An article published by Forbes today examined the devastating effects of student loans taken out by parents. The students in financial distress due to college payments are part of a popular conversation, but their parents who are equally in debt are part of a less prominent struggling class. For those parents who have huge loans, the shock is more extreme; they obviously did fairly well if they were able to qualify for sizable packages, but the current economy has caused unpredicted complications. Health problems, job loss and a failing home market are national issues that few parents planned for when considering their children’s’ education, so the consequences are that much more alarming.
In the first three months of 2012, the number student loan borrowers age 60 and older was 2.2 million, a figure three times what it was in 2005, making the age bracket the fast growing in student debt. And with nearly 10 percent of borrowers over 60 at least 90 days delinquent on their payments during the first quarter of 2012, this might mean later retirements. Older borrowers have less time and fewer opportunities than their children to get their financial orders on track, which is causing a grim future for borrowers over 60.