November 10, 2020 — Report

Year after year, the federal government seizes Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refund checks from the working poor to repay federal student loans that are in default, and the consequences for working families are devastating. Even this year, during a global pandemic and in the midst of record unemployment, the U.S. Department of Education has continued to seize borrowers’ EITCs.

Between January 1 and March 12 of 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department, which seizes tax refunds for the Education Department, took nearly half a billion dollars from roughly one million federal student loan borrowers.

Even after the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which suspended all student loan collection activity until September 30, 2020, some borrowers are still losing the EITC that they and their families rely on, and they continue to write to NCLC about the impact of this loss on themselves and their families.