The grim reality of student loan debt — it can last until retirement

Garnishing of older Americans’ Social Security benefits to repay their student loans is becoming pretty common.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Jana Kasperkevic
Tribune Media Wire
January 27, 2017

Tags: Consumer Protection, Student Debt

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society (New York City)


The December GAO report found that in 2015, $4.5 billion was collected on defaulted federal loans through garnishments. While about $171 million — less than 10 percent — was collected through garnishing Social Security, wage garnishments accounted for more than 30 percent of the amount collected by the federal government.

This trend seemed to have continued in 2016. Between July 1 and September 30, private debt collectors hired by the DOE to go after borrowers who’d defaulted seized more than $160 million in wages. And many of those borrowers are not likely to see their tax refunds this year.