{Women, Money, & Cosmo} The Debt Crisis No One Is Talking About

My favorite professor and teacher of all things “deep”, Dr. Michelle S. Hite, once told me that when you are fully engaged in research, you will start to see inspiration everywhere. I was researching women and business, but more specifically the salaries gaps of women in business, when I found inspiration in an old “habit”. My name is Danielle and I am an admitted magazine junkie and Sunday evening… Cosmo was my latest hit. While reading the February LOVE issue, I came across a very informative article from Rachel White entitled The Debt Crisis No One Is Talking About! In it, White discusses the vicious financial cycle of women, higher education, and student loan debt. You see, it is easy to say that women have more debt. That’s a statement I hear all the time from men and women. It’s a blanketed generalization because the mind tends to lead one to the stereotype of women and financial incompetence not the FACT that more women now have more financial responsibilities. For example, women now outnumber men in college, which means women are more likely to start their careers in debt. In her article, White used a real life example of a woman by the name of Brenda Errichiello, who “found herself with a $947 monthly [student loan] bill and only a $27,000 annual salary”. In all, Errichiello ;graduated with a fabulous 3.9 GPA and $92,000 in debt. OMG, I thought to myself while reading this because Rachel White could have very well been telling my own story. I, like Errichiello, graduated with honors from Spelman College and thousands of dollars in debt before I even earned my first adult check.

What is Errichello to do?

She Makes CentsYou might be surprised by the answer. She had actually considered going back to school with the hope that more education means a better paying job, job security, and a bump up the corporate ladder. This is something I very well considered myself, getting back on the law school grind, but I had to remind myself that money doesn’t equal love and that hard work doesn’t always pay off in the currency of one’s choosing. Is this the epitome of spend more make more? This, SMC readers is that start of the Debt Crisis no one is talking about.

Things to Consider!

Women come out of the gate making less than our male counterparts for the same positions (18% less according to the article), are less likely to ask for raises at review time, have more student loans, and generally take maternity leave to start a family. How are we going to catch up? Why isn’t anyone talking about debt? According to White, it affects out relationships or lack thereof, career choices, and forces drastic decisions that hurt us even more in the end and if you follow SMC, you have read of other real life examples that support White’s point.

Do You Consider This A “Debt Crisis”?

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7 thoughts on “{Women, Money, & Cosmo} The Debt Crisis No One Is Talking About

  1. So, in order to leave this comment, I have to admit to one of MY vices–googling my name. I was thrilled, though, to see this article. One of the biggest reasons I shared my story with Rachel is so other women like me could a. learn from my mistakes or, if they were in the same situation as me, b. feel less alone. So, not that I’m glad that you’re the happy “owner” of thousands of dollars of student debt, but, hey, it’s nice to be able to connect!

    That being said, I think it’s really awesome what you’re doing here. I have to admit that I’ve spent hundreds of hours combing the internet since I’ve been out of school, reading about finances and any sort of personal development I could get a handle on, and something that I was really frustrated by was that there wasn’t really a niche for women my age–everyone I saw blogging was male or trying to do three kids the frugal way and talking about cloth diapering. Not exactly applicable to my situation. But it’s cool that you’re doing something here that is applicable to people like us, and if there’s anything I can possibly do to help you out (or if you just want to commiserate about being saddled with waaaaay too much debt), let me know. 🙂

  2. I am a believer of the theory that Student Loans are not debt, but an investment. The key to all investments, however, is to choose wisely and carefully evaluate your timing. For the past few years I have been contemplating returning to school and in the Spring of 2012 I enrolled at JU and am pursuing my MBA. The decision to return at this particular time was the culmination of several factors: 1) and the most important I COULD AFFORD IT. That doesn’t mean I could shell out $20K for private school, it means that I am financially stable; I have little debt (Mortgage, auto and credit card) and my monthly expenses are paid without strain.I made my last student loan payment from my previous degree, the same month school began. I contribute to my 401(K) to the matching max as well as other savings. 2) Also very important my employer offers tuition reimbursement at just above $5k per year. This was the deal maker as student loans are reimbursable, so I have the option of paying the student loans back during the year, paying the interest only or just waiting until I am finished.These factors along with the third of my job transitioning me to work from home a month after I started school made it the optimal time to return to school. Had I started prior to that time, my work-live environments at that time would have not been as conducive to the success of my grades or my finances.

  3. No more than it has been FOREVER! Women not only have more financial responsibility, they are exploited by industry.An example of this is, the fashion industry. Women use more cosmetic products, hair care products, and fashion accessories etc. It’s more expensive to clean a woman’s blouse than a man’s shirt. The advertising industry capitalizes on this. Observe the amount of ads on TV that relate to products that women use including clothing vs products that men use. In the corporate world. Men are promoted faster than women. This occurs even in female dominated industry. Sadly, women are the only ones capable of reversing this trend.
    We need to stop being in competition with each other and start supporting each other.

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