Retirees Overwhelmed by Student Loan Debt

April 4, 2012

The Washington Post has reported this week that the burden of paying for college is wreaking havoc on the finances of senior citizens.  New research shows that Americans 60 and older still owe over $35 billion in student loans.  More than 10% of the loans are delinquent, prompting consumer advocates to state that it is not uncommon for Social Security checks to be garnished for debt collection.  

For seniors to be saddled with student loan debts highlights a central conflict in the nation’s higher education system:  the benefits of a college degree are being diluted by rising tuition rates and the longevity of debt.  Some of these Americans are grappling with the first wave of student loans while others undertook debt when they returned to school later in life hoping to embark on a second career.  The recent economic climate has exacerbated the problem.  

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