishing my wages. I would like to go ahead and file my taxes but they are still in default and i dont want them to intercept my taxes . is there anything i can do they had the garnishment and intercepted last year.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, get out of default. Contact my office or one of my graduates to learn how.

  138. Britt

    Hi Joshua,

    I currently owe 49k. I have one company that’s garnishing 15% of my wages every two weeks (for 2 yrs now). I recently joined their rehab program to pay them in addition to my garnishments for 9 months and they will delete everything from my credit. Apparently I took out 2 loans when I was in school. I was paying the second company voluntarily for about 9 months when the payments stopped coming out of my bank acct. Well, I just recently found out that the second company has asked that my taxes be offset although I started paying them again once I realized that I needed to reapply for the same program I was in before. I’ve already called the Dep. of Ed and was told that my taxes are going to be offset unless I complete the rehab program before tax time or I can send in a court ordered eviction notice and they’ll return my taxes to me… I don’t qualify for either. So my question to you is what would the penalty be for me not filing this year? If I wait and file next year I should be in good standing. Can I just wait and pay them off this year and file this year W2 along with my taxes for next year?

    • Joshua Cohen

      This is a question better sent to my office. I can’t answer on this forum. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates.

  139. Lee

    Ok here’s what happened my mom filed and she got her return offset today and we are trying to get it back we live in a hotel and have been for months and was trying to get our life back on track with that money 🙁 I’m so hurt because I’m a college student and they took my college credit plus I don’t receive disbursement checks from my school can she file a hardship?

    • Lee

      Also we have a feeling that my mom was falsely approved of the student loan she took out for my brother she was approved the first year but wasn’t the next year ?? Strange plus the school is known for stealing from the students and nothing about her credit or anything changed and this was back in 2011, in the contract it doesn’t state that she had to pay immediately it states that only if my brother is half -time my brother is still in school as a full time student he lives on campus idk what’s going on 🙁

      • Joshua Cohen

        I can’t answer you issue in this forum. Please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates for better assistance.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Ombudsman’s office to request a hearing.

  140. Gatika

    My loans are in default because I didn’t have the money to pay them I am a single mother of two kids making little to no money and when I called my loan people they kept asking me about people helping me and that I need to make a payment they didn’t tell me about any payment plans not hardship programs or anything and I went to school but didn’t finish cause I still wasn’t going to be able to work in the field cause there was a test I had to pay out of my pocket for so with all that being said this will be my first time this year filing and there taking my return and from what they are telling me they went into default in 2012 and I have not field yet so what should I do cause I need my return I need to move cause we are staying in a boarding house that’s not safe for my children and I have no family to fall on I need help do I wait to file or what someone help please

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should contact your local legal aid to see if they can assist with your student loans and other issues. If not, many legal aid programs are aware of private attorneys in the area who can help.

  141. Joshua

    My tax return was intercepted for a federal student loan in default but when it was deposited into my account, it was the full amount of the refund.. What will happen next?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’re a little confusing here. Either your tax refund was intercepted OR it was deposited into your account (meaning it was NOT intercepted). If it was not intercepted, consider yourself lucky. You’ve got 12 months to get your loans out of default before you have another scare.

  142. E Rae

    How do you know if your student loans are in default or if your taxes will be offset. I am cuurently in forbearance and am in the process of requesting deferment. nelnet says the status of my loans are in repayment and that I don’t have a payment due till may 15 th. but in november 2013 because i could not pay nelnet reported to the credit bureau so im wondering how do I tell if Our taxes will be offset before my husband files??

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in forbearance, you are NOT in default. Student loans don’t default because you miss 1 or 2 payments, you need to miss a lot more than that. Your taxes are safe.

  143. Jessica Calderon

    How will I find out if my taxes will be taken by the IRS. I have been in default for three months now. I already filed my taxes just worried I will not get them.

    • Joshua Cohen

      2 ways you’ll know: 1) you’ll receive your refund – you dodged a bullet. 2) you’ll receive a letter that says your taxes have been taken because of your default student loan. Get your loans out of default so you don’t have to worry about this next year.

  144. Bryse

    Hi. I am under rehabilitation threw winham professionals for sallie Mae. I have made my fourth payment and are current on them. I called the offset list. I’m still on it. I also called salle Mae and they told me that because I made my fourth payment so far I wouldn’t and shouldn’t be on the offset list any longer. To contact the irs. I did that within minutes last week and they told me if salle Mae states that I am no longer needed on the offset list I can be taken off. But it won’t update until next week? When does it take people off? If they can add daily can’t I be removed daily? I know I am still in default but salle May said they never sent out an offset for my taxes and us dep of edu said the same. The offset list states it’s for the us dep of edu but they said they aren’t takin them. I’m very confused and I already filed. What can I do? If they take my taxes I will loose my home. I have to pay $3000 every year for my land contract.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You shouldn’t have filed your taxes. If you are in default, your taxes can be intercepted…period. Being on a payment plan does not protect you. I never trust the system. As far as I know, only ED has the authority to remove you from the tax list. Honestly, I wouldn’t count on being removed just yet, but you could always cross your fingers.

  145. amy

    My loans have been in default for some time now. I have had my refunds intercepted last year and this year. I want to do something to help pay the remaining balance of my loans, but don’t want to be hassled by it. Before my loans went in to default I tried to work with someone but they denied my request not having a job only unemployment. Tried again after my loans went into default and would not help still I was willing to pay or set up a plan, but they demanded all money. Now how is any body going to handle this! Yep not answer harassing phone calls so is there any way I can set up a reasonable amount to help pay it back. It’s not like I am trying to get out of it why would I file my taxes if I were, just looking for help to pay back at a reasonable manner.

    • Joshua Cohen

      I can’t help you on this forum. Please contact my firm, or one of my workshop graduates to get the answers you’re looking for.

  146. Whitney B.

    I wanted to know that since my state tax refund is already on “hold” due to a defaulted student loan, will the federal tax refund be taken and applied to the entire loan initially taken out or just the past due balance? Also, is it at all relevant that I am in the student loan forgiveness program? Thanks in advance

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you’re in default, you’re not in the student loan forgiveness program. Further, once you default, the entire balance is due, not just the “past due balance”. Any tax refund taken will be applied to the entire balance.

  147. Viviane

    Hi, I just found out that our tax refund has been intercepted for a student loan I had a few years ago. I have not worked for the last 4 years so only my husband has been working. I looked up my credit report prior to us filing and nothing showed up that I owed in student loans. The credit report showed showed $0 balance, current, paid, paid, $0 monthly payments, paid by insurance, transferred to another lender, and dates closed of 2007 and back. None showed I have a balance. Under judgement section, nothing showed up. So, why is this happening? I remember that at one point my wages were garnished until I set up a payment plan but then when I stopped working I was not able to pay them. So my questions are 1.) Would the garnishment show on my credit report? 2.) Can I file a injured spouse form and at least get half the money from refund?(how long does that take) 3.) If credit report is correct ,can that be used to prove I am in good standing since it shows paid/$0 bal./paid by insurance? 4.) Is it possible they made an error and therefore they will send me the money?(does that even happen?) 5.) None of the above matter and I owe? (I pray not) Please Help, and any additional information that you may feel I should know or be aware of can be of great help! PS. Also I heard about Undue Hardship since financially I am not in a position to pay back or refund being garnished. Thank You!!

    • Viviane

      One more thing, on my credit report everything in regards to student loans says Sallie Mae, however when I called to see who the offset is being done through it says US Department of Education. I called the federal loan phone number and they show my New York State Higher Education is in default (this is who garnished my wages previously). Why are they not showing up on my credit report?

      • Joshua Cohen

        A creditor is not obligated to report anything on your credit report. IF they report, it must be accurate, that is how the law works.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your credit report is showing you that you defaulted and the lender transferee it to a guarantee agency. Garnishment will not necessarily show on a credit report. You can get the non-borrower spouse’s share of the tax refund back with the injured spouse form, not sure how long that takes. Credit reports are not reliable for student loans. You should contact my firm, or one of my workshop graduates, to get the help your looking for.

  148. wendy

    Ok long story short loans consolidated on jan 27th 2014 and I filed taxes which is due this coming week feb 12 and set to be offset but I owe nothing as they were consolidated and checked dept of ed and national student loans just to have they say we sent out a paper saying not to offset your taxes (which I received the same letter today) and when we get your taxes we will send them back in 6-10 weeks meanwhile I am getting evicted with 2 small children because I was counting on that tax money to bring me current and only filed because i recieved the letters in the mail and called to make sure they were paid….What can I do ? I can’t wait that long and I am mad as hell as I don’t owe anything …how can they take it……..

    • Joshua Cohen

      First, you do owe. Its just that the tax refund intercept shouldn’t happen because you’re not in default. You made the mistake of filing your taxes before you were officially out of default. You’ll need to contact the Ombudsman to see if they can help.

      • wendy

        thanks Yes I did put that wrong I do owe …….Just upset because they took my taxes what I should of said was Iam not in default anymore and I will contact Ombudsman first thing tomorrow and hopefully get good news to post….

  149. Jerry

    I started a payment program last year, I successfully completed it and was moved to Fedloan for the repayment of my account, I was assured that I would be out of default, but low and behold this year my tax return is being taken by the Dept. of Ed. Is there anything I can do to get this rectified, I know my account isn’t in default status, they even took the inquiries and collection status off my credit report.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You got yourself out of default. Congratulations! Have you been making payments since then? If not, guess what, you may have defaulted again. You should contact my firm, or one of my workshop graduates, to get better assistance.

      • Jerry

        I have not stopped making payment at all. all my payments have been on time and for more than they ask.

        • Joshua Cohen

          Are you paying the correct party? Once you get your loan out of default, a new servicer is assigned (Fed Loans in this case). Also, if you filed too soon after getting out of default, the intercept may not have been lifted in time. You should also make sure you don’t have another Federal loan in default.

          • Jerry

            I had a total of 4 small loans, all of them are listed on my fed loan paperwork. If I filed to soon and I am not in default will they give me my money back?

  150. Maria Cordova

    I had a few questions about how I can file a hardship form and also how to go about getting out of default on my old loans, prefer something I can afford. Please, Please help.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates.

  151. Keisha Williams

    I got a message on Where’s My Refund saying my refund had been intercepted. Is it to late to file papers for a hardship? Btw I tHink it is from one of my private loans that are in collections. I had payment arrangements set up but missed two payments.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your federal tax refund cannot be intercepted for a private loan. Only Federal loans have the right to take your federal tax refund. You need to verify what is going on with your federal loans.

      • Keisha Williams

        My other loans were in deferment until January so I don’t understand how this could be happening. Is it to late to file hardship if I accidentally missed putting one in deferment somehow?

  152. Tierra

    Hi. If I just began my payment plan and my official payment was given today is it possible that I would be out of default and be able to file my taxes by the October deadline

    • Joshua Cohen

      Folks, there is no technical deadline for filing your taxes if you’re getting a refund. Why? Because there is no penalty – you’re getting money back! You’re letting the gov’t keep your money longer (at zero interest). To answer your questions, yes, mathematically speaking, you should be out of default around October. BUT, do not file until you receive official notification that you are out of default.

  153. Shonn Jone

    I just found out they intercepted my federal tax refund but for loans and for a school I never attened I have been talking to them an the collection agency and fill out paperwork regrading this issue to get these loans dicharge what can I do to get my money back these are not my loans.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’ll get your money back when you prove the loans are not yours. This process can be tiresome, but do everything you can. Contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates if you need assistance.

  154. Jose Roman

    They took all of my taxes last year nd I’ve been paying 100 dollar a week why they would takeit this year if im paying it weekly

    • Joshua Cohen

      It does not matter if you’re paying. It matters if you are in default or not. If in default, your tax refund is in jeopardy. Make sure you are not in default.

