Older Student Loan Borrowers Being Pushed Into Poverty

According to a new report by the National Consumer Law Center, the collection practices on federal student loans are increasingly forcing older adults into poverty by seizing Social Security benefits to repay defaulted student loans.

Social Security provides a crucial safety net that typically accounts for the majority of an older adult's cash income, and, in many cases, it accounts for nearly all of the older adult's income. Without Social Security, almost half of all older adults aged 65 and over would fall below the poverty line. According to the CFPB, the number of consumers age 60 and older with student loan debt has quadrupled over the last decade. Almost half of all borrowers aged 65 and over have already defaulted on their federal student loans and now risk having their Social Security benefits seized. The entire report entitled "Pushed into Poverty: How Student Loan Collections Threaten the Financial Security of Older Americans" is available here.

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