Older Americans Struggle With Student Loan Debt

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Twenty-something college graduates aren't the only ones struggling with student loan debt. New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that more than six million Americans over 50-years-old are still paying off student loans.

Some people have debt because they went back to school at a later age. Others got stuck with payments after co-signing a loan for a child or grandchild.

Together, these older Americans owe $133 billion, and many of them are delinquent on their payments. It's not uncommon  for them to be harassed by debt collectors or to see their wages or Social Security checks garnished.

Democratic Senator Dick Durban of Illinois is pushing legislation that would allow private student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy.

Republican Senator Charles Grassley says he's withholding judgement on the bill for now. He added he would not support anything that would increase overall costs for the majority of responsible borrowers, who are paying off their loans.


  • Sandy Barnett, 58-year-old woman from Illinois who is paying off student loan debt

This segment aired on May 10, 2012.


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