Women Hold Most Of US Student Loan Debt, Here's How To Ease The Pain

American women are accountable for more than two-thirds of the nation's $1.3 trillion in student loans. Here are some ways to soften the blow.

The student loan debt crisis is a $1.3 trillion weight resting on young Americans' backs. But carrying over two-thirds of that burden are women, according to The Boston Globe. That's a hefty $833 billion.

But women account for only 57 percent of enrolled university and college studentso what gives with the disproportion?

It comes from various systemic issues that push women to attend more expensive private or for-profit colleges that require big loans. The burden is made even more taxing when they graduate and struggle to pay back those loans due to the pay gap that's about 10 percent-wide. Additionally, out of the 25 percent of college students who are parents, most of them are women.

This lingering debt goes on to affect their futures — childcare, buying a home, and other significant milestone purchases.

But there are ways to help soften the mighty blow of student loan debt. Check them out below.

1. Enter public service.

Those working full time in education jobs, nonprofit work, or public service positions, such as the military or government, can apply for a 10-year-old federal student loan debt forgiveness program called Public Service Loan Forgiveness. After 10 years, or 120 qualifying monthly payments, you can become eligible.

2. Become a teacher.

Female teacher with students

Since teachers are at the crux of our education system, there's a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program to help relieve some loans. Those who work in certain low-income schools for more than five years are eligible for this federal program.

3. Turn to state assistance.

Out of the 50 states, 46 have at least one kind of student loan forgiveness program. California has a program for health care professionals, while Texas has one for lawyers, teachers, nurses, and more.

4. Ask your employer.

Your job might actually be able to help with your student loan debt. Companies like Starbucks, Aetna, and Staples offer programs to help students with their loans.

5. Do some volunteer work.

Woman volunteer at soup kitchen

Donate some of your time and volunteer through organizations like SponsorChange, which contributes up to $20 toward your student loan payments for an hour of volunteering in certain cities.

These are just a few programs and options you have to help relieve your student debt.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Sarah Mirk

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