Ladies in Red: The Great Loan Divide

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For the majority of us, the idea of repaying student loans is one which we’ve all pushed to the back of our minds. However, with tuition loans jumping up to a massive £9,000 a year for most universities in 2012, the influx of new undergraduates next September certainly have a lot more to worry about. With jobs becoming increasingly thin on the ground, the road to repaying student debt is looking particularly long and daunting.

70-80% of women and 30-40% of men will never fully repay their student loans

However, surprising statistics have been released which demonstrate that between 70-80% of women and 30-40% of men will never fully repay their student loans. A report has been published a report which stipulates that even 30 years after graduation when loan repayments are scrapped, “the average woman will still owe £26,500.”

This may be due to a number of factors; maternity leave and child care are considerable causes as women will not have to repay their loans whilst taking time off work during their pregnancy. Many women also opt to work part-time once they return to work in order to care for their children, thus lowering their income.

However, a report published by The Guardian suggests that the extensive gap between loan repayments for men and women is simply due to the fact that women still do not earn as much as men and that on average Some reports show that the pay gap may be due to the fact men have a greater tendency to opt for maths and science qualifications which lead to higher paid jobs, whilst others cite that certain employers are less likely to hire women due to child-care issues and the possibility of maternity leave and whilst the latter is now illegal, it seems that some employers are still finding ways to dodge the law.

Getting a reliable, stable career straight after university will be difficult with so much competition

This matter really is of great concern for female students at the University. Second year student Sally Jensen, who is studying French, said: “Getting a reliable, stable career straight after university will be difficult with so much competition, and it is especially worrying to think those chances are lessened simply because I am a woman.”

Although these are all valid suggestions, there are surely more reasons why more women never fully repay their debts. One thing is for sure, though; this is yet another statistic that emphasises the differences between the sexes.

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