Student Loans: Women, What Do You Do When One of the Happiest Days of Your Life Becomes the Most Expensive?
Women & Debt, Installment I of V
Graduation should be one of the happiest days of anyone’s life. Unfortunately, a couple months after graduation, student loan servicers start asking for their payments. Not everyone has a job as soon as they graduate college or even an unpaid internship that might lead to a paid position. Not only do these harsh realities impact college graduates, it does not do so based on gender equitably. The gender wage gap not only effects salary, it also plays a major role in disparities amongst debt across genders.
Out of the 1.5 trillion student loan debt Americans have accumulated “nearly $929 billion, is held by women.” In comparison to men, women are paid less on the dollar, given higher interest rates on student loans, and generally have a higher cost of living than men. Women make up over half of undergraduate students in the United States yet carry 2/3 of the debt. The gap is unfortunately worsened when you look at different minority groups. Inequality and inequity are too expensive a burden for women to bare.
All hope is not lost, there are options available to help even with the greatest of financial burdens. For instance, meet 25-year-old Emily from NYC making an annual $50,000. “She’s managed to pay [her] rent, maintain a social life, and in the past 3 years] get [her] student loans down from $32,000 to $11,000 since graduating in 2014.” Emily found a financial advisor to help her see where her money was going and to create a budget to allow her to save whilst living comfortably on her salary in one of the most expensive cities in the US.
A financial advisor can help you budget, decide if you should consolidate your loan, refinance your loan, ask for a better repayment option, save, and even invest your money. This helps prepare you to ensure you are fiscally responsible and financially ready for any expensive life event or emergency life hurls your way. Part II of this series discusses student loan reconsolidation fraud and how to avoid further catastrophe.
By: Imani Hicks