Recent college graduates dealing with student loan debt: think you got it bad?
Wait until you're 60. Or the parent of an elementary school student.
In an article posted today, the Washington Post reports that Americans over the age of 60 account for $36 billion of the current total loan balance and 10 percent of those loans are past due payment. According to the article, older citizens have taken out loans to help children and grandchildren pay for college, while still grappling with payments from their own education. Payments have come out of social security checks, and have extended even into the final years of some peoples' lives.
Despite all this, perhaps you are a parent with young children who has paid off your student loans. You're exempt from this debt circus, right? Not necessarily. Smart Money recently reported that pre-college loans to pay for private K-12 schools are growing more prevalent, and increasing in amount. One pre-college loan company said in the last year they saw an increase of 10 percent in loan amount requested. And this only in middle or lower-income families: 20 percent of K-12 debt is in families making $150,000 per year or more. With CPS closing local schools and admissions for the best high schools in the city getting increasingly competitive, this may be a trend to keep an eye on in Chicago.
One Illinois policymaker is working against the financial ruin that can come from student debt. Senator Dick Durbin introduced legislation last May that would discharge private student loans in the case of bankruptcy. In a recent Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing he said private loans are riskier than federal loans, and are the most pressing concern in the issue of student debt.
The current total loan balance is $870 billion. Those under 30 account for about 33 percent of the balance with approximately $294 billion dollars of debt. More statistics can be found at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's website.
What is your stand on education debt? Is it inescapable? Are you still paying for loans over 60, or do you have loans for your children age 6? How are you financing your loan payments? Let us know! Comment below or send us a tweet @Chicago_U.