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Women Carry Two-thirds of Student Debt – How Refinancing Can Help

Published on Author Purefy Staff

Refinance Student Debt

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 new update to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) report, Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans.

Because women have higher college enrollment than men, and currently earn 57% of bachelor's degrees, and graduate at higher rates, it may seem logical for them to have a higher portion of debt. But the gravity of the situation becomes clear when you consider that 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 potentially lower interest rate and better monthly payment, and PenFed's flexible terms are designed to help 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.

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 summary from the report below

  • Women carry roughly two thirds of the country's $1.3 trillion student debt load – altogether that's about $833 billion for women, compared to $477 billion 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.