This week there has been a lot of news about the gap in wages earned by men compared with those earned by women. Today women in the United States make only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, a figure that has hardly moved over the past four decades since the Equal Pay Act was first passed. Lower pay for the same work has a major impact for women, making it harder to support themselves and their families and impacting their long term financial health through proportionally lower retirement and other savings.
Another problem with the wage gap is that lower pay makes it harder for women to pay off debt. This fact has become even more of a problem in recent years as more women graduate from college and graduate school than men, racking up sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, but wind up leaving the experience with less earning power than their male peers.
This can impact women who are trying to pay off student debt, but the same issues apply to mortgage debt, car loans, and consumer debt as well. Particularly for young people or those who have not been earning enough to save, this situation can be incredibly frustrating.
Even though the end of the wage gap is not yet in sight, there are a variety of things that borrowers can do to overcome debt. It helps to start by talking to a professional about legal solutions that can eliminate or reduce certain types of debt.
Source: NPR, “Student Debt Weighs Down Women More. Blame The Wage Gap,” Jessica Glazer, April 6, 2014.