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Elderly Americans Owe Almost $86 Billion In Student Loan Debt: "This Will Follow Me To The Grave"

Elderly Americans Owe Almost $86 Billion In Student Loan Debt: "This Will Follow Me To The Grave"

Education debt is becoming one of the biggest challenges for a lot of aging Americans who are unable to pay it off and thus are not able to enjoy their retirement. 

You might think the student loan crisis is merely limited to people who just graduated from college or probably someone in their mid-30s and even 40s for that matter. But America's college loan crisis that comes to $1.5 trillion worth of debt, affects even people over 60 who are still paying off their college loans. The aging Americans even have trouble paying for their monthly minimum and one among them is Seraphina Galante, a 76-year-old social worker in San Diego. As reported by CBS News.

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A shocking statistic reveals that nearly 3 million people over the age of 60 are still paying off their college loan debts. The data was collected from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And the borrowers account for more than $86 billion of outstanding student loan debt in the nation. 

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"This is a mountain that I will never be able to climb. I am terrorized," Galante told CBS News. She had received her master's degree almost 19 years ago from San Diego State University and she owes over $40,000. 

Galante, like many, had gone to college to increase their prospects in landing a top job but in the current job market and with the offered payscales, she is still unable to clear off the debts. "I was very confident that ... I would pay it back, you know, in due time," Galante said. "We grow older and then we get more senior. That's reality of life." Meanwhile, several elderly people are even paying off the student loans of either their kids or their grandkids. 

 



 

 

The 76-year-old woman works part-time as a family caregiving consultant. Although she tries to pay off her monthly dues, there were four times in the past when she had to pause making payments over personal reasons. Her monthly payment of $176 is income-based and it doesn't even cover the interest. Even though Galante has made payments for nearly two decades, she owes nearly $40,000 as she is unable to keep up with the interest on her debt, which grows at 8 percent.

 



 

 

"I don't see the justice or even the logic. It's not gonna reduce, ever. And the emotional part of it that it's there. That it's always gonna be there." Galante added that she is very careful with her spending and she keeps close tabs on her budget. "This will follow me to the grave," she said.

Education debt is becoming one of the biggest challenges for a lot of aging Americans who are unable to pay it off and thus are not able to enjoy their retirement. 

Pixabay

 

Nearly forty percent of Americans who are 65 and older are in default, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They have also got their Social Security benefits garnished to pay off their student debt. "The fastest growing segment of student loan borrowers are actually older Americans," Seth Frotman, a student debt expert who used to work at the CFPB, told CBS.

"They will literally seize your Social Security benefit. Because of student loans we are literally driving tens of thousands of older Americans into poverty."

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