Monday, September 29, 2014

Student Debt Now Bankrupting Seniors

published by Tom Sullivan on Mon, 2014-09-29 21:21


As if aging in America isn’t hard enough these days, a new government report has uncovered that seniors are facing yet another barrier to a secure retirement: their student debt. Once thought to be a young person’s issue, new data released by the Government Accountability Office shows that older Americans are also finding themselves buried under the weight of their student loans. The data helps paint a much larger picture of the overall economic insecurity that too many of our country’s seniors face every day.

According to a recent story based on the report, a record number of borrowers are seeing their Social Security payments garnished because their federal student loans are in default. As the story explains, “More than half, or 54 percent, of federal student loans held by borrowers at least 75 years old are in default, according to the federal watchdog. About 27 percent of loans held by borrowers aged 65 to 74 are in default. Among borrowers aged 50 to 64, 19 percent of their loans are in default. The Education Department generally defines a default as being at least 360 days past due.”

The price of an education is quickly becoming too heavy a burden for far too many people, and it’s a burden that’s staying with them forever. College debt looms large as the most difficult debt to get rid of, and these numbers paint a startling picture of exactly how big a toll it’s taking on people as they age. For many, student debt is following them from the cradle to the grave – they’re condemned to a lifetime of payments that stagnant wages and mounting economic insecurity make it nearly impossible to manage.

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