When you hear “student loan debt,” more than likely you don’t think about seniors. But in fact, seniors have student loan debt to the tune of $204 billion, according to CNBC. That’s nearly 17% of the national student loan debt! But just how did they get there?
The short answer is: just like everyone else. Some hold their debt because they co-signed for loved ones – grandchildren, and the like – or because they were continuing their own education. Others have the misconception that student loan debt is forgiven after retirement but in actuality, it is not.
Student Loan Debt and Your Retirement
When it comes to student loan debt and your retirement, you’ll want to pay attention. That’s because the government can tap into your retirement fund as well as your social security benefits to make up for money owed.
Many of those making student loan payments well into older age don’t know that they have options, but they do. Here are two of the easiest ways to keep student loan payments out of the way of your retirement – especially if you feel you may be close to defaulting:
Just because you have student loan debt doesn’t mean that you’re stuck. Refinancing your student loans allows you to lower your interest rate, and therefore, your monthly payment. It’s also a great way to pay off your student loans faster so you can get them out of the way, and enjoy your retirement debt free.
Consolidation is another great option if you are paying student loan payments to several lenders and would like to combine them into one. When you have multiple student loan payments, it can become overwhelming, but consolidation can help to simplify your payback strategy, and also help calm your nerves.
Whatever option you choose – whether it’s a refi or consolidation – you have to know where you stand credit-wise. Having a good credit score can make all of the difference in whether or not you can obtain a lower interest rate. If not, you can always take steps to improve your credit score, and then explore these options later. That way, you get the best rate possible, lower your student loan payments, and enjoy your retirement years.