Many Over 50 Are Still Saddled With Student Loans

"Lingering student-loan debt — which in recent years has been a drag on the economy as borrowers delay big-ticket purchases such as homes and cars — is beginning to affect millions of people as they head toward retirement," The Network Journal reports

"More than 16 percent of the nearly $1.2 trillion in outstanding student-loan debt in the nation is held by people over 50, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank. …

Many of the borrowers have taken out loans later in life, often for retraining to stay afloat in a changing economy. Some wound up on the hook when they co-signed or took out loans for children and grandchildren. …

[A]round the country older people are struggling with student-loan debt at a time when their earning power may be waning. ...

The root of the phenomenon, experts say, lies in the escalating costs of college juxtaposed with a stalled economy. The Federal Reserve has noted that 'the dramatic increase in debt implies that a fundamental change has taken place in the way we finance higher education in the U.S.'" 

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