According the Department of Treasury, over 115,000 retirees have had their social security checks effectively garnished to pay back student loan debt. In some instances, the government is taking up to 15% of the benefit before it reaches the retiree’s hands. Assuming the average retiree receives $1,234/month, that’s a hit of $190. This unexpected reduction is going to be a painful hit for the unsuspecting retiree.
As the Federal government becomes more and more aggressive with collection of federal student loan debt more seniors are looking for help. Living on a fixed income can be difficult. Doing it with an extra cut being drawn out to pay a loan makes it worse. The articles mentions that the Department of Treasury reaches out twice to borrowers before offsetting the checks. This can be an intimidating process for an elder. With so many scams out there preying on them, the offers may go ignored. For those currently getting garnished by the Department of Treasury or receiving correspondence from them, you should consider your options. It may be that the government would be willing to negotiate a settlement with you or otherwise lower your payment. If this is too intimidating for you, seek the assistance of a debt workout law firm that may be able to help you negotiate with the government. Your golden years should not be spent worrying if you’ll have enough money to make it to the next check.