Any Older Student Loan Borrowers?

Hi everyone! There was some reporting the other day that the Biden administration (frustratingly) doesn’t understand or know that older borrowers are a part of the student debt crisis as well — not just folks in their twenties and thirties!

Are there any older borrowers who want to share their story to the media? We know folks can have their Social Security checks or other wages garnished if unable to pay student loans. Would be useful to make that burden known as we push for full cancelation.

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Yep. 55. I’m a teacher and I owe $252,000. My original loans were $125,000. How do I owe more than twice as much now???
Ugh.

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Same here. 41, NP owing $200K.

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Hello, my husband and I are 61 and 60. We’ve had our loans combined, so we still owe 48,000+. Our loans have followed us throughout our adult lives. We have had many deferments, but the interest only makes the loan amount increase. We’ve even thought about letting the loans go into default and getting my husband’s earnings garnished. If Biden doesn’t help us, I’m pretty sure I’ll be dead before paying it off.

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I’m 40 year old single Mom with $72K in Student Loan debt. I’ve been making payments for over a decade and how is it that I haven’t made much of a dent to the principal. Hmm maybe that had something to do with having my loans with Navient.

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I’m 77 yrs, have 2 children and am liable for there debt. My son went to a private technical school, i knew it was wrong because I was in the engineering profession. That was 25 years ago, Navient is still after me. He did not graduate. Imagine what compound interest would do to that, it will never be paid. We all just swallow compound interest like it just has to be. It should be the central argument because it allows debt to be infinite. The authors of Degrow include in their analysis Linear Interest rates, that’s like first year calculus … Take the first derivative, WTF.

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I’m 42 and have about 80k in loans. Some of my loans have doubled since I’ve been out of school! How the hell am I supposed to send my kids to college when I’m still dealing with my own debt?

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I’m about to turn 59, an unemployed teacher, soon to get 1488 dollars per month in retirement, but my debt somehow ballooned to 159K! I was told this debt would have been cancelled, but it doubled.

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Yes, I’m now 58 with a stifling burden of student debt. I went to college as an adult after miraculously surviving my formative years through the crack epidemic and on the streets.
I really didn’t understand what I was getting myself into but I excelled through community college at 30 with the help of grants from a state agency for vocational rehabilitation. Continuing on to university with high academic scores it was important that I keep signing on for tuition funding that was being offered while I also worked in restaurants to pay the rent. There were tables set up around the campuses where credit cards were being handed out and I used them to help get by. Thankfully I paid off those credit card banks but my student loans, about $50k at graduation, are now over $100k and in default.
I received a good education and eventually went on to earn a graduate degree, paying out of pocket as I could afford the time and money to complete courses.
Inspired by the art and science of engineers who, at the end of the 19th century, brought safe drinking water systems to cities and ended plagues of cholera, typhoid, etc., my dream had become to help build sanitation infrastructure where drinking water standards are not being met and to help prepare communities for an approaching climate crises. That was in the early 90s.
The past 30 years of seeing poor communities in competition for ostensibly limited government funding that gets siphoned off through finance grift, shabby contracting and mismanagement, while corporate capture of the economy in systems accelerating the destruction of the planet, has fractured my spirit. I’m now radicalized.
I struggle uninspired at the fringe of the PMC workforce with no vision of retirement or even home ownership. I feel my calling now is to help organize a working class movement for change.
My two older brothers’ lives were ended by diseases of despair, fueled primarily by debt, well before they were my age. Fuck debt.

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HI! I am 43 years old with over $109,000 in student loan debt that was assigned to me. The student loan debt crisis affects everyone, not just younger people. At our age we will never be able to pay back these debt as the interest keeps racking up making it impossible. When I enrolled as a single parent I thought I was doing to right thing to improve my situation. Now I am chained forever to this debt and cannot purchase a home or think about helping my kids with college. It is a lifetime issue that will never go away unless we can create change.

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You better believe it. I am 64, my wife is 67. We have $500,000 (yep 1/2 million) dollars in Bankster student loan debt-much of for cosigning for our kid’s loans, which they cannot repay.

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I’m not an older borrower, but here is an article about the impact on older borrowers being more significant than it is for younger borrowers

Older people outnumber younger people with student loans, and they owe far more

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I’m 55 and a mental health counselor. Self employed. There’s no way I could work for another clinic; nobody would hire me at my age. My husband started collecting social security last year.

So we are living in a house that is falling down around us. We can’t get another mortgage because our DTI is too high. There’s almost more interest on my loan than the principle. I’ve kept them up to date because I’ve been on in IBRP all this time and the amount calculated for payment has been 0.

Until the pandemic. Now my income is high enough to pay, but the forbearance continues. What am I supposed to do, give away my home equity to some bank to pay for interest? No, I’ll live on a pile of bricks before I do that.