  155. kiyah

    My mom qualified for a Forbearance last year, and she got her refund with no problems. This year 2014 she just found out that her entire federal return when towards student loans. She didn’t receive a paper this year saying anything about a forbearance so she went ahead and filed. How long is a forbearance?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Forbearance is typically for 12 months, but there is also a temporary forbearance good for 60-90 days. Your mom should verify the status of her loans and then contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates for assistance to get her loans back on track. Chances are she never needed the forbearance – there are affordable repayment options.

  156. kiyah

    My mom qualified for a hardship program last year, and she got her refund with no problems. This year 2014 she just found out that her entire federal return when towards student loans. She didn’t receive a paper this year saying anything about a forbearance so she went ahead and filed. How long is a hardship program?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Hardship deferrals are only good for 12 months. Worse, if your mom qualified for hardship, she also qualified for a really small and affordable repayment. She never needed the deferral. Your mom needs to get her loan out of default. She can contact me or one of my workshop graduates for assistance.

    • My taxes were intercepted because of defaulted student loans but I am under disability discharge not to mention IRS never sent me nit one letter notify me of this offset. I am so mad. What can I do????

      • Joshua Cohen

        This is a bit confusing. Either your loan was discharged for disability in which case you can’t be in default (the loan no longer exists), OR you thought you had a discharge but failed to fully qualify (there is a three year audit period, did you finish all three years?). Also, the IRS doesn’t send the warning, the Treasury department does. You need to verify the status of your loan – fully discharged or no?

  157. marc

    hey, I just got notification that my income tax (scheduled to be deposited in my account in 3 days) will be intercepted due to student loan that I owe. Is there ANYTHING I can do to try to stop this? Really needed this money as I’m currently unemployed. Thanks so much

    • Joshua Cohen

      Only thing you can do is hope the intercept doesn’t happen. Also, get your loan out of default so this isn’t a problem next year.

  158. Stephanie

    Last year they took all my taxes and my wages were garnished. I applied for loan consolidation and I am still working through it. I saw on the IRS website my refund should be deposited this week, is there a chance they will still take my refund?

  159. Rebeccalovie

    After realizing I was flagged for tax offset I consolidated all my federal student loans. They have a 0 balance as of Feb 5th. I am in extreme financial hardship and would like this flag removed as soon as possible so I can file my taxes. Would contacting the Ombudsman or requesting a review or hearing speed up the tax offset flag removal process?

    • Rebeccalovie

      Today Feb 15 I called the tax offset hotline and they just applied a $72 vendor payment from my state refund last year towards my dept of education debt that was paid in full by consolidation. What happens now? Does that payment go towards my first consolidation payment or will this payment be returned to me? I just want this offset removed ASAP!!!!

      • Joshua Cohen

        Contact the Ombudsman. If you were not in default at the time of the offset, you should receive it back.

    • Joshua Cohen


  160. Sam

    Is there any way to get my tax refund back after an offset and the department of education has my refund in hold? I need the money to pay bills, car, and rent. I didn’t receive any type if notice and I still haven’t. I filed my taxes a couple weeks ago and they were approved and sent to my card on Friday night midnight so Saturday. It’s Monday and still no notice. I need that money desperately, I would like to file hardship if still possible. Please contact me as soon as possible thanks.

    • Joshua Cohen

      I’m confused. Have you received your refund or not? If you have, you’re clear. If you haven’t, you may not get it.

  161. Chelsie Swinyer

    I had a loan been in default since 2009 as they told me and i never once got a bill from them due to they had my wrong address and i didnt know that until i just filed my taxes and found out they took $690 out of my income taxes. i am now homeless due to that reason because i was going to pay for a room with that money. is there anything i can due to get my money back due to the reason my student loan got into default in the first place is due to i was sick and hospitalized for all most four years. reason i had to drop out of school. i was never informed about having to pay them money, never got a bill from them. they had a address for me of a place i never lived and i have had my identity stolen from me and that address has popped up under my name more then once. please give me some advice of what i should do. thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Ombudsman for a hearing to get your tax refund back. For the rest of your issue, please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates.

  162. Brittney Neidig


    My tax return got offset this year without my knowledge. I called the dept of education as soon as i find out to see if i could apply for a hardship to get my offset reversed. They told me the only way i could do that is if i had a court ordered notice of eviction or forclosure. I don’t want to get in today predicament, as I’m sure no one else does either. I am currently unemployed and drowning on my return. Is there anything else i can do to have this offset reversed?

    • Brittney Neidig

      Sorry, i had some typos in the above.

      Found not find
      That not today
      Depending not drowning

    • Joshua Cohen

      Not likely. Get out of default so this doesn’t affect you next year.

  163. BreAnna Elam

    I am married, we have a son, I have a loan in default. I didn’t make over $500 in 2013 but my husband did. It said our refund was over $7,000, since I did not work durning 2013 will we still lose our refund because of my student loan?!? Is there anything I can do to make sure we still get something back? I don’t want him to suffer because of me.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your loan, his income. He should file an injured spouse form with the IRS and get his share of the refund back.

  164. NaTosha Evans

    I was doing the 9mth rehabilitation process and I made 6 out of 9 payments. I lost my apartment and my kids and I were living with different people, do I didn’t make the last few payments. ERS said I would have to start over. So they took a payment in Dec and Jan. I asked if they were going to intercept my refund and he said no. I just found out Sunday that he lied to me. We just moved in a place and now my income tax is gone. Why didn’t they notify me? Why did they lie? I started back making payments. Now they’re threatening wage garnishment. I can’t be homeless again. I work everyday. Please help!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Of course they lied to you, because they have nothing to do with the tax refund intercept. Besides, you’re still in default. As long as you are in default, you are at risk of losing your tax refund. Either finish the rehab or find another way out. Please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates for more assistance.

  165. Melissa

    My student loans were in default last year, and I completed the rehab program so my loans are in good standing, but my taxes were still offset what can I do? I have called the Dept of Ed and was told that I should be eligible for a refund from them but will not give me any information as to how the process works. Do you know anything about this situation?

  166. Jes

    My wife doesn’t work but we successfully rehabilitated her loan at the beginning of this year. We filed jointly and our return, which was all from my income, has been intercepted. Is there anything we can do?

    • Joshua Cohen

      1) make sure the loan hasn’t defaulted again. 2) if not in default, contact the Ombudsman office. 3) file an injured spouse form with the IRS.

  167. Jeffrey Green

    My wife defaulted on her student loan. There is a loan offset already set up getting ready to take my tax refund. Here is my question…lets say hypothetically the amount of the loan offset is $1000 and the refund amount is $2000. Will they keep all of the refund or will they payoff the offset amount and refund me the additional amount due to me? Also, if they do refund me the additional amount and I e-filed, how long will it take to get the refund?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You will get the overage back, but I have no idea how long it can take.

  168. Nancy

    My tax refund was also taken due to
    my student loan but I had made arrangements to pay off the loan, any way I can get my tax refund back it’s not right how I provided my bank account and set up monthly payment arrangements and they still took my tax refund leaving in a very bad situation )’ :

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’re still in default during the payment plan – they have every right to take your tax refund (I didn’t make the rules). Do what you can to get out of default and next year you won’t have to worry about this.

  169. Jamie

    I filled last year and they took mine and my husbands full refund for my student loan. This year we filled injuired sponse but I was still wondering how much they can take this year? I didnt work at all so the full refund is his. and we do have one child together which we claimed. I would appreciate if u would email me back with some information

    • Joshua Cohen

      If all the income is his, you should get the full refund back.

  170. Dylan

    I paid off one loan a year ago, to later find out that there are 3 parts to my student loan. So, I only payed off one loan. I came across this not too long ago, but cannot afford to pay anything on my student loans, due to unemployment. I hate it as much as the next guy, but I found out that the other 2 parts to my student loans are in default as of: one, 10/30/2013 and the other, 11/03/2013. I was wondering if there was a slight chance that I would get my tax return this year, as I was planning to use that money to better my life so that I can get a job and start paying on the 2 loans. The amount is only about $5,000 left between the 2 loans. Most years I would not care, but this year I am trying to get myself out of this rut, so I can start paying back the loans left, that apparently I have. Any and all advice is welcomed and appreciated; thanks!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Get out of default and get an affordable repayment. Newsflash: there are affordable repayment options even if you’re unemployed. Don’t believe me? Contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates.

  171. Dylan

    Along with my previous post, how does wage garnishment work? What I mean by this is: do they serve you with court papers, and take you to court? Or do they just start garnishing them? I’m assuming that they do take you to court, so you know if your wage’s are being garnished. Hopefully this question makes sense, as I’m trying to find a job, and don’t want wage garnishment to impede my chances of future employment. I know the best way to avoid being in default and wage garnishment is to set up a payment plan, and stick to it. I plan to, once I have a job.


    • Joshua Cohen

      Federal loans do NOT require a court order for garnishment. It is ADMINISTRATIVE – you get a 30 day warning letter and that’s it. WHAM! Garnishment starts. Don’t wait to get a job, get out of default now!!
      People who read this, understand one thing: unemployment is no longer an excuse to not making a payment, because there is an affordable option EVEN IF YOU’RE UNEMPLOYED. Contact my firm or one of my graduates.

  172. Nina

    The school I attended closed before I graduated, my loan defaulted because I didn’t know what to do about this case (first time getting a student loan) so IRS took my income tax, can I fight it and get it back?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates. You can get the entire loan discharged if what you say is true.

  173. Roger Bradley

    I just found out all of our taxes were offset because my wife’s student loan debt. We filed bankruptcy and the sent us a letter telling her she don’t need to do anything until they contact us. We have got no contact from them or a letter telling they are offsetting it. I am 100% unemployable VET and she takes care of me. She cant work a regular job. Can anyone help me. Can I get some of the money back we desperately need the help. Thanks.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Ombudsman. Also, your BK attorney should know what to do. If not you or your attorney should contact me directly.

  174. Stephanie

    If i have a student loan that is in default and my federal return is more then what i owe are they going to offset it and send me the remaining balance or are they going to keep all my money.

    • Joshua Cohen

      You will get the overage back, but I have no idea how long that takes.

  175. David

    My 2012 tax return was offset for student loans in default. I successfully completed the rehabilitation program, made 9 on time payments and my loan is no longer in default. I was told that completing the rehab would prevent future tax return offsets. I have submitted a request for income based payments with my current loan servicer and was approved. My first payment with them is due 3/16/2014. My loans have been out of default since November 2013. My 2013 tax return was offset again. When I call the US Department of Education, they confirm the offset was taken, they do not yet have the money and inform me that in their system, my loans are showing as not in default. They tell me the tax return should not have been offset.

    I have made commitments for that money and now am being told it could take 30-60 days for them to refund the money to me. How could this have happened? Is there a quicker way to process this refund? Since they admit the mistake, I think it is only fair that they should be made to pay 6% interest since this is the rate they are charging me on the money I owe back to them.

    I have admitted I was in default. I completed my rehabilitation, I have made payment arrangements with my new loan servicing agent, I am current and out of default. Why is this happening? I did not receive prior notification of the intention to offset my tax return as they say I “should have”.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Nothing I or anyone else I know can do. Call them every 2 days to follow up.

  176. charleen

    I’m in the process of having my student loans consolidated and due to my income amount my payment will be 0.Once the process is complete if I proceed with filing my taxes can they still be intercepted?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Once you receive official notification that you are no longer in default, you should be safe to file your taxes. I’d wait an extra 30 days for added protection.

  177. Michele

    I owe for student loans and have not worked in a few years. This year they take our taxes and my husband is the only one who contributed. I know to fill out the injured spouse form but I wanted to know if any one knew about how long it would take for him to get back what is owed to him. Thank you

  178. mary

    If they already took my whole tax refund is it too late to file a hardship claim?

