Sunday, December 11, 2022

Based on the recent 2021 U.S. Census report, poverty is on the rise for older adults who were the only group that saw an increase in poverty rates this past year. Millions of people 65 and older are struggling with high-risk debt, and unfortunately the numbers and level of debt are escalating.

As a response, RRF Foundation for Aging released a Call to Action to address the burden of debt older adults face. Those with debt and fixed incomes are more likely to face consequences such as bankruptcy, financially catastrophic health events, and financial scams. These harmful consequences threaten to further undermine the already fragile financial security of many older adults.

In addition, debt is more prevalent in the households of Black and Latinx families. These families, despite generally owing less than white families, have a higher amount of debt relative to their assets.

Bringing awareness to this issue and working to implement strategies to reduce older adult debt, will help build economic security and dignity in later life.

Tools to Help Reduce Debt

Benefits Check Up

Utilize the free BenefitsCheckUp Tool from the National Council on Aging to see what key benefit programs you may qualify for such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid, Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS) – Extra Help, among others.

Student Loan Debt Resources

If you’ve had difficulty repaying a loan in your name or a loan you’ve co-signed, check out these resources:

Surviving Spouses

Review Financial Information and Resources for Surviving Spouses from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Mortgage Assistance

Apply for Mortgage Assistance through the Illinois Emergency Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) which provides up to $60,000 in mortgage assistance to eligible homeowners.


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