If your tax refund was intercepted this year to pay for your student loans that are in default, you are not alone. The good news is there are steps you can take to potentially get your refund back or prevent the same thing from happening next year, including:

Request a hearing. If you believe that your refund was taken in error, you can ask for a hearing to review whether the refund was taken in error. Usually it is not enough that you didn’t receive notice about being in default, you must be able to show that you aren’t actually in default.

Make an injured spouse claim. If your tax refund was taken because you filed jointly with your spouse, whose student loan is in default, you may be able to get your refund back after submitting an injured spouse claim.

Ask for a different student loan repayment plan. The main thing that you will want to do is get your student loans out of default. If you cannot afford your monthly payments, there are several payment plan options that may be successful at lowering them based on your income and other factors.

Adjust your withholdings. If you were getting large refund, it means that you were paying too much in taxes during the year and so you may want to adjust how much you are having withheld. Although this can’t get your refund back, it can prevent you from losing more next year.

Consider filing for bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy often isn’t able to get your student loans forgiven, it can help reduce other debts that you face such as credit card debt and medical debt. You can learn more about whether bankruptcy might be a good option for you by speaking with an attorney in your area.

Keeping reading for more information about student loan debt on our website.