By Steven Adamo
Forty-five percent of student loan borrowers regret their decision to accept loans, compared to 60 percent of LGBTQ students, a new study finds.
The national survey was conducted over two days in February by Student Loan Hero, a website that provides resources on student loans to students.
11,184 adults, 18 and over, participated in the survey.
Screening questions for the survey included: “Do you, personally, identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer?” and “Do you have student loan debt?”
Miranda Marquit of Student Loan Hero said that paying off student loans can be difficult for LGBT students in particular, because 1 in 4 LGBT employees have experienced employment discrimination within the past five years.
“We asked student loan borrowers why… a lot of the responses had to deal with the fact they’ve gone through school. They got these loans, but then they faced employment discrimination later, so they couldn’t get a high-paying job,” Maquit said.
According to the Movement Advancement Project, there are no federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Students who identify themselves as part of the LGBT community can be fired from their jobs in 28 states, 30 states if the student is transgender.
The unemployment rate among the transgender community is three times higher than the national average, Out & Equal, a nonprofit organization that advocates for workplace equality said.
“It all ducktails. You get this education (and) you think you’re going to have a good job, but then you face employment discrimination. Then, you’re drowning in student loan debt and you can’t find a good job… it becomes a vicious cycle,” Marquit said.
According to the survey, students felt that they would be paying their student loans back for the rest of their lives. In a report from the Government Accountability Office published last month, schools nationwide hired consultants to encourage students to put their loans in forbearance, which is an option that allows the student to put a three year hold on the loan.
This increases the debt amount. In a report by The Washington Post last month, some colleges promoted loan forbearance opposed to alternative methods that benefit the student, like loan payments based on a student’s current income.
According to a 2017 article published by Time: Navient, the largest student loan company, was sued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year for making it difficult for students to pay back student debts.
“(Navient) created obstacles for repayment, provided borrowers with bad information and otherwise acted to keep borrowers mired in student loan debt,” the article read.
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