As baby-boomers reach the age of retirement, they should be considered about the affect that the nation’s unpaid student loan debt could have on their social security checks. Student loan debt has been an increasingly alarming issue as thousands have opted not to pay their student loan debts back to the federal government. In order to help cover the debt, the government has been garnishing wages of social security recipients in order to pay back those debts. This has been affecting those receiving disability benefits as well.
Since 2001 the U.S. government has garnished and astounding $1.1 Billion from social security recipients to off-set unpaid student loan debts. Some of these debts are due to unpaid loans for baby-boomers schooling years ago or taken more recently to allow their children to continue their education. Garnishments of social security taken to cover the debt has left thousands earning social security disability below the poverty line. This trend has continued to increase every year, beginning in 2001, to the point where those in all age groups, many of those 65 years and older, with a smaller social security check due to the garnishment for the debt.
Many borrowers who may not be disabled, even have the ability to have their student loan debts written off, yet their check continue to be garnished. Awareness of this issue and taking action to have the debt written off would be in the social security recipient’s best interest over the long term. Many say that the tactics for recovering student loan debt are too aggressive and that the government has gone too far to collect student loan debts. Targeting borrowers who have little money or options to work with is unfair, with many of the victims depending on Social security checks to survive.
It is possible that you may not even be aware that your social security check is being garnished due to unpaid debts. Understanding how your social security is awarded and how much you should be getting is key to determining amounts you are owed. Disability benefits can potentially write off old debts, if those in such a situation would just pursue it. Social security beneficiaries are entitled to their rights under the law.
Source: wsj.com, “Social Security Checks are being reduced for unpaid student debt,” Josh Mitchell, December 20, 2016