Tips for Women Struggling with Student Loan Debt: How to Repay Your Loans

Student Debt and Women: What You Need to Know

Nearly two-thirds of the country’s outstanding student debt is held by women. Women graduate college owing $2,700 more, on average, than their male counterparts, according to the American Association of University Women. Among undergraduate students in bachelor’s degree programs in 2019-2020, 54% of men graduated with student loans, compared to 66% of women, according to higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.

One major reason women tend to borrow more, experts say, is the fact that they often face additional caretaking responsibilities that can leave them with higher expenses and less ability to work while they’re in school.

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After graduation, men also typically pay down their student debt faster, since they earn more. Men with a bachelor’s degree pull in a median weekly earnings of $1,632, compared with $1,248 for women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We find that women borrowers tend to have multiple financial pressures that contribute to their student loan struggles,” said Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors. “Over 63% of the borrowers that reach out to us for advice are women.”

Managing Student Debt as a Woman
Experts suggest making the most of federal relief for borrowers. While certain deferment options may not be available for recent borrowers, there are still ways to pause loan payments in times of financial hardship.

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Others recommend enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan or using a ‘hybrid approach’ where extra cash is divided between student debt and long-term investing for retirement.

Additionally, it’s important for women to prioritize their own retirement savings over college savings for their children, according to financial advisors.

In conclusion, managing student debt as a woman requires careful planning, utilizing available resources, and prioritizing financial goals. By following expert advice and taking steps to address student loan struggles, women can work towards a more secure financial future.

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