More Americans approach retirement with student loans unpaid
Americans age 60 and older owe about $36 billion for student loans, and more than 10% of the debt is delinquent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Debt collectors routinely pursue borrowers older than 80 for loans that are decades old, and Social Security benefits have been garnished to collect the debt, consumer advocates say. The Washington Post
The danger with these loans is that people default, and the lender continues to capitalize the interest. The article gives at least two examples where people stopped paying and their loan balances "ballooned" as a result. I suspect that part of the problem may be that these people don't know how to prioritize their payments. If you cannot pay your bills, the first thing you should do is call your lenders and see if they will work with you. If you must stop paying a bill, stop paying for items with the lowest priority, such as credit card bills, which can be discharged in bankruptcy.