U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Seniors, beware of taking on student-loan debt

What is the fastest-growing segment of student loan borrowers?

It's not millennials, and not Gen-Xers. Not even 40-somethings returning to school to learn new skills.

It's parents and grandparents.

The number of seniors, generally age 60 and older, with student loan debt has quadrupled over the last decade to 6.4 percent, and the average amount they owned has also increased to $23,500 from $12,100 a decade ago, according to a new report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The government watchdog agency reviewed data from 2005 to 2015.

Altogether, people 60 and older owe an estimated $66.7 billion in student loans, the report noted. And this is in...