  179. Mary

    Recently I filed my income tax, and discovered on Friday that my entire income tax check in the amount of $4770 was intercepted by the Us Dept of Ed, Great Lakes Servicing. I checked the national student loan database where all of my loans are in good standing and discovered that Great Lakes had put me into default on 2 loans in 10/2012, despite the fact that I was still in school then and therefore those loans should have also been in deferment or forbearance during that time period. I am a single mother of 4 with a very sick child and facing financial hardship due to this tax refund intercept. My daughter has spent over 400 days in the hospital and I would never purposely let any loans default when there is deferment and forbearance options available to me. I have 37 loan items in the nslds system, and all of it is in good standing other than the two with Great Lakes. I tried calling Great Lakes Higher Ed, and keep getting transferred to their collection agency called Performant, and no one ever picks up the phone. I am hoping that someone can assist me, I should not be in default at this time, and this should have not occurred especially as I was in school during the time period that they placed me mistakenly into default. I need to know what I can do to get my income tax check returned to me, and my loans in good current standing again. I have put in a request to the Obudsman specialty group, hopefully they can shed light on this confusing maze for me. I am very upset about this situation, I had no idea there was anything wrong until this intercept just occurred, and it is an awful lot of money to lose, especially when I depend on it as a single Mother!

    • Joshua Cohen

      I can’t help you in this forum. Please contact my firm or one of my graduates for personal assistance with your matter. You have a large issue that should be dealt with.

  180. Renee

    Hi…I just got out of the rehabilitation in December. I called the Dept. of Ed on Feb 12 to get the Tax ID # so that I could deduct the interest paid. I was told that I am definitely out of default and in good standing, so i filed my taxes. After doing a search online, i saw that I should call the IRS phone number to see if there was an offset against my SS#. I called the number and there was an offset. That recording told me to call the Dept. of Ed. which i did. The person i spoke with said that even though i am paid and out of default, i was flagged for an offset by mistake…he said to wait two weeks and call back and when the money hits my account i can request a refund and from there it will take 90 days…does this sound right?

    • Joshua Cohen

      No idea. Contact the Ombudsman for help sorting out the details.

  181. LMeirose

    My student loans are in default but I have been working with a collection agency and they set me up a payment plan, I have been making payments, I missed a few here during the holidays but back on track now will they take my income tax?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You are still in default – there is a good chance they will still take your refund. Don’t file until you are officially out of default!

  182. Jeni

    I am desperate at this point. I am a single mom of 4 receiving no child support and not making a lot of money. I use my tax refund every year as part of my yearly income. I purchase things for the whole year (for example, my auto insurance) because I cannot afford to make payments on anything except my rent, electric, water and phone. And it is a struggle to make those payments! This year I found out that my refund was taken to pay, I assume, overdue student loans. I am not finished with school. However, was forced to quit and work full time and care for my children. At which time, again, assuming, my loans became due. I have no help. I am on the verge of losing everything and I depend on that money to survive. What can I do to get this reversed? Is it possible? I am panicking! Please help!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Ombudsman for a hardship hearing. Also, get your loans out of default and into an affordable payment plan so this doesn’t happen again.

  183. Jessica Meeks

    Hello im jessica and I have just got defaulted on my student loan in the amount of $5,000 dollars and I called the department of education and they told me that I had to do a hardship as to write a letter explaining why I needed my refund and send them a copy of an eviction notice… Would that work out for me? And oh yea I only get a monthly income of $118.00 amount currently unemployed single mother of 2 children of the ages 1 in 3/

    • Joshua Cohen

      Never hurts to try. Also, get out of default so this doesn’t happen again next year.

  184. Lynn

    hello, i have a question. i have read up alot on this injured spouse form. but i cant seem to find the answer to this question. I filed our taxes this year MFJ with my husband. everything went fine like every other year. untill the us deparment of education took our federal return.. ( witch was my debt from like 6 y ears ago before we were married that honestly i forgot about_) i understand its mine.. ill pay it they can take my whole check if they want. My question is.. my husband made all the money last year over 69,000 and they took out over 9,000 in federal taxes. i made 2,500 and they only took out 16 dollars! so obviously it was all his money. so i we filed the injured spouse last week. but i am wondering how much he will get back? we live in Wisconsin so its a communal state..and when i try to find info on it.. all i find is ” the rules for communal state properties are different” but i only made 2,500 thats not even enough to have to file is it?? and when i filed out the paper.. i had a tax person help me and she had him claim everything.. ( obviously he was the one supporting everything and everyone) so will they still take half of the 7,000 that he is owed?? i understand i cant find out anywhere or anything until the 8 weeks it takes to process but i am really wondering what he will get back??

    • Joshua Cohen

      Federal taxes are not affected by State community property law. If 90% of the income was his, he should get back 90% of the refund.

      • Lynn

        Then am i reading about if your state return gets taking for a debt? because everywhere i read it says that it depends on the state laws. I thought they couldn’t take your state return for a federal debt.

  185. Jennifer

    Please please please please help me…I am a mom of three and I am going to get evicted!!! I am two months behind on my rent and was planning in my taxes to bring me up to date…how do I file for hardship?? I am so devastated!!!! My world has just felt out from under me!!!!! Please help me!!!!!!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Ombudsman. Then, get your loan out of default so this doesn’t happen next year.

  186. Jennifer

    I wanted to know if I can get some of my return back???

    • Joshua Cohen

      Not likely. Only the Ombudsman can tell you if you qualify for hardship.

  187. Shanika

    I recently completed the rehab program received a letter informing me that fed loans now has my account. I’ve made my first payment with them and my refund was still offset. Will dept. of ed refund my taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you make a stink about it, yes. Contact the Ombudsman.

  188. Jon

    Sorry if this question was already asked, but my federal student loan is delinquent- about 18 days past due on just one payment. That’s all I’m behind right now. There is a difference between delinquent and default, right? Can they intercept my refund for this?

    It may help to know I have had my loans in default in the past, but successfully rehab’d and been in good standing for around a year. They did intercept my refund in 2012. Does that give me less wiggle room in my current situation?

    I’m concerned because I filed early, pre-Jan 31, and still have no DDD. Thanks.

  189. william

    Is there a way to get back a refund that’s been incepted if you get a deferment or forbearance on your loans? Thank you

    • Joshua Cohen

      You cannot get a deferment or forbearance if your loan is in default.

  190. joanna

    my loan is in default but i am actually paying the collection company to get out of default, my taxes were taken last time i filed which was almost 3 years ago but i was not pay anything at all back then, will my taxes be taken again this year even though i am making payments?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Making payments does not protect you. You are not safe to file until you are out of default.

  191. lisa masisak

    I have had my checks garnished for my student loan. And I just found out they took most of my tax refund. Can I get that money back.

    • Joshua Cohen

      No. Get out of default so the garnishment and offsets stop.

  192. Quinaysha Dyous

    This is my first year filing taxes. My student loans are just now becoming due. I have yet to recieve any information about my taxes. I have three childreb and recently lost my job so I am really really depending on the little that im supposed to get back. Is is possible that they have already taken my taxes?? Its been about three weeks since I filed and im really worried.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your loan just became due, you shouldn’t be in default yet. If not in default, you are safe.

  193. Catina

    I am in default with my student loan and I requested for an forbearance and was approved…when I filed my taxes this year, I will not get a penny back because they took all of it. I am looking to see how I can have my payments lowered and make necessary payments to get it out of default. My question is…are they allowed to take my income tax even if I was approved for the forbearance?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You cannot have a deferment or forbearance while in default. If you are in default, your tax refund is in jeopardy.

  194. Jill Greene

    Im having a hard time trying to find out how exactly to get ahold of the please

  195. Jill Greene

    Please help! Although my husbands student loans are NOT in default, they still kept all of his taxes. They said they werent going to be offset, yet they were. What is the fastest way to get it back? Can we sue? Take any legal action?

  196. Chloe

    My student loan was on forbearance for at least 6 or 7 months but it was on and off because I lost my job. I just started paying my loan back a month ago, would this be considered “default” status? What should I do if it is?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Are you paying a debt collector or a servicer? Ask them what the status of your loan is. If not in default, you’re safe.

      • Chloe

        It’s a federal stafford loan. I’m not in school currently that’s why I’m paying it.

  197. Jill

    I figured it out, no need to respond. Thank you. I called the department of ed, and I found out although he is not in default, we never called to have his name taken off the list of offsets. (I had no idea that was our responsibility) So, the IRS sent them our refund and now we have to wait 2 to 3 months to get our refund to us. Although I am very upset cause we desperately needed that money TODAY, not 3 months from now….I am very thankful that we get the money back at all. Without having to deal with ombudsmen and decisions about the fate of our money.

  198. Lacey

    I just got my loans current while I’m filing out a economic hardship paperwork for defferment. Also about to go back to school so I also just got a letter of clearifcation. I just filed my taxes. Will the dept of ed take my federal anyhow?? I’m nervous and really need some advice on this. Thank you!!

  199. kim

    hi, I just got a letter Monday saying I owe the college some money and they filed it jan 23,2013 will I get my 2013 state taxes or will they take next years taxes? my loans are not in default. I just owe the school

    • Joshua Cohen

      Schools cannot take your tax refund.

      • Lisa

        I live in AZ & I had a past due balance at the university I attended. At the time, I could not afford to pay it & was placed in collections. I did not take out a loan with that school. After calling around & tracking down what had happened to my state refund I learned that my state refund was withheld and dispersed to that university. The school then applied that refund to my past due balance. In conclusion, I think schools can take your state refund not your federal refund unless you took out a federal loan. I’m just sharing my personal experience…

    • kim

      hi, I just got a letter Monday saying I owe the college some money and they filed it jan 23,2013 will I get my 2013 state taxes or will they take next years taxes? my loans are not in default. I just owe the school

      what if they have reported to the department of Wisconsin revenue? a I got a notice of referred debt.

      • Joshua Cohen

        If State school, they may be able to take your state tax refund. That is a state law issue I cannot respond with certainty.

  200. Stephanie

    My husband has been paying his loans via wage garnishment for the last year. Do you think they will still take our return? Just trying to figure out if we should file seperate or not. I would like to call them, but will they give me any info since im obviously not him?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Why doesn’t your husband get his loan out of default so you can file your taxes, get your refund AND stop the wage garnishment?

  201. mary

    If i file for hardship is it true the only way i can even get my refund back is if i have a eviction notice?

  202. Adriana

    I am a single monther of 3 children, I only worked 3 first months of 2013. My Student loan went into default in December of 2013. One of my kids has been diagnosed with Type one diabetes and our insurance doesn’t cover for some of her supplies, I live with family and do not currently have an eviction notice…is there anyway I can get at least a portion of my refund as I am still unemployed and looking for a job.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, don’t file until you get your loan out of default. Contact my firm or a workshop graduate for assistance.

      • Adriana

        I filed as soon as I got my W-2 for the same reason that I needed money for my daughters medication. I guess nothing can be done now. Thanks for your help!

  203. Natalie

    OK so my school debt finally caught up with me and they took my refund, now if and when I file next year will I be able to put the amount taken this year as amount paid towards school loans? I hear u can get some of that money back from paying towards it…. for when they try and possibly intercept my return next year because I’m unemployed at the moment and cannot afford the “monthly” amount they tell me to send(almost as much as a car payment) is it possible to send them a small amount throughout the year to keep my refund next year?

    • Joshua Cohen

      The payment must be affordable, someone is lying to you. Get your loan out of default or your tax refund will always be at risk. Contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates for assistance.

