Countless individuals in Wisconsin struggle to make their student loan payments each month. While we often hear about student loan debt primarily affecting young people, in reality it’s a problem facing a much larger demographic.

Part of the reason for this is that rising cost of post-secondary education in American has resulted in many parents and grandparents taking out loans to help pay for their children and grandchildren’s tuition. Additionally, during the economic recession, many non-traditional college students sought higher degrees as a way to better market themselves.

As a result, data from the New York Federal Reserve shows that Americans in their fifties owed $112 billion in student loans at the end of 2012. Just seven years earlier, Americans in the same demographic owed a fraction of this amount.

Additionally, Americans in their sixties owed $43 billion in student loans at the end of 2012, which was an increase from just $8 billion seven years earlier.

While most of these individuals took out student loans with every intention of paying it back, that simply hasn’t been possible for many. In some cases, the growing student loan debt has pushed back retirement plans and is causing credit reports to take a hit.

While bankruptcy usually cannot provide relief from student loan debt, barring certain exceptions, it may still be a plausible for solution, especially for individuals who also are in over their heads with medical bills, credit cards and other forms of unsecured debt.

An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help determine if bankruptcy is a good option or identify other debt relief alternatives that may be possible for people nearing retirement age who are overburdened by student loan debt.

For more information on dealing with student loan debt later in life, visit our page: Student loans: not just a problem for the young.