Women May Have Tougher Time Paying Student Loan Debt Due to Gender Pay Gap

Do smaller pay checks for women mean bigger problems paying off loans?

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Women graduate from Kettering University in Flint, Mich.

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Still, it bears mentioning that these career choices don't entirely explain the gender pay gap. Even in many of the fields that women dominate, women earn less than the men they work with, as the Institute for Women's Policy Research showed in a report earlier this month.

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However, Baum notes that the tides may soon turn for women, as they have a higher college completion rate than men, and there is some evidence that the wage gap is closing amongst younger workers.

For women who have signed off on their loan papers and are enrolled right now, says Carnevale, the solution is clear.

"The best advice for a young woman is, if she's in a classroom and if everyone else is a young woman, she needs to get out of there," he says.

Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News and World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via e-mail at dkurtzleben@usnews.com.