  204. Ronnie D

    For the last 12yrs my refunds have been intercepted due to defaulted school loans..the problem is that when I look at NSLDS website they only show the original amount that I borrowed for school and default status..roughly about $8400.00 So for the last 10-12yrs they have been intercepting my refunds each year…$580.00-$700.00 a year, but they dont show any of those intercepted refunds being applied??? Does anyone know where to get one of these before and after reports with a difference in balance?? and why doesnt it show any of my intercepted funds applied??? Any help would be nice…thanks

  205. Karly

    I really need some advice on this situation.. I was going to school and got approved for a grant but my daughters father ended up passing away and I was forced to drop my classes BEFORE I had even recieved my check for my grant. I still have the check, I never cashed it. I DO technically owe for books and some supplies, maybe 200$ at MOST but I never got the second semester check and never cashed the first one, so I am trying to rehabilitate it but I really dont feel like I should have to pay back a check I never cashed and another I never recieved.. Please email or respond to me on here I am very confused

    • Karly

      I should add thay my loans got sent to collections when I wasnt staying at home after my daughters dad passed away, I got letters that I needed to go to the school but I wasnt collecting my mail at the time and by the time I checked my mail it had already been way too long for the school to fix it and I went through a lottttt buying/raising money for a headstone, dealing with depression, ect before I finally now am ready to address the issue.. I am scared that I am totally screwed I dont know what to do.. I cant affrd to have the entirety of my taxes go to the loan I will end up evicted and losing everything I worked so hard for this last year.. Thankfully I saw this page right before I was about to file so I havent lost them yet but I really hope I can resolve tjis soon because I need my money for a,lot of important things SOON.. includimg enrolling my daughter in preschool.. I just got laid off from my job so I have no income and I am scared to start a payment plan and mess it up and lose ALL chances of fixing it or getting my taxes..

    • Joshua Cohen

      Is this a grant or a loan? Grants don’t get paid back, loans do. Your description is too confusing to understand. Please contact my firm or one of my workshop graduates for assistance.

  206. alexsis

    Ok so I let my brother claim my 5 year old daughter on his taxes & the department of education took all the money. Is there anyway at all I can get my part of the money or is it a dead end?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It was never your money if it was your brother’s tax return.

  207. NIKKI G


  208. Eric

    My wife and I filed jointly this year. I defaulted on my student loan and have been getting payroll deducted the last 5 months. I have been able to go on the site to see remaining balance However I cant find payment history. I feel they took a lot more than I show I owe. My wife and I both work however she makes more money than me. Is she still able to file 8379? Help Please!?

    • Joshua Cohen

      That site does not give an accounting. You can get that from your loan holder. She can get her share of refund back. Why not get your loan out of default and stop worrying?

  209. Lisa

    I just wanted to share a phone number & website that’s been helpful to my husband & I. We both have student loans and I’ve worked hard to rehabilitate my loan so it’s in “good standing” while my husband just found out his student loan is now in default. So, for tax year 2013 we will file a joint return with myself as “injured spouse.” If your not sure if your Federal tax refund is in jeopardy then call 1-800-304-3107. This number will take you directly to an automated service where you’ll need your social security number. I’d recommend you use your home phone or cell phone to call because it will store your number for security reasons. You’ll find out instantly if your social security number has a lien on it for past student loans, child support, or back taxes owed from prior years. For further information, go to where this same 800 number is listed along with in depth detail of why federal tax refunds can be withheld. I hope this helps those of you have questions & concerns regarding student loans in default.

    • Quita

      thank u for that information…I’m about to call now

  210. Ruth

    I have been in default but about two months ago I contacted the collection agency and made a payment plan to get myself out of default. Now I just found out my refund was taken from me for my defaulted loan. Is there anything I can so about this?

    • Joshua Cohen

      No. If you’re in default, they can take your taxes. The best you can do is get out of default so this doesn’t happen again next year.

  211. Andrea Jonea

    My husband and I filed jointly this year, as we do every year. Today we recieved a letter stating the IRS has taken our return for his unpaid student loans, which they state they have already sent to them. Is it possible for me to file injured spouse and recieve my portion of the money? Our sole dependant is my child not his biologically, so shouldn’t I get the E.I.C.?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, file injured spouse form and get your share back.

  212. Brookie

    What if you submitted your Return already and then found out you were in offset. There is a zero balance but they said it could take 2-4 weeks for it to show in there system. Will my refund be taken? Or will they see the zero balance???

  213. Ashlee

    Last year our income tax refund was offset without notice for my student loan.This year we filed injured spouse form since my husband was the onky one working this year. I have now found out that I am good on my loan and it will not be offset. Will this hurt us in any way for filing the injured spouse form when it was not needed?

  214. Jessica

    So I have a question. When I graduated school I was careful to make sure I had all loan documents. I never received anything from the Department of education so I assumed the three other companies I had were the only ones I had to worry about. I didn’t realize I had more until I did a credit check. I never received any letters from them, no calls, nothing. I called them up and tried to work things out, but they wouldn’t take less than 315 a month and I kept telling them I could only do 200. They were supposed to send me forms for deferment, but it never happened. This happened 3-4 times.

    Last year my income taxes were intercepted. I recently just went through the process to consolidate all my defaulted loans into a new loan with the direct loans because the other collection agency would not work with me in any way. My question is will that be enough to get my loans out of default? Will it be safe to file for taxes?

    The loan registry still has them listed as in default, but I was told as of Feb 20th they were consolidated…but I’m not sure if they are out of default or what?

    Any help would be great!

  215. Odudu

    Hi, my federal loans are in collections. I decided to go back to school and am now a halftime student. Will I be able to get my refund? Also, I was out of the country for many years and no longer receive information on my loan. How do I find out who I should be making payments to, to get back in good standing?

  216. Tiffany

    My student loans are in default and they were doing the wage garnishing but they stopped when I switched jobs last year. Filed my taxes last month and they were offset. Only recieved 275. Really was counting that money being a mother of three. The other week received a letter stating that they did a offset suspension to the irs . But advised me th as I should wait to file. But I already have. Should I be getting my hopes up or just forget about getting money back?

  217. sarah

    if my wages are being garnished, can they still intercept federal tax returns?

  218. Mary Jane

    I filed this year and my refund was intercepted. It definitely was not pleasant to find out but I completely understand why they took it. They took enough money to pay off my entire student loan (Thankful, a burden lifted off of my shoulders). However, It is not showing that I am out of default or even showing that they have received money for the loans. Where can I find that information? I want to make sure I do not have to worry about it anymore. Thank you in advance.

  219. Kristina Mendoza

    My refund has been taken the last 2 years even though my loans are not in default this year. And the money that is being taken has not shown up as a payment on either one of my loans as a credit. How can I find out exactly what that money that has been put toward and if it is actually helping me pay off a debt?

  220. Keisha

    So my loans are in default, I started the rehab program in December ; the only notice I received was a letter stating that if I didn’t set up a payment plan then my wages would be garnished, hence why I finally set up a payment plan and joined the rehab program. I’ve been making payments on time for 3 months; march makes 4 months if I file taxes in April will they still intercept?

    • Keisha

      And I called the number it said there are no debts related to my social; should I be good to file taxes asap ?

    • Joshua Cohen


  221. julie

    Does anybody know how to correct this situation? I am no longer married but I made a huge mistake when filing my returns, I accidentally chose married filing jointly and the site i’d been using for years pre-filled all my ex -spouses information and I didn’t catch it. When I submitted my refund the entire amount was offset, a portion to pay the past due child support he owes me, and the rest to pay off a student loan debt. I went to HR Block and they advised me that it would be unlikely that even if I filed an amended return to correct my status and change it to head of household, that I would still not get the offset amount returned to me. We are talking about almost $7,000 of my money that went to pay off my ex husbands debts including the back child support he owes me! Somebody please let me know I can correct this.

    • Joshua Cohen

      File an injured spouse form – get your share back.

  222. sarah bailey

    Looking for answers! I filed my taxes beginning of feb and found out torward the end that my taxes were being applied to student loans. This was a complete shock to me! I deferred my payments. I not one time recieved anything from the dept of ed explaining this to me. My deferrement expired after six months and I wasnt aware of it. I missed like 2 payments (maybe 3 at most). I always stay on top of it and make sure to defer them until I can afford them. I dont want them in default because it ruins people and the dept of ed are just nice at all! so i read this article and it said that if you miss a couple payments you should be fine. I only misseda couple and they took my return. I have already deffered it again so I dnt understand this situation. I got a letter from the a little over a week ago statig that my refund was applied to my student loans and that the dept of ed has tried contacting me regarding this matter. I never received a letter from them at all. I have been in my current home for over two years so there is no address change. If one got a letter stating their refund was going to be taken, wouldnt that person try to fix it or at least wait to file? I had no idea or i would have fixed the issue first since i wasnt behind that much. my husband has also been penalized for this. however he has filed an injured spouse form which could take up to months. I feel bad for him because he works hard for his money. im sure there is nothing i can do since its my word against theirs but seriously….this is ridiculous! please help with any suggestions or just let me know if im at a loss. thanks in advance

  223. brey

    if I get my defaulted loan consolidated will that get me out of default? and can I avoid my tax offset by doing this?

  224. conmesha

    i am in default on my loan but my taxes exceed the amount that i owe do i receive the difference in my taxes and if so about how long does this process take because i had surgery and really can’t afford a long wait

  225. denisse

    Me and my spouse filled jointly this year feb 8 2014. And in 2013 of August I was in default due to student loans and I didn’t have any income coming in on my part due to being unemployed. I just got a letter from dept of education that they got my federal tax refund! But I didn’t work and the income was all my spouse and ofcourse we put our child on the tax return. Is there a way my husband can file for injured spouse and get his full refund back? Is too late for him to file? If so where can I get this form? Please help any answers will be greatly appreciated

    • Joshua Cohen

      Get the form from the IRS website. Never too late to file.

  226. Quita

    Hello. I am currently in default with my student loans. I am in a recovery program in which i have to make 9 payments on time to become out of default. I have so far made 5 payments out of the 9. By the deadline being April 15th (buy then that would make the 6th payment) i will not have made the 9 payments. Will the Dep of Education still take my refund even if i’m enrolled in a recovery program?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, which is why you shouldn’t file until you are out of default.

  227. I just filed for bankruptcy (chapter 13) and put my student loans that are in default on it. I was given a case number. Am I safe to file my taxes if this was included in my bankruptcy.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Maybe, but I think the refund goes to the Chapter 13 trustee to pay your creditors. Ask your BK attorney.

  228. Tammy

    My students loans were consolidated in February and I received letters from all my loan servicers stating my loans were paid in full through consolidation. I contacted ED defaulted department because they put the claim for my offset, but they keep referring me to my guaranty agency to see if the offset has been remove. They show I am in default but my loan servicers and the NSLD tell me I am not. They said there won’t be a update because they don’t have my account. If Ed put the offset why can’t they tell me if it has been removed? In the end I call the TOP toll free number and there’s no debt found anymore. Should I wait until the end of March because that would be 30 days after my Consolidation or would it be ok to file for my taxes now?

    • Tammy

      When I said they show I am in default and they can’t update my account because my account isn’t with them I was talking about ED’s default department. My guaranty agencies/loan servicers told me my loans are paid in full through consolidation. My guaranty agencies/loan servicers also sent me letters stating this.

  229. Donna Maier

    Hi. I have default student loans and they intercepted our tax returns for 7400+. I have been jumping through hoops with Performant Recovery Inc and Great Lakes Higher Education. I sent in my financial hardship packet for review in the hopes of getting something back. I spoke with Linda from Great Lakes Collections and she asked me if I had my husband write a signed statement that he would not file an injured spouse claim against this offset. I said no, that I had not ever been informed about this having to be included in the hardship packet? She stated that if he did not do this that our Hardship request would automatically be denied. What??? We are supposed to sign away our right to file an injured spouse claim if we are denied by Great Lakes? So, basically, if they deny us with the signed letter, we are out of luck completely. Is this even legal??? Ugh….