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I’m 63, a college graduate with over $30,000 in loans and some amount of medical debt. I am divorced, handicapped and work full-time as a Greeter at Walmart to cover bills. I echo Sienna who refuses to give away home equity to some bank who got bailed when the rest of us are drowning. If I could find a job as a social worker or teacher I still couldn’t afford to repay all of my school loans and medical debt.

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Hi, I want to cringe every time I think of the mess we are in as a country when it comes to student debt. I turned forty back in January and I have around 213,000 in debt with my oldest loan going as far back as 2005. No one told me that I should push through and finish school in a timely manner due to the interest that would be added over time. I finished my Associates in 2013 then my Bachelors in 2017 and recently graduated with my MBA in 2021. Now, I know what you may say, this guy has a MBA what is his issue with paying the loans back, but what you may not know the answer is not so easy. I am an entrepreneur and while I was in school I focused on school and not my career. I left a career to finally finish school now I feel like that decision is going to haunt me and stop my dreams of working for myself. I have been running a small business since Jan of 2020. It has been a struggle and continues to be a struggle. When loan payments start back, I do not think that I will be able to handle that plus living expenses. I am over it.

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I am 50, and as of today I owe $153,000. Originally my debt was $78,000. I went to school to get an MBA, from a state university to avoid higher costs, yet as soon as I graduated Lehman Brothers collapsed and my job prospects have been dim ever since. The reason why I went to school was to lift my family’s standard of living. When I first went to school, I was married with two children. Along the way, I helped my spouse earn her BA and two master’s degrees. The effort to pay off these loans created much stress in my marriage, and I eventually divorced. My former spouse left the workforce because her mental health did not allow her to remain employed, and this doubled my burden with my young sons and has not allowed me to pay off any significant portion of my student loan burden, which is why it has ballooned in the way that it has. Student loans, as it turns out, cannot be considered as part of the calculus for child support.

As I turned 50 recently, I realized that I likely have fewer years left in me than ones I left behind. I am not turning away from my financial responsibilities, however as my strength wanes and I consider the inevitable, that I will get sick, face old age, and death, I wonder whether the enormous mountain I have ahead of me is going to take my life as I try to take this burden on.

I was not successful in raising my sons’ standard of living. I have not met my financial obligations. There is no money I was able to sock away in a retirement account that has been earning interest.

While I recognize that I made a mistake in taking out loans that I could not repay, I do not believe that the result of this miscalculation renders me a criminal. I went to school to learn lessons, and regrettably, this lesson was not well imparted or executed. While I place the burden of responsibility on myself, it is also just as important to recognize that the trap I fell into was borne from a rapacious effort to derive profits at the expense of human suffering, loss, and servitude. I made a poor choice, but I should not be criminalized for this. Plenty of businesspeople make poor choices and they are able to overcome their foolish blunders through the legal system. If I made a poor choice with my education, and I did not know any better as I was making this choice, who should shoulder this responsibility?

Since I went to business school I learned that my vocation is to teach. An expensive discovery, to be sure. Unfortunately, I have not been able to lead a classroom, because doing so would have involved taking on additional debt to earn the credentials I needed for certification. To practice my vocation I turned to afterschool and summer camp programming. Educators do not earn much in our society, and I find myself in the curious situation of needing to teach students how to avoid the mistakes that I made.

I often wonder whether it is even worth it to face the mountain ahead and begin climbing, knowing that on the way down I do not have anything to return to that will help be bear sickness, old age, and death. I may only be able to pay off this debt and not have enough to survive after this effort has concluded.

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On April 3 I will be 60 years old. It should be no surprise that Prez Biden is rather ignorant about us; he helped create the predatory student loan industry when he was a senator. He’s doing very little about it now.

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I’m 61 now. Got my Masters Degree in 2019. My last job ended with the pandemic in 2020. Two years, 1000+ applications, a handful of interviews that seemed to go really well, and zero offers later, I still don’t have a job, and my pandemic unemployment benefits ran out more than a year ago. If employers are experiencing shortages because of the Great Resignation, why are they not hiring older workers? I’ve been in deferment practically since graduation, and without an income I have no idea how I’m going to make my student loan payments when they start up again. Even if I could make the payments, I’ll be paying this debt off well into my seventies. Who wants to spend their old age this way?

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I went to ITT technical institute in the late 1980s in California and Minnesota. I have a pending dtr with ED but I suspect they will deny it based on time.

I have done a lot of research on ITT and they were no better in the early years. I have an 11 page letter to ED with tons of supporting evidence so we will see.

If I am denied, I’m going to file a lawsuit so I am also looking for old ITT folks, late 80s would be ideal, ITT la mesa would be even better.

They were crooked AF back then also.

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I am 59, owing $326,000. Almost all of that is interest and penalties imposed every time the debt changed hands. Student loan debt is a commodity it seems but I don’t understand the logic or fairness of hiking the principal each time the account is sold, then capitalizing the interest so that the principal keeps growing. The USA won’t be overtaken by outsiders, we’ll just implode under the weight of greed and selfishness. Like the Roman Empire.

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