Can Credit Cards Garnish Wages?

Chloe Meltzer

December 01, 2021

Summary: Are you being sued by a credit card company for an old debt? Worried they're going to garnish your wages? Find out if credit cards can garnish your wages and what to do about it.

If you are unable to pay your credit card bills it might feel overwhelming and you may want to just stop paying. This is the worst thing you can do because the debt and interest will only rise. If you do not pay your credit card then your account will most likely be sent to collections, which leads to you being pursued by debt collectors. If you end up being sued then your wages can be garnished or money might be taken directly from your account.

Everything you need to know about wage garnishment

Wage garnishment can feel scary, but it is actually one of the final steps in the debt collection process. This process begins by you not being able to pay your debts. The creditor may attempt to collect your debt with reminders. After 30, 60, and 90 days you will receive notices, and then one final notice on the 180-day mark. At this point, your debt will be sent to a debt collector. You will most likely need to pay late fees, and your interest rate might increase. Your credit score will definitely drop.

It is good to be aware that debt collectors have a limited amount of time to collect the debt (known as the statute of limitations which is different in every state). This is why you should expect many calls from the collector. After a certain period of time, you may receive a summons and complaint in the mail, which is the debt collector suing you for non-payment. If you ignore the lawsuit you will automatically lose, but even if you fight the lawsuit and lose, a wage garnishment order may be placed against you.

Keep wages safe from debt collectors by filing a response with SoloSuit.

How wage garnishment works

When wage garnishment is taking place, a certain percentage of each of your paychecks will go directly to the debt collector. This will occur until your debt is paid off. Your employer will be aware, and they will be responsible for directing these funds to the debt collector. Although this can be embarrassing, legally, your employer can not fire you for a single wage garnishment under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If you happen to have multiple wage garnishment orders then you can be fired for this.

Limitations on wage garnishment

The federal law limits how much money can be taken from your paychecks. When it comes to standard wage garnishments, creditors are not allowed to take more than 25% of your income (after taxes), or the excess of your income that is 30 times the federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. They must go with whichever is lower.

In some cases, you may not make enough money to have your wages garnished. Also, in some states, the wage garnishment limitations are even more strict. You should check the wage garnishment limitations in your state.

Filing for bankruptcy to avoid wage garnishment

If you file for bankruptcy then you are protected from wage garnishment. After bankruptcy has gone through, point creditors and debt collectors are not legally allowed to garnish your wages. Despite this, you may need to take the extra step to notify your creditors and employer, or the court system to stop a garnishment after declaring bankruptcy.

Avoid bankruptcy by responding with SoloSuit.

How to avoid wage garnishment

There are many ways to avoid wage garnishment, one being simply to make the minimum payment. If you pay off the minimum payment on your credit cards each month (usually 10%) then you will at least avoid your account being sent to collections. This will also help you to avoid wage garnishment.

Although avoiding wage garnishment might sound great, this is still not a great option because you will fall deeper into debt. If you are unable to make the minimum payment then you should contact your creditor immediately and ask to be a part of a hardship program.

Credit cards issuers can garnish your wages

If you do not pay your debt then your wages can be garnished in most states. It is good to note that it will take some time to get to this point. First, the creditor will send your debt to collections, followed by the collections company suing you. If you do not show up in court, you do not settle, or the debt is simply proven to be yours, then an order may be given to the debt collector to garnish your wages. Another form of garnishment is non-wage garnishment. This is when creditors and debt collectors take money directly from your bank account. It is rarer than a wage garnishment.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim

Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court