    • Donna Maier

      Forgot to add that the loans are paid in full now, but Performant is still taking money out of our bank account. No one will respond to our calls. Niiiice.

      • Joshua Cohen

        You need to find a local consumer attorney to deal with Performant.

  230. Sheila E.

    I found out today my entire refund was garnished, but then I forgot I placed my 401k return somewhere else and have to amend it. I complete the form and my refund is less that the original amt. Do I have to pay IRS with the amended form since they gave it to my defaulted student loan?

  231. shanna

    I just wanted to let people know who were wondering how to get a tax refund back that has been intercepted for school loans, I can tell you. After being lied to by the collection agency who stated it wouldn’t be offset, my refund was taken anyhow in Feb. I have talked to the collection agency and a gal helped me get approved for the William Ford loan which goes off your income for monthly payments. She also told me to call the department of education and file for hardship. I did this, and turns out I was approved and my tax refund will be mailed to me. Not sure how long it will take to get it since they have other people to get a hold of, but it is possible to get the refund back. I’m living proof.

  232. melissa

    I filed my income tax return yesturday and today I realized that I forgot to get a forbearance on my student loans I went online today and requested for one will I still be able to get my returns with out them taking it or will they not intercept??

  233. Rodney

    i have a question.. a little background first… i make the majority of the income between me and my spouse…i file injured spouse bc my wife is in default for student loans.. i had filed use a paper file and sent the injured spouse form along with tax forms…i got a letter today saying they took all the refund to pay her student loans… I also got another letter saying there was a mistake on my refund calculations and allow 4-6 weeks for refund… and to top it all off a got a check from IRS for $1.07, not sure where that came from….i havent got a letter saying they have processed my injured spouse for either… i am freaking out they alittle that i wont get any refund at all this year… please help… this is my first time filing injured spouse…..thanks for any help

  234. Jennifer

    I have set up payment plans to get my loan out of default. I was told my tax refund would be offset because of that and if I paid on time for 8 months then I would be fine. I was devastated that my whole tax refund was going to be gone but accepted and moved on. Low and behold I actually got my refund deposited into my account. That was a month ago. Today I received a letter from the Dept. of Treasury stating that my refund should have been offset but due to a system processing error it was not.
    I am currently still making payments to get my loan out of default, but my question is, can they go into my account and take money out of there to make up for their mistake? Majority of it is gone because of bills, but I don’t want to be surprised if they take everything that’s in my account. Thank you.

  235. glenn costadina

    Hi, I’ve a federal student loan thats been in default for years and I’ve had my tax refund intercepted multiple times, yet I have collectors coming after me for the full amount of the loan, plus penalties. I want to pay off my debt, and i’m prepared to begin making the payments to do so, but I do not want to pay the amount the collectors are after, nor do I believe I should have to, since my tax refund money should have covered a large chunk of it by now. My question is; how or where do
    I find out how much my tax refund money has paid toward this debt. Also, how do I prove to the collectors that I’m not on the hook for the amount they are trying to get?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You realize that interest accrues while in default? That the interest capitalizes each year you’re in default? That your tax refund probably didn’t cover the interest? AND, the collector is allowed a 25% collection fee? You may not like it, but that’s how it works. Contact the Ombudsman for an accounting.

  236. audrey

    my husband and I have already filed and sent along with an injured spouse form because of my student loans from before we were married, however I was just able to get my loans out of default. will they still delay the processing or will this help speed it up?

  237. Marie

    My hubby and I filed separately, and his were intercepted. I figure UHEAA (loan company) was waiting until he filed to intercept. Hubby got a car, and the dealer did the whole use your tax return as a down payment. The dealer called 5 times to check, and an interception was never reported until it showed hubby was due a refund. Hubby called the Ombudsman, and while he was waiting for her to call back, he got a letter from UHEAA stating that they were dropping the federal offset, and that if he needed to file this year, then he should file. We figured it was because his wages were garnished 2x in the last 6 months by UHEAA, and we thought you weren’t considered in default until it had been 270 days. However, when he called UHEAA, he was told that is their standard letter to inform him the loan was paid off. This letter states nothing about a loan payoff. Long story short, we were advised to submit a family budget statement, and a financial hardship evaluation form. The first rep told my husband that unless we had an actual eviction from the court not to even bother. I called back and spoke to a supervisor, and let him know that my landlord is working with us to avoid eviction, and this supervisor told me to submit a statement from my landlord detailing that we are indeed behind on rent, and we could face eviction if not caught up. The form also wants shut off notices form your utilities, which I won’t have until next week. It also asks you to detail if you can’t afford transportation, food or clothing due to the interception of your taxes. Almost all the questions applied to us, so I answered them to the best of my ability. I find it odd on the phone that they tell you eviction is the only way you can get your taxes back, yet the form asks 8 other questions. I just faxed 33 pages of stuff, and am crossing my fingers that we get some of it back.

  238. Gwendlyn

    Is ther a number to call to see if your taxes will be intercepted by student loans

  239. Yuri

    My student loan was sold but the orginal loan office still took our income tax so was I being harassed by the wrong company or what I dont know what to do

  240. Keith Brandt

    I had my Federal tax refund intercepted this year to service a non-tax Federal debt. I am in an active Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I want to submit a W4 with my employer to increase my withholding exemptions enough so I have a small tax debt when I file instead of a refund. Is this a legitimate way to avoid a tax intercept? Can the IRS, the agency to which I owe money, or my bankruptcy trustee take punitive action against me for using W4 withholding exemptions to shield my income from future tax intercepts? The terms of my Chapter 13 bankruptcy allow me to keep my entire refund instead of giving half to the trustee. But for people who must give half their refund to the trustee, can they use W4 withholding exemptions to shield their income from the trustee?

    • Joshua Cohen

      That is a question for your BK attorney.

  241. Bill

    I just got my student loan out of collections through Direct Loans, i have not gotten a bill for my first payment yet. How long will it take before it is released from the tax withholding department so i can file my taxes, I called the collection agency and they say it is settled with them, but i call the tax line and it is still on there.

  242. Ashley

    im pi**ed off I started last October on a payment plan that was to go towards getting my loan out of default so then I could then a)go back to school and b) continue to make affordable payments through the department of education the collection agency im going through now is performant which is apparently through the department of education. now I have two payments coming up and then my loan will be out of default. I was told that if I got on this payment plan I would not lood either of my refunds. well today I just found out that SMS(who ever that is) just took my state fund for school loans. what can I do because I don’t want to loose my federal and I want to know if I can get my state back? this is messed up I did what I was supposed to do why am I still getting screwed over?

    • Joshua Cohen

      They lied to you. If your loan is in default, you can lose your tax return.

  243. Eve

    If my tax return is more than what I owe on my defaulted loan will I get some of my return back??? Thanks!

  244. Jackie

    I have a few defaulted loans and have had my tax returns taken for the past 2-3 years. I set up a payment plan for one loan. I am making large payments in order to have it payed off in 6 months. Since my payments are so large, I cannot afford to pay on any other loans right now. I only have a payment plan set up for one specific loan, so there are other loans still in default. Is there anything I can do to get this year’s return? Or should I just consolidate the remaining loans after i pay this one off & work towards getting it next year?

  245. Falisha

    Hi, I just got a tax off set for a default loan that I thought was in forbearance or deferment. I always call and stay on top of my school loans and for some reason they said that 2 of my loans were sent to collection. I don’t understand why they didn’t tell me or send me a letter about this when I called to do the forbearance. Why would 2 loans be sent to collections and not the others… I am a single mother of 3 children and I am in a really financial hardship right now, I work, but its enough to pay rent, utilities, and some food. I really was depending on my taxes to get me back on my feet, I am so behind in everything. I don’t have my tags on my car from Nov, I have no insurance, can barely afford to feed my kids, and have a little gas to get them to school and me to work. I also pay for child care… PLEASE HELP!

  246. Kelly

    So my situation is that my husband owes back child support and I am in default with my student loans. I make 100% of our household income, we have one child…..when I filed last year with these same circumstances, along with an injured spouse form, the IRS took my refund and I was never able to find out if child support got it or if the Department of Education did. Anyway I filed the same way this year but last year I paid over $2500 in student loan interest (all on my federal student loans, not private ones) and made sure I noted that in my taxes before filing, will my taxes still be offset?

  247. Nikki

    Joshua, I have begun consolidation on my two student loans. I received the application, completed it and returned it back to Direct Loans. I received a letter today telling me “we will consolidate your loans in 15 days” of the date on the letter. How long will the process take (I know I sound like a newbie here but is it 15 days or does the process take longer and it just STARTS in 15 days)? If the consolidation is complete in 15 days, then how long must I wait before filing for my taxes (I have a lien from the Dept of Ed on my taxes, which they began taking last year)? Also if I file and they send out a “we’re taking you taxes this year” letter, can I apply for then to be returned. I am a single mother who is not working and struggling to make ends meet – I do not receive any Government assistance other than Family Assistance for my 4 month old daughter – would this qualify for hardship? Sorry for all the questions, I’m not really sure if you can help or not – just looking for some free advice. Thanks in advance.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Don’t file until you are out of default. It’s just that simple.

  248. Whitney B.

    I tried claiming my daughter on my taxes this year, me and her father alternate every other year, but she claimed her again this year and failed to tell me and I tried filing this past week but the IRS rejected my return…what should I do? I have the court order proving it is my year and I did not claim our daughter last year,
    he did…

    • Joshua Cohen

      That is a question for a tax expert.

  249. Josie

    I have a intercept on my student loan I’ve been making monthly payments on it . pionner recovery told me if I make 4 consecutive payments that they will take it off of the intercept list and ill be able to get my refund.. they told me to file a extension because my last payment is on the 15 and that the deadline for filling .. how do I go about filing a extension?? Also is the true as well

    • Joshua Cohen

      I think they are lying, but only time will tell. Contact IRS for extension.

  250. Michelle Piunt

    My student loans were in default until November 2013 when I started making payments through a rehabilitation program. I just logged on to the IRS refund status site and it seems they are taking my tax return again. When I signed up to start making payments I specifically asked if this would happen and they said no. I’m waiting for the student loan company to return my call but is the IRS allowed to take it again?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, you’re still in default. The debt collector lied to you.

  251. Tenny

    If I been making payments on my loan and they still took my taxes this year, how can that be?

  252. Sonya

    My taxes were offset on 2.20.14. I have been approved to get my refund back in full as of April 2nd 2014. I had to file a hardship and show a court ordered eviction notice and medical bills from 2014. Its been a long ride. Now I have to wait on my refund to post to my account and for the Dept of Treasury to cut the check and release it to the IRS. If anyone know how long that takes please let me know. I really need this money. You have to fight and be willing to provide all of the documentation needed to show that you are in deed in need of your taxes. I hope this helps and again if anyone knows the turn around time to get your refund back please let me know. Thanks!!!

  253. Michelle Speer

    My taxes will be offset by the department of education, but I barely made any money last year because I was home with the baby. Can my husband file as Head of household so that they don’t take his refund but he can still get the EIC? (Rather than file Married Filing Seperately or having to wait to process an injured spouse form)?

  254. Jenni

    I found out in January that even though I had rehabilitated one set of loans, I had another set in default so my taxes were flagged for offset. I’m a single mom of 3, no child support so I depend on this money. I filed to consolidate my loans and was approved and the defaulted will be consolidated also. My question is, will my offset flag be lifted? Do I have to do anything to get it lifted? and how long might it take?

  255. Courtney Brown

    My loan went into default after I lost my job and was unable to find employment. I went into a rehabilitation program last year and my final payment for that program is on 4/15/14. I’m being told my loan will be sold and taken out of default. How soon can I expect my default status to be removed with the IRS? If I file an extension this year, am I guaranteed a refund or would it likely be intercept? How can I find out when the loan is out of default status?

