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Student loan debts hit senior citizens hard

Student loans have left many Texans struggling to make ends meet. With college costing tens of thousands of dollars, many consider whether it's even worth it. But those who do choose to take on debt to obtain an education can wind up paying on those loans for a significant period of time, even if they are able to obtain good jobs upon graduation.

Sadly, reports indicate that seniors aged 60 and older posses $86 billion in student loan debt. The average borrower in this age group has more than $33,000 in student loan debt. Some of this is for their own education taken out decades ago, while others cosigned on loans for their children. This debt burden affects nearly three million seniors, who can even see their Social Security benefits reduced to cover their student loan obligations. This figure is four times higher than it was just a decade ago, and it wouldn't be surprising if that continues to balloon. This is especially true considering that there is no time limit on the government's efforts to collect this debt.

Student debt is notoriously difficult to discharge through bankruptcy, but it's not impossible if an individual can show that the debt caused undue hardship. In most cases, though, it is a better strategy for those who are struggling with student loan debt to pursue personal bankruptcy to shed other debt, thereby freeing up resources to meet student loan debt needs. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes the quickest, most efficient way to get rid of these other debts, but not everyone qualifies for it.

This is why it is best to discuss these matters with an attorney who is experienced with bankruptcy. This attorney can customize a debt relief strategy that meets an individual's unique needs, thereby helping him or her obtain a fresh financial start.

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