Women Carry 2/3 Of Student Debt Because Of Course We Do

Student debt, unlike avocados and lattes, prevents many millennials from taking career risks, buying houses, and gaining financial independence with the same ease as our predecessors.

It’s largely thought of as a problem that all college students today face, but a new study negates this assumption by finding that student debt overwhelmingly affects women. According to a new report from the American Association of University Women, nearly two-thirds of student debt is held by women.

This new finding is troubling, to say the least. Women earn 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees in the U.S., the report finds. However, as it turns out, women are also much more likely to take on debt for all degree levels, with student loan balances 14 percent higher than those for men. (It is especially high for black women.)

Also, as we know, it takes women longer to pay off their student loans due to, yes, the gender pay gap.

The report also notes that women with college degrees earn 26 percent less than their male counterparts, and that 24 percent of all women (47 percent of black women) who have difficulty paying back their loans were unable to pay essential expenses within the past year.

“Students are at risk of having their college dreams turn into financial nightmares,” AAUW board chair Patricia Fae Ho wrote in the report.

Yes, and women even more so — and with an already uphill battle against equal pay, it is more important than ever that lawmakers work toward policies that offer better loan repayment programs and loan forgiveness to college graduates.

Graduating college should be an achievement, not a lifelong stressor.

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