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Student debt plagues parents just as much as students

It often seems that, more than ever, people are struggling to get out from under heavy debt, whether through bankruptcy or some other form of debt relief. As a nation we are often over extended. At times this is due to decisions we make as individuals, but other times it is a consequence of the world we live in. This is particularly true for the millions struggling to pay for college. Colorado families in need of debt relief may sympathize with the following.

According to recent statistics, in the first quarter of 2012 the number of individuals taking out student loans that are aged 60 or above was more than two million. That number is more than three times what it was in 2005, making this group the fastest growing group of individuals with college debt. Furthermore, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, these borrowers owed more than $40 billion in loans, compared to eight billion just seven years ago.

Of further concern, nearly 10 percent of this group was already nearly 90 days delinquent on their loan payments. In addition, the consequence of debt can be far more burdensome on the elderly than it is on the young. The reason for this is that the young still have their entire work life ahead of them, allowing them to carry this burden longer while the elderly are often facing the very end of their work life, often living on fixed income and assets.

While student loans are difficult to extinguish through the bankruptcy process, there may be other debt relief options available. Even if it is impossible to entirely eliminate debt, it is often possible to make things significantly more manageable, whether it is through a repayment plan or liquidation. In either case, it is possible to find some form of relief from these very serious financial challenges. And a little relief is all most people need to get a fresh start.

Source: Forbes, "This Week in Credit Card News-Student Loans, Facebook Trends & Dodd-Frank Battle," Bill Hardekopf, Nov. 19, 2012

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