Student loan debt is a major problem in the United States, and is something the lawmakers promise that they are working on. However, in the meantime, it is causing many headaches for hardworking Americans who cannot afford to keep up with their student loan payments.

One headache that was reported frequently to Credit.com this tax season was tax refunds being intercepted by the government to pay student loan debt.

Credit.com reported is that the Department of Education has the right to take your tax refund if you are in default on your federal student loans, which is defined as being 270 days late or more on your payments.

The government can do this through the Treasury Offset Program, which allows certain federal payments such as tax refunds and Social Security checks to be intercepted in order to pay other federal agencies that are owed a debt.

People who were in default on their student loans should have received a notice letting them know that their tax refund could potentially be seized, along with instructions on how to review their loan information and avoiding having their refund intercepted.

However, not everyone actually received the notice, while others failed to take action. Either way, the interception made for some very unhappy taxpayers.

If you are an unhappy taxpayer who found yourself in this situation this tax season, make sure you know your rights, which we will discuss in our next post.

Although it may not be possible to get your refund back (except under limited circumstances) there are steps that you can take to avoid having this happen again, and to get your student loans out of default.