Even senior citizens have student debt

at 12:22 PM ET, 03/05/2012

It’s not just young people who are saddled with student debt. A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that one-third of all Americans with outstanding student loans are over the age of 40 — and 4.2 percent are over the age of 60. While borrowers in their 30s had the highest average balance, at $28,500, those in their 40s were close behind, with an average balance of $26,000.


One reason seniors end up with student loans is parents are increasingly assuming debt on behalf of their children. And given the rapidly rising cost of college, the proportion of older borrowers — and the average debt load they are carrying — is likely to get even larger in the future.

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