Any Older Student Loan Borrowers?

61 here, with income-based repayment since 2009 for undergrad & grad school loans from 1985-1997. 45k in student loans is currently 442k, locked in at 8% [!] interest when consolidated in 1998. Is whatever remains unpaid to be forgiven in 2030-something? Won’t the loan have more than doubled by then? What if any relief is in sight for the eventual tax bill on six or seven figure loan forgiveness?

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Did you apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness yet? Try to do so before the October 31, 2022 waiver ends.

55 here. No debt til I went back to get a master’s. I didn’t know that my field required knowing people and even then, pay would always be low. Interest is 10%. Went from $37k to $250k. I’ll never be able to make interest payments, let alone get to where I’m paying on original loan.

I haven’t made a payment in years. If all I’m doing is paying on an interest that won’t affect the loan at all, why not spend it on regular living expenses?


Hello. I’m 62. Original loan was $11,493.46 in 07/21/1989. Simdex Technical Institute was the “school”. Course was for apartment maintenance. We were told that if we did’nt get a job as such within 3 months the loan would not have to be paid. Obviously that was a lie. By the time I found out about this not being true, the loan had been "sold’ a couple of times and was at over $30,000.00. I made payments thru Sallie Mae. Got laid off. In that time loan was "sold again. It was now at $44,964.88. I resumed payments thru Fed Loan. Got laid-off. Then I get a letter from Navient that they “owned” the loan. But now it’s Aidvantage who “owns” it. And they want $425.22 a month until 05/03/2035 for a total of $70,161.30. No exceptions. They said they will garnish my wages, tax returns, and even my social security when and if I can retire. The wage garnishment alone will put me in the streets in less than 6 months. Thank you for your time. Any kind of help or response would be greatly appreciated.

Hey there, peeps! I’m new to the Union and very happy to be here fighting the good fight with ya’ll!

I will be turning 50 soon and have had school debt for as long as I can remember. My balance is hovering around $88K right now. :persevere:

We need to make our voices HEARD!! It’s bad enough that, as we age, we tend to get “swept under the rug.” The student debt crisis, in addition, wants to pile debt ON TOP of that rug.

It’s time to stand up, find our voices, and refuse to be swept!!

I’m a single 60-yr old professional counselor with about $197k (probably more) in student loan debt that I will never be able to pay. Most of the debt comes from undergraduate loans from Sallie Mae in the 1980s. My income has never exceeded $65k, and I have never defaulted. But I will never own a home due to my DTI ratio or be debt free. My meager social security will be garnished, and given the increasing costs of living I’m likely to retire in poverty.

I’ve given over 4 years to volunteer public service (VISTA and other), and have been a mental health counselor for the past 13 years. I did crisis work through the pandemic, and was grateful for the job. I’ve written the WH several times to request loan forgiveness on behalf of my public service before and during the pandemic. I would really like to have a little security in my old age.

Hi. I’m 52 years old and have $120K in student loans. I got my degree while raising my daughter as a single father, thinking that getting my degree would improve my life and especially my daughter’s. However, my daughter is now an adult and I have advised her to not go to college because of the financial burden when a person graduates and does not come from a family of money.


Yep I am in this group too :(. I am 47, earned an advanced degree that never got me even 1 interview let alone a job and thanks to no choice forebearances and time compounding the interest, I owe over $500k ( even though I borrowed no where near that or even half!). I have no path out but my passing…

Yes. As a first generation college graduate, I’m 54 and owe $251, 977… after being a school teacher, serving in Peace Corps, working for Head Start and Healthy Start, and overall being a public servant all my life! While amassing interest laden debt progressively due to never making enough to pay down significantly on this debt!!

A riveting and absolutely spot-on analysis, made so compelling and heart-touching with your personal testimony. Thank you for being you and for sharing! I wish you would publish an op-ed in the New York Times or elsewhere. If you’re interested in doing so, I’d be glad to connect you with folks who can help, if the folks moderating this forum haven’t already suggested the same and offered to help. Thank you, again. Your story and analysis must be elevated for more to hear! Wishing you the best in the meantime. Yours in solidarity…

I’m 56 and owe over a quarter of a million dollars for an undergrad degree I got in 1990. I then did less than one year of a masters degree before I had to leave due to disability. I can never and will never pay this debt.

