Women Carry Two Thirds of Student Debt – How Refinancing Can Help

Published on Author Bethany Sims

The burden of student loans isn’t limited to one demographic, but like most issues, some are affected more than others. The national debt has just passed $1.4 trillion and nearly two thirds of that burden is shouldered by women, according to a recent study by the American Association of University Women. Since women have higher college enrollment, now earning 57% of bachelor’s degrees, and graduate at higher rates it may seem logical for them to have a higher portion of debt. But it becomes an issue when women are also paid 26% less than their male peers and default at higher rates.

Having student debt that is disproportionate to income would be a problem for anyone. That’s where refinancing can help. Refinancing allows for a lower interest rate and a better monthly payment based on terms designed to get you out of debt faster without making your monthly payment unreasonable. Your new interest rate is determined by your financial situation now – not when you were 18.

We also have some unique options for refinancing that others can’t offer. Our Couple Loan, in partnership with PenFed Credit Union, allows for refinancing with your spouse. With the Couple Loan, spouses can refinance their loans together and the application is treated as one “person”. We have traditional cosigned loans as well, but if you haven’t been able to qualify because of income and still have a good credit score, a Couple Loan could be a great fit. See how much you can save with the Couple Loan by using our rate calculator and selecting “spouse” as your cosigner.

The burden of student loans has touched the lives of every race and gender but in a recent article by The Guardian, the student loan issue is shown to particularly impact women.

Read the highlights from The Guardian below or read the full article.

  • Women carry roughly two thirds of the country’s $1.3tn student debt load – altogether that’s about $833bn for women, compared to $477bn for men.
  • On paper, the gap may seem fairly small; the average cumulative debt owed by women with bachelor’s degrees was about $20,900 in 2012 versus nearly $19,500 for men.
  • Women face an estimated 14% higher debt burden in a given year than comparably educated men. So within about four years of graduating, women generally lag farther behind men on their college debt repayments.
  • Women’s debt inequity is compounded by the gender pay gap; college-educated women working full-time earn 26% less than their male peers – and the gap widens over time.
  • Women also face higher risk of defaulting on student loans, which could tip young families from a short-term setback into lifetime of crisis.
  • On top of lower earnings, women also accumulate less wealth than men in financial assets, including home equity. The wealth gap is even more glaring for black and Latina women, many of whom actually end up with negative net worth later in life.
Share: Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn