The student loan debt industry does not hide the fact that it is a $1 trillion industry, nor does it hide the fact that a large majority of borrowers are currently in default over their payments. While a lot of focus has been paid towards recent grads and their struggles with student loan repayment, a new demographic is quickly rising to the surface of the struggle.
Senior citizens have grown from being 1% of the student loan debt borrower base, to 4% in just two years for a total of $18.2 billion in loan debt. You may be thinking that 4% of the total number of borrowers is a low number, but consider the living situation this population is often experiencing.
Americans 55 and over are typically retired or working-retired to cover bills, often on very limited incomes. Whether they work a part time job to help supplement their retirement money, or are on Social Security, student loan debt payments are likely to eat up a larger portion of their monthly income than a recent college graduate.
Many of these senior citizens have experienced a long road of dwindling employment, others suffering divorce or medical illness; all contributing to the financial hardship that many elderly live through each day. Some are still on the hook for these loans that they borrowed to try and stay ahead in their job, and many others are the result of co-signing loans for children or grandchildren.
Unfortunately, not only are these seniors fighting an uphill battle with student loan debt repayment, but many are finding their Social Security checks garnished for repayment or even being sued. Hopefully, there will be help on the horizon to at least protect these people’s Social Security checks while they work towards finding a student loan debt relief solution.
Read more at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/seniors-owe-18-billion-student-loan-debt/