Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans
financial status and behavior, general population, gender, economic barriers, financial education, gender wealth gap, loan repayment
Right now about 44 million borrowers in the United States hold about $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans. The scale of outstanding student loans and an increasing share of borrowers who fail to repay have made many Americans aware that student debt is a challenge for society and for individual borrowers. Yet despite the fact that women represented 56 percent of those enrolled in American colleges and universities in fall 2016, many people do not think of student debt as a women’s issue. This report reveals that women also take on larger student loans than do men. And because of the gender pay gap, they have less disposable income with which to repay their loans after graduation, requiring more time to pay back their student debt than do men. As a result, women hold nearly two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the United States — more than $800 billion.