Fastest Growing Group of Student Loan Borrowers…Parents Older than 60

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Many Americans saddled with heavy student loan debts have gray hair, and it’s not just because of their financial stress.


The fastest growing group for college debt currently consists of individuals age 60 and older. During the first three months of 2012, the number of these borrowers was more than two million, representing a three-fold increase of the total from seven years ago.


Back in 2005, these borrowers owed $8 billion. Now, they owe $43 billion in student loan payments. Although figures are not available, it is assumed that most of the older borrowers took out loans to put their children through college.


Another rising indicator from 2005 is the percentage of these borrowers who are at least 90 days delinquent, up from 6% to now nearly 10%.


Many of these seniors—119,000, nearly double the total five years ago—are losing part of their Social Security benefits to the government in order to pay off their loans. The consequences facing them are moving in with their children, less money for retirement and filing for bankruptcy.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Child’s Education, but Parents’ Crushing Loans (by Tamar Lewin, New York Times)

Senior Citizens Still Paying Off Student Loans (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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