Average student debt of borrowers aged 35 to 49


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People between the ages of 35 and 49 have the most student loan debt.

Borrowers in this age group have an average balance of $ 42,373.23, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education’s fourth quarter 2020 data.

Close behind are those aged 50 to 61 who have an average student debt of $ 42,290.32 per borrower.

For many, these numbers may not come as a surprise. Parents often rack up additional student loan debt to fund their children’s college education, in addition to continuing to pay off their own student loans.

Below, Select describes what adults between the ages of 35 and 49 can consider repaying their own student loans or those of their children. Plus, how to save for your child’s college education early on.

Here’s what 35-49 year olds who are making student loan payments for themselves or their children should consider

You are not alone if you were still paying off your college student loans years ago. In fact, many Americans pay off their student loans until middle age. A 2019 New York Life study found that the average age at which people permanently repay their student loans is 45.

Whether this is your case, or if you are managing the parent PLUS loans you have taken out for your child, refinancing these loans through a private lender can help speed up your debt repayment and make it less. Dear.

Those who qualify can refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate and have the flexibility to choose their own repayment term. A shorter refinanced loan term means you can have a higher monthly payment, but you will reduce years of payments (and interest), while a longer refinanced loan term helps your current cash flow as the monthly payments. are smaller.

For borrowers with PLUS parent loans, consider a private lender like Education Loan Finance (ELFI). With ELFI, you can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name or you can choose to have your child take charge of the loan repayment by refinancing it in their name. To help streamline all student loan payments, ELFI customers can also combine private and parent PLUS loans into one refinanced loan.

Borrowers are assigned a personal loan advisor to guide them through the refinancing process and ELFI comes with its own payment protections like deferral, financial hardship or medical hardship forbearance. ELFI’s website says customers report saving an average of $ 272 per month and are expected to see an average of $ 13,940 in total savings.

Student Loan Financing Student Loan Refinancing

Information on Education Loan Finance has been independently collected by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by Education Loan Finance prior to posting.

  • Cost

    No origination fees to refinance

  • Eligible loans

    Federal, Private, Graduate and Undergraduate Loans, Parent PLUS Loans

  • Types of loans

  • Variable rates (APR)

    From 2.39% (prices include an autopay discount)

  • Fixed rates (APR)

    From 2.79% (prices include an autopay discount)

  • Loan conditions

    From 5 to 20 years for student loan refinancing; 5, 7 or 10 years for the refinancing of the parent loan

  • Loan amounts

  • Minimum credit score

  • Minimum income

  • Authorize a co-signer

How to save for your child’s college education early on

A 529-year-old education savings account is a great way to avoid having to take on student debt for your child years later when they finish school.

By opening and depositing money into a state-sponsored 529 savings account, you get a head start on your child’s future education, as well as tax benefits. Your income in a 529 account grows tax-free, and withdrawals for qualifying education expenses, such as tuition and books, are tax-free.

While some states offer better incentives to their residents, you can buy a 529 from any state, no matter where you reside. We’ve reviewed and analyzed over a dozen 529 plans, considering features like fees, expenses, and investment choices to help parents find the 529 best education savings plans for them.

Learn more about our methodology for selecting the 529 best education savings accounts below.

Our methodology

To determine which 529 plans offered the best underlying investments, low fees, and a variety of investment choices, Select analyzed dozens of offers and narrowed it down to a list of 10 finalists. We have reviewed plans with offerings from reputable companies and investment managers and a variety of options to help the investor achieve their goals. We did not evaluate 529 plans based on benefits (such as lower fees) for state residents or prepaid plans for colleges.

We focused on the following features when comparing the 529 best plans:

  • Management fees: The plans on our list offer some of the lowest management fees, important since these fees can affect your annual balance. Even a small fraction of a percent of the fees can represent thousands of dollars in savings for the investor.
  • Return on investment: Past results do not guarantee the future performance of an investment. However, observing historical trends in returns may indicate that the plan manager is doing a good job. We looked at the performance over a five-year period.
  • Fund expenses: In addition to the management fees, we have chosen plans that offer the lowest management fees for their underlying funds. We looked at 529 plans offering more passive types of securities like index funds, with the expense ratio being a major deciding factor. These costs also affect the amount investors will be able to save.
  • Investment options: Having more choices means parents and guardians can decide how much they want to be involved in selecting their portfolio. We reviewed 529 plans that offer more options without intervention such as age-based portfolios as well as individual funds.

Each state’s 529 plan may have different minimum contribution amounts. Some may not have a minimum contribution amount, but do for automatic contributions, such as payroll deductions. Each state also imposes its own cumulative contribution limit.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.


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