Study: Women Face Larger Student Loan Debt

By WSAU News 

UNDATED (WSAU) -- According to a new report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women hold nearly two-thirds of the student loan debt in the United States.

State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) says she was very surprised when she saw this report.

She said, "Studies show that women tend to take out more student loan debt in general than men and they have a much more difficult time paying it back over time because of the gender pay gap as well. So, it really is a double whammy from women getting paid less to women having more debt. Really what it does is it puts them behind economically."

Rep. Shankland did admit that this could be because of the amount of women that are going to college now but says this is still a growing issue.

"Actually, for the first time in this decade, I believe women did surpass men going to college. So that is true," said Rep. Shankland. "I think in the report, the number is just over 50%. But, if you look at the amount that women have per person verses men, the study does show that women do generally take more student loan debt out and take longer to pay it off over time."

Rep. Shankland says democrats did introduce a budget motion that would allow people to refinance their student loans at last week's Joint Finance Committee meeting but the motion was not approved.