Senior Citizen Borrowers
Senior Citizen Student Loan Borrowers
The student loan crisis is an equal opportunity victimizer. According to the Federal Reserve Board of NY, senior citizens make up the group with the fastest growing student loan debt. The number of seniors who are retirement age but still have student loan debt is growing. In the last 10 years, people over the age of 60 had the fastest growing educational loan balances of any age group, growing by more than nine times, from $6 billion in 2004 to $58 billion in 2014.
Dr. Darrell was almost 80, and he had been working since he was 14. He was tired, and he had a serious illness.
Dr. Darrell earned a Ph.D. degree in his 60’s. Before and after completing his Ph.D. Dr. Darrell was a school teacher. He had always wanted to finish his studies. He loved classroom teaching and didn’t plan to leave it. But he thought a better education would make him a better teacher.
He finished his Ph.D. in his 60’s with about $60,000 in debt from his program. Then his saga began. He taught in an urban school district. He had heard that he could qualify for loan forgiveness for teaching in the classroom. So, he put his loans in forbearance and went back to teaching. All the while he was applying for loan forgiveness under this teacher loan forgiveness program.
He was repeatedly denied. He didn’t understand the reason why, so he kept applying. He strongly believed he met all of the criteria. He didn’t know that consolidating his student loans disqualified him from applying for loan forgiveness. He appealed to the Department of Education. A decade later, he still hadn’t gotten into the loan forgiveness program and his debt was now up to $190,o00.
Dr. Darrell wants to retire to concentrate on his health and to rest. But he can’t live on his retirement benefits with a $2,100 monthly student loan payment.
Student loan payments don’t end when you retire. They end when you have completed your repayment obligation, no matter how old you are when that happens. The solution was in income-driven repayment. Income Driven repayments allow borrowers, even those with retirement incomes to pay back based upon what they earn and not what they borrowed. With his new, affordadable lower payments and loan forgiveness he retired.