A study has found that LGBTQ students hold on average $16,000 more in student debts when compared to their straight peers.
Student Loan Hero found that out of the 11,000 students they surveyed in February, LGBTQ students reported having more loans and a higher level of debt.
While more than twice as many LGBTQ women found their debt unmanageable compared to LGBTQ men (28 percent to 13 percent, respectively), overall LGBTQ borrowers regretted their decision to borrow at a rate of over 15 percent more than straight and cisgender classmates.
Student Loan Hero concluded that the disparity in LGBTQ student loans is due to a lack of family support, typical of LGBTQ people who have been rejected by their family after coming out.
“When there’s less parental involvement or support, students are much less likely to fill out a FAFSA [a form used to determine financial aid], and will have a hard time even getting student loans or turning to private student loans,” Todd Christensen, the education manager at the nonprofit Debt Reduction Services, told CNBC.
John Schneider, co-owner of DebtFreeGuys.com, an LGBTQ personal finance site, said that paying off higher debt can be difficult — particularly when LGBTQ students run into the recently confirmed “gay glass ceiling.”
“We take on more debt to subsidize college, and then can’t get a job that’s commensurate to the amount of debt we have,” Schneider told CNBC.