A whopping 44.7 million people in the United States have student loan debt, and that debt totals over $1.71 trillion. If you have student loans, you may be wondering how they affect your Social Security. Here’s more information.
Garnishing Your Social Security
If you default on your student loans, then the government has the right to garnish some of your Social Security as a form of payment. The government can also tell your employer to withhold your pay and seize your state and federal tax return money.
The Limit on Garnishment
The good news is that the government cannot take more than 15% of your Social Security payments or leave you with less than $750 per month in benefits. The limit was last modified in 1998, however. Today’s costs of living are much higher than they were 20+ years ago, and the poverty line has gone up. This means that you may start to struggle if the government decides to take some of your benefits away from you.
Avoiding Student Loan Defaults and Garnishment
If you are considered permanently disabled, then you may be able to have your student loans fully discharged. If you have a long-term medical condition, then your Social Security might not be garnished.
You can also take certain steps to avoid defaulting on your loan. For instance, you could sign up for a rehabilitation program with the Department of Education, where you set up a plan based on your income so you can make reasonable payments every month. After you do this for several months, then you could possibly qualify for student loan consolidation.
Contacting Schott Law
If you need assistance with your Social Security benefits, Schott Law is here for you. Maggie Schott is an SSDI & SSI lawyer serving Washington and Idaho. Contact us now at (509) 328-5789 to start your application.