  256. Kristin

    My fiancé and I are living together and have a child together. We were advised to have him claim our child on his taxes because of his income and how it would result in more of a refund if he claimed her.
    He just got a notice today saying that his(our) refund was going to be with held due to it being intercepted because of his student loans. He did not know he was in default as he even got a student loan interest tax document. Is there anything that can be done so that we can at least get back what we should have gotten for our daughter if I had claimed her instead? I had already filed my taxes. Please help!

  257. Catrina

    I filed my taxes MFJ with the Injured Spouse form because my husband owes back childsupport. He hasnt worked in years so they income reported is mine. My federal refund was intercepted by childsupport eventhough the injured spouse form was submitted and processed with the IRS. How do I get my entire refund back?

  258. Chris

    I am in the process of trying to get out of default since last year. And for tax year 2012, our refund was intercepted. I was not aware that we can file an Injured Spouse Form at that time. Is it possible to still file that form for 2012, while filing the form for 2013? Just wondering. Thank you for your advise! It is truly helpful!.

  259. Chris

    What is the difference between “Innocent Spouse” vs. “Injured Spouse”?

  260. nicole

    i owe 2000 for the remaining student loan. but my refund is 5500. will i get the remainder and how long will it take.

  261. Michaela

    I went to school in 2012 and I moved to ma from fl. I guess they are billing me in Florida and not mass. I am not paying my loans and I was wondering if my taxes will get taken away from me.

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you’re in default, it is likely.

  262. katey

    Two months ago i had a credit collector call me due to past due student loans. i made the payment arangement an they said as long as i signed the payment arrangement form an make payments that they wouldn’t garnish my wages or income tax. well they went ahead an did anyways. and now I’m screwed I’m a single mother of three an that money was supise to be. to help me with rent. without it I’m facing eviction. is there anyway i can fix this an get my money?

  263. deziree

    We filed in 2/14 while in a repayment plan to get my husbands student loans out of default. In January we had received a notice stating that they were not going to offset his taxes. However, due to his hours getting cut at work we missed the February and March payments. Our refund was due to DD on 4/15, but now it’s getting offset. We were told it had to be 60 days past due for an offset to occur and the account is showing only 45. Even when we called today they said 60 days and when we pointed out it hadn’t been 60 days he put us on hold for 5 minutes only to come back and say 15 days. Is there a way to get our refund back or to stop the offset?

  264. Amanda

    Hi, I am in garnishment and the Dept. of Ed did take my tax return last year. I’m in the process of filing paperwork to get my loans out of default/collections. If I file an extension, might be refund be safe this year?

  265. Michelle Chavez

    My loan was of $1700 in 2007. If my tax return last year was taken is it safe to say it will be taken this year if I have not set up a payment plan? My tax return was almost double my original loan amount?

  266. Manika

    Hello, my tax refund was intercepted for a student loan last year. My loan was very small and I thought my tax refund covered the entire amount. But when I checked my credit report, the loan is still showing up. What should I do???

  267. ammar


    Basically, my federal student loan is currently in default. I am entitled to receive a $1,400 fed tax refund and a $400 state tax refund. My question is, I just filed my tax return. Is there any way I can resolve this default within the next couple of days so that I can receive my fed tax refund instead of it being intercepted and garnished? Should I call the DOE to discuss. Please advise, and thank you in advance. Regards.

  268. shaq

    I don’t know if your still answering questions and I’ve read some of the issues above and mines is similar. I was paying monthly payments to ERS in order to rehabilitate my defaulted student loans. I completed all 10 months of their program last payment 3/15/2014. I waited for someone to pick up my loans. Spoke to D.O.E on 4/12/2014 was informed that as of 3/28/2014 I was no longer in default (no letter). That same day received a letter from fed loan services dated 4/07/2014 and stated that stated they were picking up my loans. Filed my taxes that same day. Can you tell me why my taxes were still offset and anything I can do in order to get them back. I did everything I was obligated to do in the time I was supposed to I hate to sound like a broken record but I was depending on that money for my single parent two children home please tell me what I can do.

  269. Tonya

    Last year my tax refund was taken because of my student loan being in default. After that happened I started making payments and got it out of default and it is now on deferment because I am disabled. Anyway after it was in good status again I talked with the dept of ed and they told me there would not be anymore garnishments and I would receive my taxes. However when I filed this year they did take my refund again. Now I am waiting and waiting for the dept of ed to issue my refund for the taxes. My question is how can I get them to send it instead of keep putting me off. At first they told me it would take 30-60 days, 60 days is up tomorrow and now they are telling me it could take up to 90 days to actually receive my check. This is not right that I should have to wait this long. What can I do??

    • Katerin Rochet

      Your check is being sent to irs 1st. Then irs sends to you make sure that when you call you ask them to review your financial tab that will tell you if they have sent payment to irs. If they did ask dept of ed to give you the direct number gor irs to check on your check

  270. Tee

    Hi, I found out last in Febuary 2013 that my student loan was in default due to my tax refund being offset. I immediately contacted the Department of Edu. and entered the rehabilitation program. I have made all of my payments (11 total thus far) on time, however, my loans are still showing in a default status preventing me from filing this year (2014). My loan is a Direct Loan and from my understanding is supposed to immediately transfer back to the Department of Edu. I’ve filed an extension with the IRS already but am wondering if there’s ANYTHING I could do to expedite this process so that I could file my 2013 tax return. Please help. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  271. Ashley Simien

    I rehabilitated my loan in 2013 and made the consistent 10 payments to the dept of education and I was told that my loan was fully rehabilitated. My rehabilitation was complete in February 2014 and I did not file my tax return until April 14,2014. However, the U.S. Dept of Education took my full tax return. I have since spoken with a representative at the U.S. Dept. of Education and three (3) seperate representatives told me that the funds were intercepted when they should not have been since the loan had been “Rehabilitated”. My question is now “How can I get my money back? What can I do about the U.S. Dept. of Education taking my money? And how long does it take to get the money back?” Thanks in advance!!!

  272. Jenni

    Does the injured spouse form work in all states? We are in WI

  273. Jessie

    Hi! I need some help. I consolidated my loans in Sept of 2013. I filed my tax return in Jan and was shocked to find out my tax return was intercepted. I contacted the Default Resolution Group who apologized and said my money would be returned to me since I now am NOT in default. It has been over 100 days and the Dept of Ed still has not released my funds to be returned to me. They claim it is in stage 2 of approval and it can take 90 days more. This is crazy. What can I do?

  274. Regan

    My situation is similar to others but I would like to get a definitive answer in regards to my situation.
    I was notified in November 13 that the IRS would intercept my return. I consequently filed an extension for this years taxes. I then spoke with the Department if Education (their collections dept). It was then that I filled out paper work to get them out if default and they were turned over to new lender being Sally Mae. I believe I’m either now in deferment or the rehabilitation program?! Not sure if that matters. I did however received a letter a few days ago from the Department of Education stating that they notified the IRS that I’m no longer in the intercept category. Does this sound accurate? The letter stated it could take four weeks for this to process. If I call to intercept number abd there are no records found can I file my taxes for this year?

  275. Jill

    The department of ed is a bunch of liars. They took our taxes in Feb by “accident” and have been lying to us for the last 4 months about being in the “process” of returning it. BS. Here it is almost June and we are no closer to getting our money back then when in Feb. SOOOOOO frustrating. They dont care that it jas caused finacial hardship on us. Lie about returning it. They are collecting the interest on that money and have no intention on returning it. Looking for a lawyer to stand up to the government and do what is RIGHT! If we had their money for 5 months, do you think they wouldnt be taking US to court? They just say what they want. Liars. I NEED HELP!!! We have all the documentation and proof that we have called everday since FEB 20th……only to be told different lie everyday!!

  276. Meka

    If check online and my status for my refund says sent and is supposed to be deposited into my account, am I clear from it being intercepted or can they still garnish my refund after is says it was sent?

  277. Rebecca

    Hi There,

    I defaulted on my student loan but started the process of rehabilitation in January 2014, I’ve been making automatic payments since then and have never been late. I filed our taxes (I’m married) around April 1st and our tax refund was intercepted by one of the collectors because the card I was using to make the payments was declined twice because it was automatically cancelled by the whole Target scenario. I have again setup payments to come directly from my bank account and payments have been successfully posted for 3 months. My accountant made an error on our original filing and we have since amended with an additional refund coming back to us…will our additional refund also be intercepted?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Likely yes. You’re still in default, your refund can be taken.

  278. jen


    I am currently in rehab for my student loan with the Dept. of Ed. I’ve only made 3 payments so far & am holding off still on filing my 2012 & 2013 taxes so they aren’t taken.
    I called student loan relief group & they said I was approved for the IBR consolidation loan but I first would have to pay 3 months of a $239.00 (717$!) service fee to them & after the 90 days I would then have my loans consolidated & my taxes wouldn’t be intercepted anymore.
    I know if I hold out until November then I will be out of default, but with the IBR loan, my payments are a lot less & according to them I will be out of default & can file taxes which would be nice. I’m wondering if its a scam?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You can do what the relief group says all on your own.

  279. Jon

    I completed the rehab program in Feb of this year and filed my taxes in March. I was expecting to receive my tax return but the DOE intercepted it in March. I contacted the DOE and they said they would refund my tax return. It is coming up on 2 months since I contacted them and they have informed me that they have yet to post the refund to my account. Is the DOE just pulling my leg or are they really gonna return it as they say they will? If so, how long of a process does it take to return the money that was already sent to them? I have been told it would take 30 days, then 30-60 days and just recently 60-90 days. What is the real truth? This is a federal agency and you would expect them to all be on the same page information wise.

  280. Theo

    This site is great, thank you. What happens if the interception was more than you owed in back payments. Meaning that, if I owed 4800 and they intercepted 9200 = who gets the difference?

    Or if the intercepted amount bring delinquency (student loan) balance up-to-date…do i receive remainder?

    Thank you in advance.


  281. Jacq

    Took my taxes without any notification. I’m paying on one of my students loans which I am current on. I would’ve at least deferred the loans if I had any knowledge of the situation. How could I get my refund back

    • Joshua Cohen

      You don’t. Get your loan out of default so this doesn’t happen next year.

  282. Melissa

    We filled taxes and the day we were supposed to get them we got a email saying that they were getting taken from my husband student loans so I filled a injured spouse form and sent it in March 4 How long does it take or who can I talk to?

  283. Tiffany

    I’ve recently did a loan consolidation and the loan rep said it’s ok to file but when I call the irs offset number it’s still saying I have a student loan offset Unger my social security number, but when I called sallie Mae the rep said it’s on hold under forbearance until 7/27/14 and they’re waiting on the last of the certificates to update the system. I want to know is it ok for me to file or should I wait?

    • Joshua Cohen

      I would wait at least 30 days after your consolidation is final. Maybe even 60.

      • Tiffany

        Ok I called sallie Mae again and there saying my account is in good standing and to go ahead and file because it’s at a $0 payment because I’m on the income based plan and the account is in good standing. So should I still wait or an I in the clear.

  284. Katerin Rochet

    Hi my income tax was sent to the Department of Education on February 2014 I submitted my hardship information it was approved and June three months later. now I’m having the issue that their advice to me that is going to take over 90 days by the time they submitmy approval for it to go to the IRS and then the IRS will submit a check to me I’m in the verge of losing my apartment and I’m really counting on this money I call every day and nothing has been done I’ve spoken hundreds people and by know they are tired of speaking to me. I have told them the urgency of my situation and they can help me. I already got a court order to vacate. Is there anything I can do to expedite my check refund.

