Student Loan Debt Graduation Cap and Money
Press Release
November 7, 2017
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
One Wisconsin Now

Americans Over Age 60 Fastest Growing Demographic for Student Loan Debt

Policymakers and Politicians Ignore the Graying of the Student Loan Debt Crisis at Their Peril

MADISON, Wis. — According to the latest research, student loan debt in Wisconsin isn’t just for the young. A study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finds that borrowers over age 60 is the age demographic in which debt is growing the fastest. In Wisconsin, as the aggregate amount of student debt tops $24 billion, the number of borrowers over age 60 rose by an astounding 48 percent and their debt increased by 45% percent between 2012 and 2017.

“It’s staggering that the age demographic with the fastest growing student debt is Americans over the age of 60,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “Student loan debt is a growing, multi-generational crisis that burdens not just recent graduates entering the workforce but threatens the secure and well deserved retirements for those who’ve worked their adult lives.”

According to the CFPB’s “Snapshot of older consumers and student loan debt”, the age demographic in which student loan debt is increasing fastest is Americans over the age of 60. Factors for the explosion of debt in this group, according to the report, include it taking longer for borrowers to repay their loans and more parents and grandparents borrowing to help finance higher educations for their children or grandchildren.

Additional CFPB research broke down the debt held by older borrowers in every state. It found that in Wisconsin there are nearly 60,000 people over age 60 with student debt in 2017, nearly double the roughly 39,000 in 2012.

The number of Wisconsin borrowers has grown, so has their median and their overall debt. The median balance for these borrowers exceeds $15,000 and the total balance exceeds $1.5 billion in 2017, increases of 25 and 45 percent respectively.

Amid the deepening crisis, Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led legislature have refused to take up a bill introduced in 2013, 2015 and again in 2017, to help Wisconsin borrowers refinance their student loans. Federal refinancing legislation offered by Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Pocan has also been killed by GOP majorities.

A recent poll of 1,116 registered Wisconsin voters conducted by Public Policy Polling on October 16 and 17 found an overwhelming 79 percent supported “a plan to allow student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage.” A mere 9 percent were opposed. Support was strong across all age demographics, including 87 percent of voters age 45-65 and 77 percent of voters age 65 plus.

Ross concluded, “Policymakers and politicians ignore the graying of the student loan debt crisis at the peril of our economy and their future electoral success.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

us capitol building
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Joins ‘If It’s True’ Crowd

Meanwhile in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker, joined those offering aid and comfort to Moore by falling back on the “if it’s true” refrain.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/13/2017
scott walker in a hole
Press Release

One Wisconsin Now Statements on Gov. Scott Walker Signing Foxconn Contract

Scott Walker literally signed away our future, agreeing to a contract to send billions of our tax dollars to boost the bottom line of a foreign corporation.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017
ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson’s Failure to Confront Sexual Abuse of Women & Children Continues

Ron Johnson Offers Only Qualified Condemnation of Sourced Reporting of Abuse of Teens, Minor Women by GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Moore
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017
wisconsin over money
Press Release

Rigged Bid Delivers Contract for Scott Walker’s Campaign Treasurer

A consulting firm owned by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign treasurer Kate Lind received a state contract for services, after being the only one to bid on it.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/09/2017
scot ross tv still
In the News

Bill would lower drinking age in Wisconsin to 19

Scot Ross, who leads the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, says the bill sends the wrong message about the state's drinking culture.
WKOW-TV
11/09/2017
university of wisconsin bascom hall
Press Release

UW Students Blast Regents Policy Threatening Free Speech on Campuses

UW students and free speech advocates are organizing to fight back against new restrictions on speech being imposed system wide by the Board of Regents
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/08/2017
signing contract
Press Release

Before Ink Dry on Contract, Scott Walker Running from Foxconn Deal

Scott Walker Can Run From Deal, But Voters Won’t Let Him Hide From His Giveaway to Foreign Corporation
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/08/2017
scot ross
In the News

Scot Ross: Celebrating 10 Years with One Wisconsin Now

Scot Ross: Celebrating 10 Years with One Wisconsin Now
Sly Podcasts
11/06/2017