Student loans in the LGBTQ+ community

July 10, 2018

Lead Researcher on the Student Loan Hero LGBTQ+ finances report, Miranda Marquit, conducted a survey that showed that at least 60 percent of LGBTQ+ students regret taking out student loans.

 

Student Loan Hero, a company that gives loan advice, reported 32 percent of LGBTQ+ students said their gender identity or sexual orientation was a factor in being denied financial help and services. 

 

Marquit said the findings suggest student loans may equal financial freedom, “We asked students the reason why they regretted their debt and many said they regretted their debt because they couldn’t find a job in the degree area they went to school for.”

 

After obtaining marriage equality and fighting for human rights, the LGBTQ+ community has yet another problem to face.

 

On average, LGBTQ+ borrowers have $112,607 in student loan debt which is $16,000 more than the general population average of $96,211. 

 

Marquit found that with limited financial stability, not only are LGBTQ+ graduates in debt, they are struggling just to make a dent in it.

 

LGBTQ+ borrowers are 53 percent more likely than the general population to make under $50,000 per year, according to Forbes.com.

 

In addition to lacking family support and housing, Marquit found that many borrowers often feel the need to “prove themselves” at more prestigious, and often more expensive, schools. 

 

This results in the student choosing to attend a university that is more well-known and accepted by the group they wanted to be accepted by rather than a practical university that is just as good. 

 

“Anecdotal evidence from people we’ve talked to indicates that there is some added pressure to show that they are super-successful and can ‘make it’ at more prestigious schools, which can also lead to higher debt,” Marquit said. 

 

Marquit adds that LGBTQ+ students also face discrimination when applying for more affordable loans and jobs, leading to long-term debt challenges.

 

Queer Financial Expert, John Schneider, corroborates Marquit’s findings, adding that “many respondents to the survey said they’ve been discriminated against when applying for loans because they’re LGBTQ+. Consequently, these students may have assumed loans with less ideal, less competitive terms.”

 

“Only 39 percent of the surveyed students feel completely accepted by their families,” Marquit said in an email to Upworthy.“Some of these borrowers might not receive the same level of support that other students receive, including the ability to live at home, 33 percent report being kicked out up to 1.6 million young people experience homelessness in the United States every year,” Marquit said. 
 

The reality is that discrimination has had a persistent and pervasive impact on marginalized groups and its effects go beyond student debt.

 

LGBTQ+ students also face discrimination when applying for more affordable loans and jobs. This often times leads them to long-term debt challenges. 

 

Discrimination against marginalized groups is nothing new in this country. Landlords frequently refused to give black Americans home loans before the Fair Housing Act in 1968, limiting black mobility and financial well-being.

 

Banks have discriminated against black and Latinx homebuyers for decades. Asian business owners have reported discrimination in regards to health inspections for years as well. 

 

For any additional information in terms of the study, contact Frankie Rendón at frendon@studentloanhero.com.

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