Student loans – American Senior Citizens Continue To Face The Problem

Paying the tuition fees of the college has become a burden for the Americans which are creating chaos and confusion among the senior people. According to the new research made by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it is seen that the U.S. people aged 60 years and above owe $36 billion in student loans. The report shows that more than 10 percent of the senior citizens seem to be delinquent in their loans. The customer advocates have said that it is common for Social Security checks to be garnished and the debt collectors to call up and harass the borrowers for student loans when they are in their 80s.

The senior citizens of America, being saddled with student loans, throws light on what the economists, financial experts and lawmakers say. This has become a central quarrel in the higher education system of the nation. The advantages of obtaining a college degree are being reduced by the increasing tuition fees and the long period of debt that the Americans find very much difficult to manage. Thus, if the Americans have fallen into debt problems, choose debt consolidation to do away with debt problems and become debt free.

Most of the people who are indebted in student loans are below 40 years. Since student loans cannot be released in bankruptcy, this type of debt follows the person throughout his entire life. According to the Fed data of New York, the average amount due from all student loan borrowers is $23,000. The college graduates make significantly more debts in their life than the high school students and thus, face low rate of unemployment. Some Americans are still fighting with their first student loans while others have incurred new debt on returning to school later in future with the expectation to become more competitive in labor force. Many senior people have co-signed for loans with their children and grand children to help them out so that they can afford to pay the tuition fees.

The recent recession that occurred in the United States has worsened this problem thereby making it very much difficult for the old as well as the young Americans get jobs of good salary. Just like the other debts, student loans cannot be excluded from bankruptcy. Due to this, some old Americans have found that getting a college degree is not for a bright career but to a lifetime debt problem.

Sandy Barnett of Illinois, who is 58 years old, thought that she was doing the right thing when she planned to obtain a master’s degree in clinical psychology in the late 1980s. She had worked and taken out a loan of $21,000 to pay her college tuition fees or else, she would have got more time to study. But after completing the master’s degree, Barnett had to struggle to get a job that paid more than $25,000 in a year. Thus, she fell behind in making the debt payments. She suffered through job loss and her husband’s death. Her student loan increased to $54,000 approximately.

Sandy Barnett decided to file for bankruptcy in the year 2005. But she could not manage to escape from student loan debt problem. She said that a collection agency started garnishing the earnings from her job as a customer service executive a year before. Now, her money has become so tight that she has to choose between buying food and gas for her existence.

Submitted by Kevin Matthews

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