Your Parents Took Out Loans for Your Education and Now They're Broke

Look at this guy, Opanin Gyaami, right here: he's a dentist, he's 71 years old, and he's still repaying his student loans, from the 1980s! When you see a wacky case like this, it's natural to ask yourself, "Ignoring the fact that Mr. Gyaami is a bad example because his debt is largely due to the fact that he ignored repayment notices for an extended period of time, can we use this wacky story as a 'news hook' to humanize a larger, newsworthy trend?" The answer is: "Yes we can." The trend is that your parents are probably broke, thanks to you.

The government has released some new, heartstring-tugging info on the old parents who believed in you enough to take out huge loans to finance your college education, only to find out that you did not grow up to be rich and famous, probably because of poor parenting. Roll that nut graf, New York Times:

In the first three months of this year, the number of borrowers of student loans age 60 and older was 2.2 million, a figure that has tripled since 2005. That makes them the fastest-growing age group for college debt. All told, those borrowers owed $43 billion, up from $8 billion seven years ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

And hundreds of thousands of those old borrowers can't afford to pay those loans back. Imagine the guilt. Just imagine it. Your loving parent, laid financially low by their very belief in your future. And, perhaps, by our nation's spigot of all too easy student debt. (For two varieties of "examples to personalize this abstract story," see here and here.) When the student loan mafia comes for your mom, remember: this is, ultimately, your fault.

[Photo: AP]