Old Debts Die Hard: Garnishing Social Security To Pay Student Debt

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Old Debts Die Hard: Garnishing Social Security To Pay Student Debt

Dec, 27th 2016

If you’re an older American still saddled with student loan debt, your government benefits could be taking a hit.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office has found that tens of thousands of senior Americans have their Social Security benefits garnished hundreds of dollars each month in order to repay long-held, defaulted federal student loans.

In accordance with this law—which states that borrowers 50 years or older must repay defaulted loans with a portion of their Social Security benefits—114,000 Americans had their benefits reduced, amounting to $4.5 billion collected by the Department of Education as of September 2015. That’s a 440% increase from 2002.

The study also found that a quarter of those borrowers were also seeing cuts from their Social Security for loans that were not taken out...

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