Social Security Checks Garnished To Pay for College

Elderly Parents in Poverty, Still Paying for Their Kids' College

Could you one day have your social security checks garnished to pay for your kids’ college?


You may be in danger of having your social security checks garnished and not even realize it.

Parents duped into taking out Parent PLUS loans to pay for their kids’ college can find themselves on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, right at a time of life where they may be wanting to (or worse, needing to) retire.

social security checks garnished

The Danger of Parent PLUS Loans

Parents taking out Parent PLUS loans are obligated to repay those loans (including all interest and penalties) in full, even if their children sleep through their college classes, drop out and refuse to finish their degrees, and do not ever find jobs in their fields.

The Dangers Are Great, But You Can Sidestep Them.

Fully inform yourself. View the 6-minute news interview video that accompanied the December 2016 Wall Street Journal report where Josh Mitchell was interviewed on this subject. You’ll hear Josh tell the reporter that the government has collected $1.1 billion from social security recipients of all ages since 2001 — including $171 million last year — just for delinquent and defaulted student loan payments. This is a shocking increase of 440% since 2002, and it’s only going to balloon in the next 10-20 years.

In my book, LAUNCH, I coach parents to sidestep Parent Plus Loans.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Be especially wary if you hear anyone say to you, “Oh, just go ahead and accept this bundle of loans. Yes, there’s a Parent PLUS Loan in the package, but you probably won’t qualify for that one. So don’t worry.” I suggest that you say a firm no to this, and ask that the bundle of loans be restructured without the Parent PLUS Loans in there.

“The truth is that unless you have some enormous red flags on your credit record, you probably will qualify for Parent PLUS Loans even if you have no income to pay them back. Why is this? Because, astoundingly, your personal income is not even a consideration when the decision is made to give you Parent PLUS Loan money, and there are no limits to the amount of this loan money you can be given and asked to pay back. This means you could be a poor widow barely getting by on $1,100 per month, and you could still be awarded Parent PLUS loans that require you to make loan payments of $1,000 per month for 10 years. And if you can’t pay? If you default? You could be slammed with massive penalties that make the debt load even more unbearable.

This has happened to other people. Don’t let it happen to you.”

Whether you are elderly or unfortunately disabled at a young age, you don’t want your social security checks garnished.

Got Kids or Grandkids Age 12-18? Make Sure They Graduate College Debt-Free.

If you have kids in middle school or high school, it takes only 7 hours to read my book.

LAUNCH will help you to completely sidestep these and other student loan debt dangers.

You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently at

You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.

Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

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Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12–22? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin right now.

What about you? What have you heard about the government garnishing social security checks, or about Parent PLUS loans?

Comment below or LIKEJeannie Burlowski Authoron Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazineand US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.