Female faces of student loan debt

Women earn just under 80 cents on the dollar compared with men, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and they’re paying more out of their pockets to service debt. One year after graduation, 47% of women working full time were using more than 8% of their earnings to repay their student loans, compared with 39% of men, according to a 2012 report by the American Association of University Women.

Arena attended community college for two years before paying out-of-state tuition at the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduation, she deferred her loans while working in the service industry, saved enough to move out on her own and began paying more attention to her finances. “I’m not the best saver in the world, but … I hate the feeling of owing money, so I just want to get things paid off,” she says.

Lourdes A.

Import manager in New York
College: Bachelor’s degree in French language and literature at the University of Maryland, College Park
Total borrowed in student loans: She estimates $80,000
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey



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