Money Matters: Student loans over 60
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Thirty-six billion dollars of outstanding student loans are owed by people 60 and over. While a small portion of these people have loans left over from their own education, Attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza says that the majority are footing the bill on behalf of a younger generation, primarily due to co-signing.
“People don't realize that when you co-sign for any loan, whether it's an auto loan or a student loan, it's not just sort of in the background unless and until the primary borrower defaults. That is immediately on the co-signer's credit," Carrozza said.
The figure, however, does not include those who took out parent loans or other private loans to fund their children’s education. Parent Miriam Babel, for example, still owes $19,000 after helping her son through college, and as a result, the semi-retired school teacher must continue to work as a substitute and tutor. Babel says that in order to help their children fulfill their dreams, parents often must compromise their own.
“It's going to require you to, you know, work hard even in the moments when you think you should be relaxing and being retired. It may not happen for you for a long while,” she said.
Additionally, Carrozza warns not to borrow against your 401K to put kids through college. She advises to put saving for retirement first, and you'll be teaching your children a lesson equally important to any they'll learn at a university.
“I think that really sends a message to our children about what we're supposed to do financially. The children are going to have plenty of time to pay back their obligations. The parents who are 60 and over, don't have the luxury of that much time to reinvest in the retirement,” Carrozza said.
Learn more in the video above.