Student Loan Debt – Senior Citizens
Older Americans are struggling under the burden of student loans—their children’s and their own.
A generation of Americans owe nearly $90 billion in student loan debt and their 60 or more years of age.
Many seniors took out loans to help pay for their children’s college tuition and are still paying them off. Others took out student loans for themselves in the wake of the last recession, as they went back to school to boost their own employment prospects. Some are having funds garnished from their Social Security checks. The federal government, which is the largest student loan lender in the country, garnished the Social Security benefits, tax refunds or other federal payments of more than 40,000 people aged 65 and older in fiscal year 2015 because they defaulted on student or parent loan debt.
- On average, student loan borrowers in their 60s owed $33,800 in 2017, up 44% from 2010.
- Total student loan debt rose 161% for people aged 60+ from 2010 to 2017
- ED disbursed $12.7 billion in new “Parent Plus” loans during the 2017-18 academic year, up from $7.7 billion a decade prior.
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