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Couple can't retire because of $116,000 in children's student loans

Published: Tuesday, May 29 2012 12:58 p.m. MDT

Recent college grads aren’t the only ones suffering from student loan debt.

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Recent college grads aren’t the only ones suffering from student-loan debt.

Terry and Edward Fackler of Everett, Wash., are down to $20,000 in savings from $80,000 and are responsible for $116,000 in student-loan debt from two of their three children, according to ABC News.

“Well, I’m still working,” church minister Edward Fackler, 73, told ABC News.

The Facklers aren’t the only ones bound by student loans.

An estimated $36 billion in student-loan debt burdens a large number of retirement-age Americans, according to ABC News.

“The whole concept that student-loan debt is a 20- or 30-something problem is just misplaced,” William Brewer, president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, told ABC News.

The problem was the co-signing.

The Facklers co-signed on their children’s loans, and now their kids can’t make the payments. The loans then fall to the couple for repayment.

Their son, Mark Fackler, has two master’s degrees and a bachelor’s and is still unable to pay the $600 interest-only monthly payment.

“I am 40,” he told ABC News. “They are 73-plus and my mom is a little younger. I don’t want to be a burden on them. I think about it all the time.”

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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