The massive student loan debt burden is a huge financial challenge for women

The massive burden of student loan debt held in the U.S. is a critical financial issue for women.

“In case you missed it, graduates in the United States owe an effing fortune in student loan debt, more than $1.3 trillion. And we women, we women hold nearly two-thirds of it, averaging more than $20,000 each for a bachelor’s degree. And that’s $30,000 if you’re a woman of color. Ugh!,” says Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of women-led digital investing platform Ellevest on a new episode of MAKERS Money.

What’s more, repaying student loans takes longer for women because of the gender pay gap.

On the third episode of MAKERS Money, Krawcheck offers four pain-free tips for tackling student loan payments. She’s also joined by Tiffany Aliche, founder of personal finance blog The Budgetnista.

“Call your loan provider,” says Aliche. “There are two specific programs you’re going to ask about. There’s a forgiveness program and there’s something called the IBR program, and that’s the income-based repayment program. So if you don’t make much, you might qualify for the IBR program. And what that means is based on what you do make, that’s what your payment is going to be.”

Krawcheck spent nearly 30 years on Wall Street, holding high-level positions including CEO of sell-side research firm Sanford Bernstein, CEO of Smith Barney, CFO of Citigroup, and president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Earlier this month, feminist media brand MAKERS and Yahoo Finance launched “MAKERS Money,” a weekly show hosted by Krawcheck that features advice for women from top female financial experts.

(Editing by Julia La Roche)

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