What’s Going On?
America’s student-loan crisis has gotten so bad that the debt that many Americans incurred in their youth is now following them to their graves. From 2005 to 2013, senior-citizen student debt skyrocketed from $2.8 billion to $18.2 billion.
For about 160,000 people, having student loans also means losing a portion of their Social Security check. Until 1996, it was against the law to garnish Social Security benefits to pay debts, but that protection was stripped for debts owed to the federal government. As a result, seniors and others who depend on Social Security have their benefits garnished for student-loan payments.
What Can I Do?
Luckily, we don’t need an act of Congress to change this injustice. The Department of Education can declare a moratorium on garnishing Social Security benefits for student debt. Join The Nation, Student Debt Crisis, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and eighteen other organizations in calling on the Obama administration to put an end to garnishing Social Security to pay student-loan debt.
Recently, Michelle Chen wrote about how, despite the rising cost of higher education, an increasing number of faculty at colleges and universities are cobbling together poorly paid adjunct positions. Earlier this year, George Zornick looked into Hillary Clinton’s plan for debt-free college and Zoë Carpenter covered Elizabeth Warren’s response to the Corinthian College closures. And back in May, The Nation joined a coalition to deliver 240,000 signatures to Elizabeth Warren’s office calling for the cancellation of all student debt.