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Compared to millennials, they're not doing that bad, but the total is still $36 billion.
10% of those loans are delinquent, while another 11.2% are in default.
Three factors account for the loans: Attending college after high school, going back as an adult or co-signing for a child's loans (a terrible idea).
Boomers pummeled by the burden can't file for bankruptcy, but Your Money contributor Meg Handley offers some tips to deal in the meantime:
1. Stay Organized
If you have a mess of private and federal student loans, it can be difficult to keep things straight. The government’s National Student Loan Data System tracks all your federal student loans, making it just a bit easier to stay on top of what you owe and who you owe money to.
2. See if You Qualify for Debt Forgiveness
Who said there's no such thing as a free lunch? Depending on your professional field, you could qualify to have part or all of your federal student loans erased. If you volunteer, you might also qualify for loan forgiveness. Check FinAid’s student loan forgiveness section for details.
3. Consolidate Monthly Payments
If you’re struggling to make your monthly loan payments, consolidating the loans might make things easier—that is, if you don't choose a predatory service. With more options for repayment and one lowered monthly bill, you may rest easier at night.
4. Pay Off Private Student Loans First
Private student loans almost always have higher interest rates and less repayment flexibility, so it’s best to address them first, says Miranda Marquit, personal finance writer for Yielding Wealth. “We really don’t want the interest capitalized (meaning the interest accrued is added to the principal and then more interest is paid on the interest),” she writes.
5. Have a Talk With Your Lender
If you’re having trouble keeping your head above water, just calling your lender could cut hundreds of dollars from your monthly tab. Keep in mind when switching payment plans the length of the plan could mean more interest over time.
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