Millions of Americans are struggling with massive student loan bills averaging tens of thousands of dollars, and this student loan debt can be burdensome regardless of their age or sex. However, it seems that women are far more worried about these balances than men despite the fact that their situations are more or less comparable.
About 20 percent of both men and women have student loan debt in general, but of those who do, more than three in five of the women say these are a point of concern, compared with just 54 percent of men who responded similarly, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Many who expressed these concerns said that they might not be able to pay off their student loan balances in full at any point.
“This result is consistent with research that finds that women are less confident than men in their current economic standing and less confident that they will reach their financial goals,” the researchers wrote. “Also, because women are more likely than men to pay family bills, women may be more aware of the monthly student loan payments and their impact on family finances.”
Other demographics that were significantly more worried about their ability to repay their student loans either in part or in full were, perhaps not surprisingly, those with lower incomes, single people, those with children, and those without full-time jobs, the report said. For instance, 72 percent of people making less than $25,000 per year said that they were worried about their ability to cover student loan repayment costs, and this was also true of 66 percent of those making between $25,000 and $50,000 annually. Likewise, more than seven in 10 part-time workers and 64 percent of self-employed people shared similar concerns.
More than three in five people who had never been married, and 64 percent of divorcees, said they were anxious about their ability to repay, and 61 percent of people with one or more kids were in the same boat, the report said. However, more than half of people who were married or had children responded similarly, so they were not that much better off.
Many college students also leave school with more than just their education loan debt to worry about. Most also have credit card bills and auto loans to worry about, which may make financial independence far more difficult to achieve soon after leaving school.