The rising cost of higher education is dogging Americans into retirement, with people aged 65 and older still carrying some $18.2 billion in unpaid student loans, according to a federal report released on Wednesday... the value of the unpaid debt had spiked from $2.8 billion in 2005, before the financial crisis.


The $18.2 billion figure includes loans related to both the holders' education, often for those who have returned to school later in life, and their children's education, the report found.


Student loans are a particular concern because unlike credit card debt or mortgages, they are typically government-backed and cannot be written off in bankruptcy proceedings, leaving retirees facing the risk of having their Social Security payments garnished to cover student loans.

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