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It's probably no surprise that the oldest cohort of student loan borrowers — those ages 62 and older — are also the smallest group.
Still, the roughly 2.3 million borrowers in this age group carry a substantial amount of student loan debt.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education's Q4 2020 data, borrowers in this age group have an average balance of $37,739.13. This is higher than what 25- to 34-year-olds fresh out of college carry ($33,817.56).
Unlike recent grads, however, those in their 60s have had years of interest accruing, which will continue to drive up their student loan balance making it difficult to ever pay it off.
Getting rid of student debt for good is a crucial goal no matter how old you are. But in your 60s, eliminating this chunk of debt is even more important with retirement looming just around the corner. By eliminating those monthly student loan payments, the money can go toward funding your living expenses in your nonworking years. That's where refinancing can help, especially if you've built up a good credit score.
The better your credit score, the more likely the lender will offer you lower interest rates on a refinanced student loan. Plus, refinancing allows borrowers to pick a new loan term. A shorter repayment term may mean your monthly payments are higher, but you'll be on the fast track to paying off your debt before retirement comes.
A private lender like SoFi Student Loan Refinancing not only offers low refinancing rates, but has no application or origination fees. You can also choose between variable and fixed rates. With a fixed interest rate, you'll be locked into the same interest rate for the life of the refinanced loan. Now is an opportune time to refinance with rates at record lows.
Read our full review on SoFi Student Loan Refinancing.
And if you're stuck paying off the loans you took out to finance your child's higher education, consider refinancing with a private lender like Education Loan Finance (ELFI). With ELFI, you can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name or you can have your child take over the loan repayment by refinancing it in their name. To help streamline all student loan payments, ELFI customers can also combine both private and parent PLUS loans into one refinanced loan.
ELFI's website claims that customers report saving an average of $278 every month and should see an average of $20,774 in total savings.
Read our full review on Education Loan Finance (ELFI).
Before you refinance: With the current federal student loan payment and interest freeze now extended until Jan. 31, 2022, we do not recommend that you consider refinancing any federal or parent PLUS loans until this forbearance period ends. Refinancing federal loans removes all unique governmental protections like deferment and forbearance, income-driven repayment plans, forgiveness programs and widespread student loan cancellation.