With student loan debt currently at a record high of $1.5 trillion, many borrowers, in particular women, are postponing marriage and having children in order to try and deal with their student loan debt. Currently, women outnumber men in college. In addition, women are more likely to pursue a graduate degree, according to a recent CNBC report. Therefore, women end up with higher student loan balances and, unfortunately, also tend to earn less than their male counterparts over their lifetimes. CNBC reports the numbers to be very skewed as to women with 42 percent of women owing more than $30,000 in student loan debt as compared to 27% of men.
The Effects of Student Loan Debt
Although student loan debt is not solely to blame for a woman’s decision to put off marriage and family, they are becoming increasingly to blame. Many women report that, to add on the expense of children along with their monthly student loan payment, would have a “crippling” effect on their budget. In a recent poll by Future Family, 44 percent of the women they interviewed had student loan debt with half of those reporting that this debt load affected their decision to start a family.
It seems that the student loan debt problem may affect the future population. The census bureau recently reported that women are having fewer children. The number reported is an average of 1.8 kids compared to 3.7 back in 1960. May millennials are waiting to marry later in life and also to have few children. Although it is hard to tell if student loans are directly related to the information reported by the census bureau, I think it is fair to say that it has some impact for the borrowers when making these major life decisions.
Carrying student loan debt can impact many financial decisions and be an enormous burden. I always recommend making every effort to repay and, if overwhelmed, seek an income based or other repayment plan. The worst thing to do is to ignore these student loans as, unfortunately for now, they can impact the rest of your financial life. There may even be some bankruptcy options available to you to lend some relief and assistance with your student loans.
If you are currently dealing with any financial burden, don’t put off life to deal with it on your own. Contact our office nearest you and schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help.