Parent Loans ‘Fraught With Peril’ As Default Rates Hit 20, 30 Percent at Many Colleges


The debate over how to resolve the nation’s student debt crisis is heating up again, as pressure builds on President Joe Biden to extend the pandemic pause on repayments due to expire in September and progressives renew calls to forgive some of the $1.6 trillion that Americans owe. Advocates speak eloquently about the strain college debt puts on young people starting out in life: They can’t pay their bills, get married, buy a home, start a family or, often, move out of their parents’ basements. Typically left out of the discussion: those parents, many of whom are weighed down by college loans of their own—struggling to pay their bills or save for the future, forced to postpone retirement or wonder if they’ll ever be able to retire at all.

One out of every four federal dollars lent for undergraduate education last year went to parents and a stunning 22 percent of that $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt, $336 billion more...