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Student Debt Collections Are Leaving the Elderly in Poverty

Elderly Americans have more student loan debt than ever and are more likely to become chronically unable to make payments than younger borrowers. Those findings from a new report by the Government Accountability Office took center stage at Wednesday’s Senate hearing on how seniors deal with unprecedented education debt.

Federal student debt among Americans 65 and older increased sixfold since 2005, reaching $18.2 billion in 2013, according to the report. Over 80 percent of elderly borrowers were still struggling to pay off loans they took out to pay for their education, which suggests that the debt ballooned, in part, due to interest.