Taking out a life insurance policy as a new college graduate may not be top of mind, but it's worth exploring if you have student loans. Some of that debt can live on, even if you die.
"That's not something that college-age students and their parents tend to think about," said Betsy Mayotte, director of consumer outreach and compliance for American Student Assistance, a nonprofit focused on higher education financing.
Four in 10 student borrowers now owe at least $20,000 at graduation, double the share from a decade ago, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Over the same period, the number of those owing at least $50,000 has more than tripled, from 5 percent to 16 percent of borrowers.
If a relative or friend has co-signed on a student loan for you, and you pass away, that co-signer may be responsible for continuing to make payments — or in some cases, even immediately owe the full outstanding balance, Mayotte said. (If you live in a community property state, your spouse may be liable for student loan debt you incurred during your marriage, even if he or she didn't co-sign.)