I have been frustrated for years by the shady dealing of the Dept of Ed and their collection agency and I am so glad this is all coming to light!

Hi, I’m 57. I too will contend that my student loan will follow me to my grave.

Why? Interest.

While I do believe my education was necessary for what I do, and did provide a means to obtain a good job, that doesn’t really mean that life is easy and not full of complications. Kids, spouses, medical events ( especially ) can make life challenging.

Student loan payback seems to assume that everything is great and you can make this IBR payment at a cost of their choice. Life doesn’t work that way - or at least it hasn’t for me. Life’s bumps and bruises can make those loan repayments difficult. Especially difficult when that payment doesn’t cover everything and your balance continues to creep up even though you’re paying 10% of your GROSS income instead of what you actually bring home at the end of the day.

I am more than willing to join forces to attack the pitiful approach Biden’s cabinet has chosen to attack the student loan problem. I certainly hope he doesn’t believe that this has impressed me. I will not be voting for him without something more that addresses the problem that I and other voters of my age group ( and similar student loan issues ) face.

Hi, I’m 79 years old and have $95,000 of school loans. I still do a lot of service work but have low income and low assets.

I was a high school drop out due to an abusive and alcoholic parent origin story. Thrown out of the house at 17. One shit job after another struggling to survive. Then at 48, President Obama offered to send unemployed persons to school. For the first time in my life, someone thought I was worthy of a higher education. So I went. I was one semester away from my Associates degree when the unemployment ran out. So I got the best grades (top 2% in the class of 2017 at Rutgers University), volunteered as much as I could and worked toward scholarship and fellowship and started taking out federal financial aid. Ten years later I was in my thesis semester of my graduate school MFA in March of 2020 and you know what happened. We finished our final semester on Zoom. Then in August they let us back into the building for two weeks to finish our theses and vacate our studios for good. The school left us behind and never invited us back the following years for any kind of acknowledgment, graduation ceremonies or career launching opportunities. In 2020 I applied for gig worker unemployment since all I had was work study jobs while on financial aid and there was not enough consistent time to qualify for traditional unemployment. Biden ended that last September. With no income coming in during the shutdown years, all I could do was figure a way to lower my expenses and had to give up my apartment. Luckily I found someone with a spare bedroom and studio space in the back yard to continue as an artist and entrepreneur which was what I went to school for and why I accumulated all this debt. I just found out that I have to move out by the end of this September and I am facing homelessness again. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Calling everyone I ever met, applying to all the jobs I can but I fear that on paper, my age brings out the ageism in companies. I have an MFA and I couldn’t get a job as a shopper at Whole Foods or an entry level admissions counselor job at a local university. So Biden administration, THIS IS WHY SOMEONE OVER 50 HAS OVER $200,000 IN STUDENT LOAN DEBT YOU MYOPIC (enter every expletive I’ve ever used here)! If you read this far, thank you for the labor of reading my truncated life story.

I’m 58 and $200K underwater. I may get 50-70K relief from the predatory school loans suit, but I know I will never be able to pay this money back. I am an immigrant that did what any aspirational person would do to become better in society.
I have 55K in private loans from the predatory schools that I have been “paying” for ten years, and the amount continues to grow. I can’t stop these because my sister is a cosigner…
Luckily I have no children, so when push comes to shove, seeing the trajectory this county is taking, I can move back to EU.

