The student loan crisis is a women’s issue.

Women are being hit the hardest by America’s student loan crisis.

The Student Loan Gap

While 45 million Americans owe more than $1.56 trillion in student loans, women hold more than two-thirds of it, reports the American Association of University Women.

In total, women owe $929 billion compared to men’s total debt of $531 billion.

Not only are women borrowing more often and at greater amounts than men, but they’re also taking longer to pay back their loans due to the gender pay gap.

  • Women who pursue bachelor’s degrees owe nearly $3,000 more than their male counterparts. For Black women, that number goes up to $8,000.
  • In 2015-16, 41% of women took on student debt as compared to 35% of men, and their loan amounts were 14% higher.
  • Among college graduates, Black women graduated with $30,000 in education debt as compared to $22,000 for white women and $19,500 for white men.

The Pay Gap

On average, women with bachelor’s degrees who work full-time are paid 18% less than their male peers one year after graduating. After four years, that gap goes up to 20%.

When looking at all full-time working women with bachelor’s degrees, that gap is a whopping 26%.

The Education Gap

Student loan refinancing company Laurel Road also found that women are less educated about their options when it comes to paying back debt.

After surveying 1,000 college graduates, Laurel Road found that 37% of women didn’t understand the basics of student loans vs. 20% of men.

Bottom Line

Women take on more education debt but end up making lower wages than men, which in turn makes their student loans harder to pay back.

The burden is even greater for women of color, who owe more loans and experience an even greater pay gap.

Along with the pay gap, an apparent education gap around student loans further exacerbates these problems.

Our Mission at Student Loan Gal

Our mission at Student Loan Gal is to combat this knowledge gap and to help women manage their student loans in an informed and effective way.

Of course, we need greater structural changes to fix these problems, including lowering the cost of college and closing the gender pay gap.

But for now, we aim to help women student loan borrowers through education and resources that empower them to take control of their student debt.