An unexpected burden of student debt for both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers is driving them crazy. Nearly 75% of those recently surveyed did not expect to be repaying student loans at this stage in their lives. Among Baby Boomers, that segment jumped to 94%.
A new survey from IonTuition.com, an education-fintech company, found almost 60% are saying student loan debt is hindering their retirement savings.
The impact of student loan debt on millennials is widely discussed, but IonTuition was interested in exploring how student loan debt affects the financial wellness of older generations. In a survey of more than 900 student loan borrowers over the age of 35, IonTuition found that over 37% of respondents had fallen behind on their student loan payments and 17% had defaulted on their student loans.
Slightly more than half of respondents feel their student loan payments are too high. About 29% would prefer student loan repayment assistance from their employers over health care benefits. Interestingly, 60% reported being unable to prepare properly for retirement because of student loans, and more than a third would prefer student loan repayment assistance over 401(k) contributions.
Other Survey Findings:
• Taking on Financial Burdens for Others: Respondents taking out and/or cosigning student loans for others are also struggling. 40% regularly assist with payments on cosigned education loans. Nearly half of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who cosigned for loans are concerned that the borrower may not pay back their loans.
• A Multigenerational Impact: More than 75% of respondents felt employer-provided student loan benefits would be helpful, highlighting the multigenerational impact of what is often considered to be a millennial-only concern.
IonTuition provides employers and colleges with a web-based student loan management platform their employees and students can use to better understand, manage and optimize repayment of their student loans. IonTuition displays loans – both federal and private – in a single, user-friendly dashboard.
Employees from participating companies can also pay down their loan debt using iontuition.com which processes employer contributions to accelerate repayment. In addition to an ROI-based college selection tool and member discount program, users are connected to expert student loan counselors, financial literacy content and a monitoring service that keeps them aware of critical changes to their loans via email, text, and mobile app alerts.