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Women with student loans may struggle with debt relief

Some people in Florida accumulate debt through unexpected bills, emergencies or even through careless financial planning. Others, however, find themselves saddled with debt from the pursuit of a better life. Student loans recently reached a new high, and some experts believe that women may be most in need of debt relief.

The Federal Reserve recently released data that showed student loan debt hit $1.5 trillion. This is higher than the nation's current $977 billion in credit card debt and $1.1 trillion in auto loans. Although some students owe significantly more or less, the average public college graduate owes approximately $28,400. In 2001, the average student graduated owing only $22,100. Neither of those figures include student loans taken out for for-profit colleges.

As of 2016, women represent 56 percent of college students. However, they hold about 66 percent of all student loan debt. While a slightly higher percentage of women attending college than men explains part of the gender gap in loans, it cannot account for all of it. The other explanation experts point to are the amount of initial loans. On average, women borrow nearly $3,000 more than men, repay their loans more slowly and accrue more interest over time.

Although student loans typically cannot be discharged during bankruptcy, many Florida debtors find that the process is still helpful. By pursuing proven paths to debt relief, individuals can still discharge lingering credit card debt, medical bills and other forms of overwhelming debt. Doing so can then make it easier for people to repay non-dischargeable debts -- such as student loans -- while creating a better financial foundation for their lives.

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