FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 17, 2017 || NCLC contacts: Persis Yu (pyu(at)nclc.org) or Jan Kruse (jkruse(at)nclc.org); 617.542.8010
Advocates Call on Congress to End Draconian Collection Tactics(BOSTON) Americans aged 65 and older are increasingly vulnerable to having their Social Security benefits seized by the federal government to repay defaulted student loans, threatening their wellbeing, according to a new report by the National Consumer Law Center, Pushed into Poverty: How Student Loan Collections Threaten the Financial Security of Older Americans, documents that this collection method is needlessly pushing older borrowers into poverty, as noted in several desperate older borrowers’ stories, and calls on Congress to eliminate the practice.
“The federal government’s seizure of Social Security benefits is causing many older Americans great harm, as they forgo prescription medications or necessary medical care,” said Persis Yu, author of the report and director of the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. “And older borrowers of color are at greater risk than white borrowers due to higher dependency on Social Security as their only source of income. Congress must act to protect vulnerable older student loan borrowers and end Social Security offsets.”