Did you know that some of your social security benefits may be used to pay off your student debt? If you are living on social security, this is a huge hit to your income and may make it more difficult for you to afford the things you need throughout the year.
Democrats in the Senate have introduced a bill that will completely stop the government from being able to stick their hands into your social security and pay off any outstanding federal student loans or debt that you have.
Who Started the Bill?
The bill was first introduced by Democratic Senators Ron Wyden (Oregon) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and is designed to protect your social security benefits.
One of the most important things to keep in mind here is that many older citizens rely on social security to pay for their medical bills, housing costs, and food. They do not receive any additional income and when the government steps in and garnishes their social security, it essentially leaves them without something they need.
Student Loan Debt is Outrageous
We have reached a point in this nation where the amount of student loan debt that exists is ridiculous. In fact, the total amount of student loan debt is $1.2 trillion. This number includes tuition, books, and other costs of college.
Also, there is a huge price difference when you start talking about public and private institutions as well. In fact, most private schools cost three times the amount that a public school costs.
The average amount of debt that a student carries is about $30,000 by the time they graduate school with a four-year degree. Students who are unemployed or never make it into their career are finding that it is too difficult to make their student loan payments.
Just to add a dose of reality to the entire mix, roughly $103 million of the $1.2 trillion student loan debt is considered to be in default!
Why the Bill Now?
Previously, it was not legal for the government to take money from social security benefits, but in 1196, a bill was passed allowing it to happen. Now, the Senate wants to retract that bill and pass a new one blocking the garnishment of social security.
Since social security benefits are heavily relied upon in the US, it is not a good idea to start taking money from those who have earned this benefit. In fact, when the government does garnish this benefit, the citizen ultimately misses out on medication or loses a place to live due to a shortage of money.
What to Do about Your Student Loans
Student loan debt is something that thousands throughout the nation are dealing with. You cannot ignore it and it will never go away. You cannot run from the amount you owe and there is no point in trying, as you will only make the situation worse for yourself.
If you are having trouble making payments on your student loans, contact your loan service provider. They are easy to work with and will help you find a repayment plan that meets your needs. In fact, there are plans that allow you to make payments that scale to your income. Once you make a qualified number of payments, your loan will be forgiven as well.
If you do avoid your debt, you may be facing wage garnishment and until the bill is passed, your social security benefits may be at risk.
Remember, pay your student loans and prioritize your monthly payment above any other non-necessities.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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