It’s an old joke that’s quickly becoming reality for many student loan borrowers: “I’ll be paying off my student loans until I die.”
During the past decade, there’s been a stunning rise in student loan debt owed by older Americans. The number of Americans aged 60 or older with one or more student loans quadrupled from 2005 to 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed last week. The average debt load on that group has swelled from $12,000 to $23,500. And there has been a near five-fold increase in the number of retired Americans who see their Social Security checks auto-deducted to pay off federal student loans in default.
Ken Stumpf, a 70-year-old borrower from Colorado, lays out the stark reality he and his wife face.