March 30, 2022
How the Student Debt Crisis Hurts Women
By Lisa Herforth-Hebbert
With the payment moratorium for student loans expiring on May 1, millions of women will face the possibility of financial ruin.
Today, women hold over two-thirds of America’s trillion-dollar student debt. Each holds, on average, $31,000 in student debt before their career even begins, and because of the persistent gender wage pay gap, it takes years longer for women to pay their debt back. All of these obstacles are growing at a time when women, for the first time, seek higher-level degrees more often than men. Despite hard-work and aspirations, it is fundamentally harder for women borrowers to afford their monthly payments and rise above this debt, no matter how educated or experienced they are.
Thanks to a moratorium on payments implemented during the Covid pandemic, most student loan borrowers haven’t had to make a payment for over two years. But pandemic relief is only a temporary fix. On May 1, payments are set to restart for millions of people. Many are experiencing anxiety and fear, as they face the possibility of financial ruin, of drowning under their debt.