Earning the right to vote… 144 years.

First female to be elected as a presidential candidate for a major political party… 240 years.

Equal treatment to pay back student loans… nope, we’re not there yet.

According to The American Association of University Women, females account for two-thirds of the student loan debt in America. That number makes up over $830+ billion dollars in unpaid dues. So why is this number so high? Well, there’s good news and bad news that appear to help contribute to the added cost here. One interesting statistic shows that women are actually more likely than men to attend college now (I mean… woohoo for high education at least)! On the flip side to this advancement, studies also show that women are more likely to take out more student loans than men; partially because of the level of education and universities they choose, but also partially due to our final and most drastic cause of the student loan payback pain, the gender wage gap. Wait… so this is still a thing? Yes, on average women make about $1,500 less per year than men do; and when you’re working your way through college (as most of us do) that typically means women need to take out more loans just to make ends meet each month.  The average cost of living for women is also typically higher than men. Personal care products, basic clothing needs, hair cuts and even cars all end up costing women much more than men in the long run. But the struggle bus doesn’t stop there, the pay gap grows even larger after graduation. In 2017, women earned 20% less than their male counterparts holding the same bachelor’s degree as they did. Wait… what?! We know.

Equal pay for equal work is a battle that continues to be fought; but until the war is won, here are 3 things you can do now to not became a part of the statistics.

1.) Do Your Research!

Before you apply for any job, find out what the low, average and high rate of pay is based on your level of experience and state you live in. This is literally a quick web search using sites like Glassdoor or even LinkedIn.

2.) Negotiate Your Pay.

Many times, women take a backseat when it comes to asking employers for a higher rate of pay because we don’t want to seem like a, dare I say it… “a B-word”. Here’s a tip: don’t take the first offer! Men typical don’t, so why should you? Know the going rate, know your worth – and ask for it!

3.) Simplify Your Student Loan Debt.

If you’re still having trouble making ends meet each month, find out if you qualify better (and potentially LOWER) repayment plan to fit your current budget. There are tons of options and government programs available to help graduates just like you possibly lower, reduce or even forgive some of your debt if you qualify. Check them out and see which program is right for you and your pocketbook

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-hold-nearly-two-thirds-of-americas-student-loan-debt_us_59259721e4b0650cc020cc61?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/07/gender-pay-gap-is-still-20-percent-but-millennial-women-are-closing-in.html

Disclaimer: Docupop is a private company, not affiliated with the Department of Education. The DOE offers several programs that may offer lower monthly loan payments for borrowers who meet the qualifications based on income and family size. Lower monthly payments may lead to longer student loan maturity periods, increasing the total amount of interest over the life of the loan. The DOE also offers programs that may forgive some or all of the borrower’s loan balance. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) is based on the number of qualified payments made under the program while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Other programs require a specific number of qualifying payments and then forgive the remaining balance once those payments are completed, without any public service obligation. Depending on the type of forgiveness, any amounts forgiven may be treated as taxable income for income tax purposes, please consult your tax professional. More information can be found on the DOE website: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation

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