How Do Unpaid Student Loans Impact Social Security Benefits?


The brief’s key findings are:

  • Student debt among retirees is not currently large, but their debt-holding and delinquency rates have been rising rapidly.
  • Retirees with delinquent loans can have part of their Social Security benefits withheld to pay the loans.
  • Black households are more likely to hold student debt and to have delinquent loans.
  • The study finds that current and future retirees with delinquent debt could face a 4-6 percent drop in retirement income due to withheld benefits.
  • But, the Biden administration’s plan would greatly reduce both debt and delinquency for future retirees and shrink racial inequality.

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