    Ps: many of you should aply for hardship and get your refund I did and my loan was in defualt. If you need any tips let me know

  285. Marci

    I’m trying to get my student loans out of default and on a repayment plan, but they are telling me I have to file married but separate to get the payment low enough for me to afford. I can ‘t do that because then we will owe over $14K in taxes. My question is if I’m still in default is it true that the government can garnish my husband’s wages if I’m not working? TIA!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your husband’s wages can never be garnished for your federal loan, unless by some slim chance he is a co-signer. But since a co-signer is rarely needed for a federal loan, you should be safe.

  286. Manuel Hopson

    I am very desperate and can’t seem to get any help on my situation or who to get help from. My student loan went into default and I entered the rehab program and got it out of default. I contacted the DOE and was told by them that it was safe to go ahead and file my 2013 taxes. They intercepted them anyway. When I contacted the DOE they acknowledged that it was their fault and told me that it would take 60-90 before I would receive my refund back. It is 90 days today. I called yesterday and was told that on June 26th my money was sent to the Dept of Treasury. When I called the Dept of Treasury I was told that they don’t have my money. I called the DOE back and they told me that whoever told me that my money was sent to the Dept of Treasury misinformed me and then went on to tell me that they listened to the conversation that I had with the rep and that’s not what he told me. I was told by this rep that it’s still processing and that when they give you the 60-90 day deal that it’s just a time frame. I can’t seem to get any help and me and my family really need that money as we are homeless right now and my wife has health issues. Why are they holding my money like that and who can I contact to get some help in getting my money? This isn’t right. How are they allowed to get away with this?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Contact the Dept of Ed Ombudsman – and maybe your Congressperson.

  287. shannon ray

    My student loans are in default, with me making a minimum payment each month since March to a collection agency. The lein cannot be removed from my tax return until 9 monthly payments have been made so we have not sent our taxes in yet. My question is, since I have not earned any money this year, will our tax refund be taken just because we are filing jointly? Even though all income is my husbands? I know some of the return is EIC so don’t know if that makes a difference. Can they take any of the return?

  288. Carl Penaloza

    My loan is in default. And my return was garnished last year, and will definitely be garnished this year as well if and when I file it. I am already in a debt repayment plan, but I have about 4 months until I am in good standing, out of default and able to get my returns once again. Is it possible in any scenario (I am sure you would mention this first thing, so probably not) to get my return back? Lawyer or accountant who deals with this on a regular basis and knows the ins and outs or is willing to do something that could enable this? Or is there just no way possible until I am out of default?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It is extremely difficult to get your taxes back. Wait until you’re out of default, then file.

  289. Caitlin

    I had no idea my husband had student loans when we married in 2011. His loans were from 2009 in the amount of $14,000. Now with interest he owes over $17,000!
    We received a letter today stating that they would take our federal return. He only worked the first half of the year and probably didn’t even make $3,000. Will they take my part of the return?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you file jointly, the whole refund will be taken. You can file an IRS injured spouse form to get your share back. Why not help your husband – get him out of default and stop worrying about your tax refund.

  290. jai lee

    i have a question,
    my husband owes student loans from 2006- he finished his 9 mo pymnt plan that would life the offset, and got the new lender pymt plan going, also a letter stating the offset was gone. he filed 2 wks ago and they took his taxes.. now what do we do and how long will it take to get the refund ? hes not working do to surgery in a work related injury, so his income now is u/e . thanks..

    • Joshua Cohen

      I’ve heard it can take 90 or 120 days to get the money back.

  291. Tiffany

    I received my completion of loan rehabilitation for my loans and started with a new servicer I assumed everything was in good standings so I filed for my taxes. I just finished payments in August. Will they still be off set and if so can I fight to get it back and how would I go about that? Thank you for your time and advice. Much appreciated by many. I wish I found this before I filed.

  292. David Reecer

    I recently rehabilitated my student loans. was out of default in July. I filed the extension so my return would not be intercepted. I have already paid my first payment to the original lender and instead of waking up this morning to 1200 bucks in the bank I get the same letter that I have got the past 4 tax seasons. How the hell is this possible. They take my money after telling me to file the extension so they wouldn’t take it???? Go Federal Band of Thieves Go. talked with the dept of edu and get an Im so sorry it was our mistake we will issue you a refund. 20 days to get off the deferred refund list , 30 days to get the refund check processed and 4-6 weeks to mail it out. This is complete and total bullshit considering I paid extra money to have a rapid refund filed. and of course they are so so sorry. WEll give me my freaking money a – HOLES you’ve enjoyed my refund for 4 consecutive years now

  293. Marquita Powell

    I just set up payments through the loan rehabilitation program. If I’m making timely payments, will my tax refund still be taken in Jan/Feb?

    • Joshua Cohen

      IF your loan is in default, yes, your tax refund can be taken. You have to fully complete the rehab program before filing taxes.

  294. Amy C

    If your Social Security Check is being garnished will they still intercept a refund check?

  295. CR

    Tax refund was offset due to a student loan. How can I find out if that all went to interest & can that (if to interest) be claimed on next years taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      It goes towards interest first. You should get a 1098e for taxes.

  296. Brittany

    My loan is in defult and last year was the first time the goverment took my taxes….I am in a better postion to pay payments now, being that it is already October 2nd, 2014 is there ANY way to get my taxes in Feb or Mar?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Only if you get your loan out of default first.

  297. Jessica Reyes

    I just gave my last payment on september 17 2014 for my rehabilitation program. How long do i have to wait to file my return?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Don’t file until you receive a letter stating you are officially out of default. For that matter, keep making payments until you receive that letter. It can take up to 12 months to get out of default with rehab – that means you may need to make a 10th, 11th, and 12th payment. Once you get that letter, wait another 30 days to be safe.

  298. Alisha

    My taxes were taken last year for a defaulted student loan,will they stop takig my tax money automatically once its paid off from my taxes? How do I know if my taxes were applied to the default last year. the letter i recieved in the letter from the its just said it was taken to repay a debt but did not specify who.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Call the number on the letter to verify where you money went. Do you owe taxes? If not, it probably went to ED.

  299. ane

    Hi, Joshua,

    My Federal Income tax Return has been intercepted for repayment of Student loans for the past 5 years. I received a letter in the mail from PHEAA (Sept. 2014) about two weeks ago, stating that they have requested USDE to notify the Treasury Department to suspend offset of my federal income tax return, and that I should wait at least 4 weeks before filing to assure that I will get my money. What I want to know is if I will receive refunds of funds already offset? Does it matter that I am now low income and consideration of previous offsets will be refunded to me? Thanks

    • Joshua Cohen

      You’re not getting back any refunds already taken. The fact that you’re low income is irrelevant. Why not simply get your loans out of default and stop worrying? Low income means really low monthly payments.

  300. Adrienne Drisgill

    If the IRS owes YOU money you do NOT need to file the extension. Simply wait to file your taxes until you are done rehabbing. I called the IRS and they said that if they owe you a return, you have up to 3 years to submit your tax claim. After the October 15th deadline you have to file paper/by mail (not electronically). So yes, get them out of default by rehabbing. Then, about 30 days after you receive your rehab completion papers, file your taxes (just to be safe). OR call the IRS offset hotline to make sure the offset is lifted before filing.
    I called that hotline and found out that DOE AND PHEAA (my state program) both had offsets against me. I’m just waiting for PHEAAs to be lifted because I made my 9th payment the beginning of October (3rd). PHEAA says it can take 30-45 days after the 9th rehab payment to get your loan out of default (a new lender must pick up your loan). DOE is similar but was WAY faster. I made my 9th payment, a week later Sallie Mae picked up my loan and I was out of default. Two weeks later the offset was lifted by them.
    All my loans out of default are currently deferred for financial reasons. So my credit is better, I’m not having to pay any thing for my loans currently, my wages are no longer garnished, and I don’t have to worry about tax offsets soon. It was tough making the rehab payments but just swallow your pride and do it, I saved so much money by getting the garnishments lifted. In fact, based on income, my 9 payments a month for DOE were $5.00 on top of the garnishment. And when I called PHEAA, they lifted my garnishment right away as long as I agreed to a set $110 a month for the 9 months (which was about $50 less a month then they were taking out in garnishment). It can be done, evenn if you’re broke!

  301. Shelly

    I have an old student loan in default to the tune of about $2500.00. I have had a few tax refunds the IRS kept (approx. $1500.00 worth) which I assume was applied to my old student loan debt, however my student loan balance is now about $3000 so it doesn’t seem like those refunds were applied to the balance. How do I confirm that my loan was credited for those refunds? I have no idea where my student loan is at this point, so I don’t know who to call & ask. The student loan is from at least 15-20 years ago and I assume it’s in collections at this point, but it’s not on my credit report. I would love to resolve/pay it off, but I don’t know who to pay or how. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Start by going to You’ll get information about your fed loans, including where your loan is right now. Contact that company to work out details. Contact me if you need further assistance.

  302. Kristina

    Thank you so much for offering this information! My husband and I are in this very situation and are filing an injured spouse form right now.

  303. Angela

    My tax return has been taken the last 2 years. I am currently in a rehabilitation program. However, after taking nearly $15,000, my loan amount has not decreased at all. How do I find out why they are not applying this to the debt?

    • Joshua Cohen

      They are applying it to your debt. You need to contact the ombudsman for an accounting.

  304. Sheena

    What is required to officially be out of default? I read on one comment where it was stated that it was after 9 payments. Is this so? So in order to be out of default, I don’t have to have the full balance paid? Only 9 timely payments? I want to make sure I have a thorough understanding, as I am new to everything pertaining to student loans and defaulting.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Paying the full balance pays off the loan, so of course you would be out of default. But, for a Federal student loan, you need only take advantage of one of the two methods to get out of default – not payback the full loan.

  305. diamond

    Hello what does default but paid in full by consolidation mean ? And then I have the rest say In forbearance

    • Joshua Cohen

      It means you got out of default through consolidating, and all your loans are in forbearance. You should look into an affordable repayment plan.

  306. Christine

    Can they take my husbands income tax from him if we tax jointly and only he works but got his students loans out of default but I haven’t and don’t work

    • Joshua Cohen

      They don’t know which part of the refund is yours or his. If you file joint, they take the whole thing. You can get his share back via the IRS inured spouse form. Also, get your loans out of default so this isn’t an issue anymore.

  307. I finished rehab. Never got any information in the mail. Saw new loan papers in my email one day that were at least a week old. So I filed my taxes a few weeks later and then found out that the flag for intercept was not taken off due to an error, not on my part though.
    Now, starting October 3, I have to wait 60-90 days for my refund that was taken in error. Is there anything I can do?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, you have to wait. There is nothing else you can do.

  308. Marissa

    Hi if my loans are in forberance will they still take them when it comes to time to file my income taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in forbearance, you are not in default. Your taxes are safe.

  309. Kimberly Miller

    last year my husband and I filed the injured spouse form due to my student loans being in default. I assumed my return would be taken again this year for the same reason, so we filed injured spouse again. Come to find out, there is no lien against my taxes this year. Since my refund will not be seized, we didn’t need to file injured spouse. Do I need to make an amendment to our return and remove the injured spouse form? Or will it just be disregarded by the IRS since their is no lien? I just filed last week.

  310. Sam

    I recently just finished my student loan rehabilitation period. I am now in my second month of paying a lender monthly. I was wondering how long I have to wait in order to file my taxes and not have them taken still?

  311. suzy

    I have defaulted student loans .can i use only schedule C return for my student loan repayment . I run a retail store as a sole proprietor ..I’m married .. but my husband doesn’t want to have anything to do with my debts..
    I live in CA and the law includes your husband’s income (even though he has no student loans) to determine repayment plan,. I refused to tell them i’m married and they don’t accept my Schedule C return.. They want the first page of the 1040 form.. which include my marital status and our income.. what can i do/

  312. Pam

    I am paying on my defaulted student loan for 9 months. My 9th month ends in April 3, 2015. I will be out of default,. How soon after that date can I file my income taxes?

