Student loan debt is no longer limited to the young. In fact, Americans age 60 and older are the fastest-growing population of student loan debtors. Those seniors who are living month-to-month on fixed incomes are the most likely to default. When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, the government can seize a portion of their social security benefits, even if this pushes them into poverty.
Approximately 20,000 Americans 50 years of age and older had their Social Security checks cut below the poverty line in 2015 because of student loan debt.
Many have accumulated the debt helping their children or grandchildren, either by borrowing directly or co-signing on loans. As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford their loan payments while also paying for food, housing, prescriptions, and dental and medical expenses.
Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, where borrowers can pay as little as zero dollars per month or may even qualify to have their loans forgiven after a specified period of time.
But loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in the programs or even let them know it was an option. This deprives seniors of information about payment plans that would allow them to meet their loan obligations without having to skimp on food or necessary medical care.
The federal government needs to make this group a priority, which means ending the practice of garnishing the Social Security benefits of poor or disabled student loan debtors.
For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.