I typically think of college loans as being an issue for young people. It may some as a surprise that Uncle Sam is garnishing Social Security checks of seniors to get college loans repaid. A Washington Post article cites a Federal Reserve report that shows..
Americans 60 and older still owe about $36 billion in student loans.
That is a staggering number. The reason for this is the fact that the price of a college education is out of control. Not only have the young had to mortgage their future, their parents and guardians are mortgaging their retirement. My youngest, a junior in high school, is looking at colleges now. On her list are schools in excess of $50,000 per year. I have told my kids that my greatest college accomplishment was getting out debt free. I attend a community college, graduated and then went on to a four-year institution. My parents were savers and I worked through all four-years of my higher education. These were the factors that made me debt free at the age of 21.
College education costs have skyrocketed over the last few decades. Middle-class families have been increasingly forced to finance an increasing amount of their child’s education. When the loans came due after graduation payment become tough, if not impossible, as jobs either did not pay enough to live independently and pay the bill, or there were no jobs at all. Either way the government came looking for the co-signers. However, these people were not immune from economic difficulties such as the recession. They rolled the dice that a bachelor degree would pay-off…snake eyes was the result.
I am told that high school guidance counselors recommend that students not look at cost when applying for college, ‘apply and see what package they give you’ is the advice. It is past time that they be taught the dangers of excessive debt on their post college life. These kids are making their first adult decision, it must be made like an adult, not with fantasy land thinking.