student loan debt

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For college students like my son who rely on federal student loans to help finance their higher education, and for older workers who've returned to school in an effort to boost their job opportunities, these are anxious times.
Spiraling college tuition, and the student loan debt that typically accompanies it, are busting the retirement plans of millions of near-retirees. People 60-plus now hold the dubious distinction of being in the fastest-growing age group for college debt, according to The New York Times.
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For those of you with children or grandchildren about to start college, there may be some good news to report. Congress seems ready to agree to a deal that would prevent interest rates on federal subsidized student loans from doubling to 6.8 percent. Democrats and Republicans both say they want the deal, but they're still arguing over how to finance it.
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Growing up 40 years ago, one of my favorite pastimes was playing The Game of Life, the classic Milton Bradley board game that takes players through their simulated lives - from college to retirement - with make believe jobs, families, and other life-changers all along the way.  It was always a lot fun to play, and it gave me a chance to fantasize a little about what my own real-life future might be like.
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This is a guest post by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, host of the AARP Pay Down Your Debt Challenge, which is taking place on AARP.org through Jan. 29. Learn how to get started paying down your debt, join the Pay Down Your Debt group, and you could have a chance to win a prize.
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