When most of us think about student loan debt, we picture a young person just getting started in the world, who is struggling to overcome staggering levels of student debt. In reality, however, there are many older people who remain saddled with high levels of debt related to their education. People who are at or near retirement age have a different set of needs than their younger counterparts. For those in Ohio facing these issues, eliminating your debts should be a top priority.

It is estimated that $18.2 billion of student loan debt is held by individuals over the age of 65. Many of these individuals are in financial turmoil not due to fiscal irresponsibility, but because they fell ill or sustained a significant injury. As payments go unpaid, interest rises, making it increasingly difficult to regain stability. Student loans are forgiven upon death, but that is of little consolation to anyone living.

Various plans for loan forgiveness programs have been put forth, but there is no certainty that any significant student loan reform is on the horizon. For older Americans, this means that the need to seek debt relief is a serious one. Personal bankruptcy will not often lead to the discharge of student loan debt, but it can provide for a high degree of budgetary breathing room.

By seeking personal bankruptcy, you can make great strides toward eliminating your debts. Once consumer debt has been eliminated through bankruptcy, it becomes possible to address other obligations, such as student loans. In this way, older people in Ohio and elsewhere can regain solid financial footing and set their sights on the future.

Source: salina.com, “Student loans shouldn’t cripple the elderly“, Sept. 21, 2015