    • Joshua Cohen

      To be safe, wait 60 days after you receive notice that you are no longer in default.

  313. Mayakka

    Can I make the 9 payments faster to get out of default by doing one payment every 2 weeks?

    • Joshua Cohen

      No. You must make 9 payments during 10 months. You cannot speed it up.

  314. Alicia

    Can they take a tax return when you are in a rehabilitation program? I have in one been since August

  315. Monica

    My taxes were offset for 3 years in a row and I rehabed my final loan. I have been in good standing with my loan since. I go to the nslds website and the balances still show a default/unresolved and do not reflect the payments from the offset, however the current loan that is in good standing shows in repayment. The refund amounts were well more than the loan amounts so they should have been paid in full each year. Is there another way to find out if my money was applied to those loans or another company to call, another website? It worries me as to where my money went for those 3 years.

    • Joshua Cohen

      The money probably went to accrued interest. Contact the Ombudsman.

  316. Dawn

    I am currently in default on two of my loans the rest are consolidated and in repayment. the two that are in default are for 900 and one for 700. For the last two years my income tax has been garnished for a total of 10,000. I only owed 17,000. But when I go to the website it doesn’t show any of the 10,000. Where is this money and why isn’t it taken off my total of my loans. I am paying interest for money I already payed. My second question is can I just pay off the 900 and 700 dollar loans in default or do I have to make these 9 months of payments?

    • Joshua Cohen

      The money likely went towards accrued interest. You can always pay a loan off without doing the 9-payment plan.

  317. Troy

    I just recently put my loans into income based or driven repayment. Am I safe from my return being reduced or seized?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, because if you are on IBR, you are not in default.

  318. I just now started the Rehabilitation Program. I just learned that my taxes have an offset for my student loans. Is it possible for me to get that removed before I file for my 2014 taxes? Thanks!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes – get your loan out of default before you file. Ya know, if you’re getting a refund, you don’t have to file by April 15th. Just hold off filing until your rehabilitation is complete and you receive notice that you are no longer in default.

  319. I just started the Student Loan Rehabilitation Program. My taxes are going to be intercepted for the first time this year due to Student Loan Debt. Is there anyway I can stop this before I file for taxes? Thanks!

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes – don’t file until you have completed the rehabilitation program.

  320. Warren

    I have a judgment against me for a student loan I took out with the state. Can my refund be intercepted?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Federal tax refund cannot be offset for a State loan.

  321. Nicole

    My student loans are in default and a couple months ago I signed up for the rehabilitation program. They told me it’s a 9 month program and my last payment which completes the program will be this coming Feb. 1st. So I have 2 more payments. My question is if I wait to fill my taxes after this program will the irs still take them?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Your tax refund is safe once you are no longer in default.

  322. Tasha

    I just recently had all my student loans consolidated. I have the letter of completion and the amount that’s being consolidated. How do I know when and if it’s safe to file without an offset?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Once you have notice you are out of default, you should be safe to file your tax return.

  323. Casey

    I was told by my student loan program that it could not get out of default until 12 on time payments were made. Is that true or can I get them out sooner then that!

    • Joshua Cohen

      That’s a lie – it only requires 9 payments. You should talk to a local student loan lawyer to make sure there are no other lies being told to you.

  324. Josh

    I owe money to unemployment, are they able to intercept my tax refund? I have a payment plan set up with them, if that helps.

  325. vero

    im in default with my student loan but they started doing the wage garnishment s they have been taking payment off my paycheck every 2 weeks am i still at risk to get my income tax taking away.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes. If you are in default, they can garnish your wages AND take your tax refund. Get out of default!

  326. Cindy Landaverde

    My money has been garnished for the past year and a half and still are being garnished. To make matters worse my tax refund for the past two years were also taken to pay for the student loan. Is there any way i can stop the garnishment of my taxes since payments are being made biweekly?

    • Joshua Cohen

      The only way to stop the tax refund offset is to get out of default, which will also stop the garnishment.

  327. Kimberly

    I am in default for loans before my marriage. I have not recieved collection notices and I do not work. Can they take my husbands taxes if we file jointly?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes, because you file jointly. Your husband can file an injured spouse form from the IRS and receive his portion of refund back.

  328. Lynne

    If my loan is in default, but payments are already being garnished from my paycheck & have been for months, can my refund still be intercepted?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Yes. The only thing that stops a tax refund intercept is getting out of default.

  329. chiefsgurl

    Is there an 800 phone number I can call to see if anyone is going to intercept my refund or my husbands refund?? There was a number I called last year to find out. They took our last year to pay my husband debt and I just want to be prepared if it is going to happen again. Thanks

    • Joshua Cohen

      Try calling the IRS.

      • This message is for Joshua, I just found out that my refund will be offset because my student loan went into default, how can I get it out of default without my taxes being taken?

      • Amber


    • Holly

      yes there is: This is the treasury offset department number: 1-800-304-3107
      You just put in your SS# when prompted and they will let you know if anything is showing up under your SS#

  330. Stephanie

    My student loan has just been consolidated. I just received a letter in the mail like a week ago. Each month I will pay an amount of $50. My loan is $3000. For the past 2 years they have been taking my refund(from income taxes). Do you know if they will take it again this year? Since my loan is consolidated?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You will not lose your refund if you are not in default. It would seem you are safe.

  331. Stephanie

    I forgot to mention that it’s a Direct Subsidized consolidated loan.

  332. Just found out my student loan is in default as of April and I didn’t know, how can I get it out of default without my taxes being taken

  333. R.Sweeney

    I made the 9th payment to ISAC for my defaulted loans, Dec. 12th, 2014. I have called ISAC weekly to ask them if there is anything I need to do at this time. They say call next week. 10th payment is coming out (which is fine) and I’m nervous that they will never send me the letter saying I’m out of default and that my loans are rehabilitated. I do have an offset. Do they HAVE to send the letter? Do they HAVE to lift the tax offset if my loans are rehabilitated?

    • Joshua Cohen

      They will send you a letter, but it may take an 11th or even 12th payment before the rehabilitation process is complete.

  334. Tara Fredrikis

    My boyfriend was in default and sent to collections. We called the collections company and got him on a payment plan paying $5/mo. Is there a certain amount of months you pay to get out of default or does getting on a plan automatically take you out of default? His taxes were taken last year which is how we knew he even had school loans. We just want to make sure they are out of default and he will get his tax refund this year.

    • Joshua Cohen

      Assuming he’s on the rehabilitation plan, he must make at least 9 payments.

  335. Kim

    I am in the beginning stages of loan rehabilitation with Delta Management Assoicates. I learned by calling the IRS today that there is a treasury offset. Is there any chance to lift the offset while doing the rehab payments or must the loan be completely be out of defualt? I have seen conflicting stories of claims where once an agreement is signed, the offset is lifted, or lifted after 4 months of payments. Delta tells me they have nothing to do with the offset and no control over it.

    • Joshua Cohen

      No. If you are in default, your tax refund can be taken. Just wait to file until you’re out of default.

  336. Stef

    So my husband’s loans are in default. We have been trying to get ahold of them to no luck. they gave us until January 20th before they take any kind of action. What is the chance they will take our tax refund this year? I am not working but my husband is BUT he got hurt at work and is limited on what he can do so hes not working much with a fractured elbow. We have 2 kids. they said they can send it to a collection agency as well. What will they do first???

    • Joshua Cohen

      If you are in default, they can take the federal tax refund.

  337. Amber

    My taxes were offset last year but my full return was deposited into my account on the day it said it would. I waited 2 weeks and kept checking in my return status to see if there was a mistake. I didnt hear anything. Im sure my taxes will be offset again this year, why was it not taken out last year and could I get in trouble for that?

  338. Tiffany

    I filed for injured spouse last year because they took all of our refund (due to my husbands defaulted loans) and moved to a different address and never received any information back regarding me filing for it. Is there anyway to see what happened to the paperwork that I filed? I also never received any refund after I filed.

  339. ChrisW

    I am currently in default on my student loans and being garnished. I have contacted the loan agency and they told me that paperwork to have my tax return intercepted had already been submitted. The only way to get myself out of having my tax return taken was to set up payments, they would then release the garnishment being taken of my wages. Once that has happened then I can have the loans consolidated, which could get me out of default and paperwork can be submitted to not have my tax return taken. This process could take months I was told. My concern in filing taxes this year has to do with my wife’s return. We are getting ready to file and I am wondering the best way to handle this. We live in Washington state. Is the best action to file married, but separate returns so she is able to collect her refund? I am almost willing to allow my return to be taken as long as her goes untouched. Happy wife, happy life. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

    • Joshua Cohen

      The best thing to do is not to file until you are out of default. Period.

  340. jeri

    So, right now if I want to make sure I get all my taxes, I need to get my loans out of default? Now my ex-husband is behind on child support will they take that money too?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Child support is a state-by-state issue. I can’t comment on that.

  341. elisa

    If a collection agency has my student loan will the IRS still intercept my refund?

  342. heather

    my friend had her taxes taken, it paid her past due student loans in full, she even received a letter (which has been 3 yrs and now can’t find the letter). Since then another company bought the loan company out and they tried to take her taxes again, even when she didn’t owe. Since she can not find the original letter, who can she contact to find out who the original collector was that took them?

  343. Rachael

    I’ve been making payments on my loan since last year. I’m debating on whether to do Rehabilitation or Consolidation, as I desperately need my refund this year. Which option would get my loan out of default the fastest? I asked my loan officer if my taxes will be seized and they said they don’t know. Also, I’ve had several people tell me if I’m making payments then my taxes are safe- but I’ve heard that making payments doesn’t make a difference. Which is true?

    • Joshua Cohen

      If your fed loan is in default, you could lose your fed tax refund. It doesn’t matter if you’re making payments or not. Pick a method and get out of default.

  344. AMY


    • Joshua Cohen

      No. Private loans can never take fed tax refund. Stop deferring your fed loans – get an affordable repayment.

  345. Maddy

    My wife has student loans that are defaulted. She did not work last year. I know about the injured spouse thing but the question I have is that we have dependents. This is where most of our refund comes from. If I file an injured spouse claim how much if any of the return will the iEd take?

    • Joshua Cohen

      Ed takes all, the money maker gets his/her share back. Could take 8 weeks. Why not just get your wife’s loans out of default first.

  346. Alison

    So I made the call today to Navient and found out I was 277 days delinquent and in the process of going into default. They allowed me to do a mandatory forbearance which will bring me completely current. Does this mean I won’t be in default? I don’t plan on filing taxes until all is done. Is there somewhere I can go to see if the Dept of Ed sent the Treasury an intercept? The whole “in process” confused me.

    • Joshua Cohen

      The forbearance keeps you out of default. Now get on an affordable repayment and file your taxes. You are safe if the forbearance was granted.

  347. Amber Sandoval

    Hi I was wondering if my payment due for my loan is $0.00 does that mean its not in default? and will my income taxes be jeopordized?

    • Joshua Cohen

      You should ask your servicer. Sounds like you’re on IBR, which means you’re not in default, which means your tax refund is safe.

  348. Carmella

    Good morning, I owe $1115 in student loans. I know they will garnish it from my Federal returns as they have already taken the difference out of my State. My question is will them taking the $1115 effect the amount of time it takes for me to receive the remainder of my Federal refund?

  349. ChrisW

    Josh my question never got a response. Just curious in Wa state if we file joint but separately is my wife’s return safe? She was at HR Block today, they said it should be okay but they could not guarantee her return will be safe. Which was not comforting. Any knowledge or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks