Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Senior Citizens Owe 18B in Student Loans

Senate Aging Committee Chairman Sen. Bill Nelson speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 10, 2014.

Senior citizens in the United States owe more than $18 billion in federal student loan debt.

The 2013 amount is up six-fold from $2.8 billion in 2005. Eighty percent of that debt was for their own education, with only 20 percent of student loans taken out for children or dependents.

The information comes in a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office unveiled Wednesday at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. The hearing was held to examine the growing impact of this debt on retirement age Americans.

According to committee chairman Senator Bill Nelson, “Some may think of student loan debt as just a young person’s problem,” but “that’s increasingly not the case.”

The report says last year the U.S. Treasury garnished Social Security retirement and survivor benefits of 33,000 people to recoup federal student loan