People in their 40s have the highest student-loan delinquency rate of any age group, according to newly released data.
Nearly 12% of people age 40 to 49 have fallen behind on their student-loan payments by 90 days or more, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
While Americans of all ages are struggling with student debt, fortysomethings are the only age bracket burdened with a double-digit delinquency rate.
Their 11.9% level compares with 9.1% for people in their 30s, 9.4% for fiftysomethings and 9.5% for those older than 60, according to the Fed.
People below age 30 have the lowest delinquency rate -- 6.2% -- theoretically because they’re young enough to defer payment of at least some of their loans.
The New York Fed did not hypothesize about the reasons for the disparity among fortysomethings and everyone else. Perhaps it's because the heavy financial burdens of that age group, including savings for kids’ education and their own retirements, makes it all the more difficult to pay off student bills that could be lingering from years earlier.
But the disaparity is nothing new. The rate for the 40 to 49 set has exceeded other age brackets going back to at least 2005, according to the Fed data.
The only good news for fortysomethings? The delinquency rate is down from the 13.1% level at which it stood from mid-2010 to mid-2011.