Data compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, suggests that student loan debt has become an elder law issue, according to Financial Advisor in "Student Loan Debts Plague Older Americans."
In 2015, 2.8 million people age 60 or over had student loan debts. The majority of them took out the loans for children or grandchildren, but 27% had student loan debts from their own educations.
A total of 37% of people with student loan debt over the age of 65 were in default, which means that their Social Security payments can be reduced, their tax refunds can be taken and their wages can be garnished.
This is a particular problem for people on Social Security since the program is designed to eliminate elder poverty.
If the payments are reduced to pay back the government for student loans, then the poverty reduction benefits of the program are also reduced.
Reference: Financial Advisor (Jan. 16, 2017) "Student Loan Debts Plague Older Americans."