New research shows seniors are still paying off student loans as well

Andrew Krammer

People in the demographic of 60 and over still owe $36 billion in student loans, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

While many older Americans are struggling with their initial student loans, some are fighting to pay off loans they incurred while returning to school later in life in hopes of being more competitive in the work force.

Over the past decade, the cost to attend college rose between two and six percent per year, depending on the institution, according to the Washington Post.  

However, the New York Fed estimates that during the third quarter last year: Americans owed $870 billion in student loans. While borrowers age 60 and above only accounted for five percent of that, the Post reported.

Many of these older Americans have also taken on the debt for their children, or grandchildren.

Maxine Bass, 60, of Minneapolis, told the Post that when her granddaughter was accepted into St. Catherine University, she gladly cosigned for a $38,000 loan, because her mother could barely provider her lunch money, let alone tuition.

Bass told the Post that she and her granddaughter now owe about $69,000 because of late fees and missed payments.