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Yes, I’m 65 with 250,000 (with 2 1/2 to 3 x above amount borrowed). Paid fully a student loan in the late 80s to mid 90. Paid a masters of Edwhile teaching and masters in counseling (school)
Moved in 98 to a different and got APA accredited phd in school psychology….which is considered and area of clinical practice thus allowing for licensure. When to one of the three major state universities in miss. Did a years pre-doc in metro Atlanta for a stipend of 6,000. Did a post-doc with a local psychologist for NO pay. Then applied to state psychology board who denied my application (I never dreamed that would deny my application because it was of three state universities and only one of 2 that was apa accredited. They would not let me sit for exam. Contacted (wrote) to every state rep and senator!
Applied in neighboring state and was allowed to take the exam every state requires for licensure and passed. Drove 4 1/2 to 5 hrs daily. 98% of the children I saw were Medicaid recipients. They are growing up poor like I do! Just as my office started to grow… my husband lost his ability to sign his and get food to his mouth with his right hand. He was forced to retire and just before final day of work…fell and dislocated his right shoulder.
He started to stumble and fall more and more frequently. Within a year of Covid I made the decision to move back to the state where my daughters are…the state that won’t even let me call myself a psychologist…but I need help with their dad!
When Charlie lost his job I had to go Obamacare’s market place for healthcare. I have paid upwards of 1200. 00 a month for health insurance. Now my husband drools, stumbles, staggers like he is drunk. He can’t cut up his own food and leans forward by 45 degrees. He also often tries to speak and nothing comes out. I have given a lot of time and effort to children I’ve taught, counseled, tested and serviced those with autism, adhd, selective mutism, depression, bipolar, etc.
but now I have to worry about becoming homeless or having my 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house taken away…or my 1600 SSI check (before Medicare fees come out) garnished. I’m on my 9th or so student loan services… which I view as a way to prevent st loans from being paid off.
During this time my youngest brother died. My siblings and I paid for his funeral. A week before he died he once again asked me to fight for his 16 month old. After having told him no in the months preceding his death (because of Charlie’s illness) I said I would do what I could. So that required an attorney. I hired the attorney and on day we were meeting with her my daughter called to say “mom, if it is okay… I will take custody of her.” This was my case because of my promise! Permanent custody was granted with the baby being adopted. But that baby is safe
Somebody needs to see how badly these student loans are hurting some people! If I had my way….I would still be doing a job consisting of helping hurting children.
I never dreamed my husband would become disabled due to Parkinson’s disease. It does not run in the family. Never knew it would be so debilitating. He was a very elite and determined runner who watched everything he put in his mouth!

I would happily send pictures of where the baby was rescued from. Also a behind shot of my husband so you can see how disabled he is and a picture of myself. Can you guys blot out faces of husband and the baby. She is 4 now. I would not do anything even though because of student loans it may cost my family everything!

I am 62, a teacher, and had borrowed about $58K and my loans are now $149K. My loan also does not qualify for the current covid pause so I am still paying every month. I can afford them now but am not sure how I am going to be able to afford them when I retire.

I am about to turn 63. My loans started out at around $42,000, but now they are at around $63,000. Even when I am six feet under, I will still owe on these. If we are ever expected to be fully participating citizens in our economy (actually being able to buy a house, etc.) we need full loan forgiveness.

I am 69 years old. I matriculated when I was in my 30s. My undergraduate degree tuition was fully funded at Empire State College (SUNY)by Pell and Tap Grants. Because ESC was, at the time based on the Oxford Open University model, the only fees were the tuition fees. It was self study and experiential learning with a mentor. But then I went to graduate school (RPI) and besides the culture shock and Teaching Assistance I had to get loans. The weren’t “humongous” - $35,000 (in '90s dollars). Afterwards I managed to pay off $5,000 worth. But then things in my life took a turn for the worse and all my subsequent positions did not pay enough and I started applying and receiving deferments. The interest soared and was added to the principal. The amount I owe now is ridiculous. I finally heard about IBR and when I did I applied and was accepted. My field was astrophysics and I have “only” a Masters, not a PhD, and I can only shudder at how much I would owe if I had continued.

My only regular income is my very small social security check. I spent over a decade as primary family caregiver for my mother (of blessed memory) who had Alzheimer’s Disease. My only source of income then was as a poorly paid Adjunct with no benefits. I don’t regret it but I am beyond angry that our society cares nothing for its members such that big borrowers get their loans forgiven whether or not they default while we borrowers, who are mostly working in support of others and society, are forced ever further into poverty.

I am sure they are doing this on purpose so as to maintain their status as the overlords and ours as the serfs.