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Wage Garnishment Calculator

Last updated 30th Sep 2022

You can use this wage garnishment calculator to estimate the amount of dollars withheld from a paycheck. The calculator follows both the U.S. Department of Labor as well as the Department of Education's wage garnishment guidelines to calculate the impact on the debtor's pay. The calculator considers gross pay, income taxes, as well as mandatory payments in the calculation of the wage garnishment value.

Calculator Definitions

The variables used in our online calculator are defined in detail below, including how to interpret the results.

Paycheck Frequency

This is the time between paychecks. Options include Weekly (7 days), Biweekly (14 days), Semi-Monthly (twice per month), as well as Monthly. This value is used later on to calculate the Minimum Wage Credit.

Gross Pay ($ / Paycheck)

The gross pay amount is equal to the employee's salary each pay period before withholdings and deductions.

Withholding ($ / Paycheck)

This next section of the calculator gathers the details used later on for the calculation of Total Allowable Deductions.

Federal Income Tax

This is the amount of Federal Income Taxes withheld each pay period.

Social Security

This is the amount paid to Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance or OASDI) each pay period.

Medicare Payments

This is the amount paid into the Medicare system each pay period.

State, City, and Local Taxes

This is the amount of State, City, and Local / Municipal taxes assessed each pay period.

Involuntary Retirement Payments

As indicated, these are involuntary (mandatory) payments made to retirement and pension plans. For example, an employer might require an employee to contribute 5% of their gross pay towards a self-funding pension plan.

Health Insurance Premiums

These are the premiums charged each pay period to maintain the employee's health insurance coverage.

Other Withholding with Priority

These are amounts previously required by law to be withheld from the employee's paycheck each pay period. For example, the debtor might have a prior wage garnishment judgment against them.

Calculator Results

The results of this calculator are separated into two parts. The first section uses the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) standard to calculate the wage garnishment value. The second section uses the process outlined by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), a calculation that applies primarily to student loans.

Total Allowable Deductions

This is the total of all allowable deductions (Federal Income Tax through Health Insurance Premiums) for student loan purposes. Health insurance premiums are specifically excluded in the DOL calculation.

Disposable Pay

The amount of disposable pay is found by subtracting the Total Allowable Deductions from the Gross Pay value.

25% of Disposable Pay

This number is found by multiplying the Disposable Pay by 0.25.

25% Disposable Pay Amount

This value is calculated by taking the 25% of Disposable Pay number and subtracting the Other Withholding with Priority amount. The total of all withholding monies cannot exceed 25% of the debtor's disposable pay.

Minimum Wage Credit

This minimum wage credit protects 30 hours per week at the minimum wage rate ($7.25 per hour) from garnishment. Based on the Paycheck Frequency selected earlier, this calculator will provide for the correct credit.

Minimum Wage Amount

The minimum wage amount is calculated by subtracting the Minimum Wage Credit from the debtor's Disposable Pay.

Section 2(b)(1) Amount

This value is found by multiplying the Disposable Pay value by 0.15, or 15%. Generally, this is the limit of wage garnishment for debt such as student loans.

Wage Garnishment ($ / Paycheck)

The federal wage garnishment limit, as enforced by the DOL, is the smaller of the 25% Disposable Pay Amount and Minimum Wage Amount. In cases involving child support, up to 60% of wages can be garnished.

ED Garnishment ($ / Paycheck)

This is the U.S. Department of Education wage garnishment limit. This value is the smaller of the 25% Disposable Pay Amount, Minimum Wage Amount, and Section 2(b)(1) Amount.

Disclaimer: These online calculators are made available and meant to be used as a screening tool for the investor. The accuracy of these calculations is not guaranteed nor is its applicability to your individual circumstances. You should always obtain personal advice from qualified professionals.

Moneyzine Editor

Moneyzine Editor