As single moms, we face the highest student loan burdens.

Our loans are bigger…our salaries are lower…our monthly budgets are tighter.

According to Deeper in Debt by the American Academy of University Women, student loan debt has become a women’s issue as more of us go to college. And it’s an especially tricky situation for single mom-students who often face childcare challenges as they struggle to achieve their education goals.

Here are just a few of the ways the system is tilted against single moms…

  • Women owe $800 billion, about 67% of the total student debt in the U.S.
  • Women earn 57% of the Bachelor’s Degrees
  • 71% of student-parents are women
  • 34% of women couldn’t meet their essential expenses while paying student loans
  • Women’s student loans are 14% larger than men’s
  • Women – working fulltime with a college degree – earn 26% less than men

No wonder it takes women 2 years longer than men to pay off their student loans!

And while the student loan default rate hovers at around 2.7%, the default rate for single parents is nearly triple that.

Onsite campus childcare facilities have decreased by more than 14% despite the fact that the number of student-parents has increased by nearly 30%.

So no matter what anyone says, it’s not just in our heads – we actually owe more, earn less, and face more financial challenges than virtually any other group.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it. All it takes to stay afloat is to take charge of your student loan situation.

The trick to breaking out of the student loan debt trap is to find a way to pay, no matter how hard it is. Here are some things you can do to make your student loans more manageable…and maybe even pay them off faster…

  • If your monthly payments are too much to handle, shrink them.
  • If you need a break from the payments to get your finances in better shape, put them on pause.
  • If you can handle your payments with room to spare, make extra or bigger payments and zero out your student loan debt even faster.

So even though the student loan debt deck is stacked against us, there’s a lot we can do to beat the odds, pay off our debt, and build up our personal wealth. We just have to take the reins and get it done.