The Face of Debt Is Female

Published:September 09, 2021DOI:
      My husband had no student loan debt due in part to receiving Pell Grants and work study. I had federal student loans; 85% of those loans were forgiven for practicing in a medically underserved area. My tuition in an Ivy League women’s health graduate program was $500 per semester. The rest was paid through a federal grant program to increase the number of master’s-prepared nurses to teach. I precepted students and taught in associate degree and graduate nursing programs for the next 42 years. The government got the teacher they paid for. I made large purchases through credit cards, loans, and mortgages. I was, by strict definition, in debt. But being indebted is not necessarily a sign of serious financial distress or poor financial management.
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        • Vanden Daelen C.
        A European overview of the social regression that is being imposed on women in the name of the debt.
        Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt, 2012 (Accessed July 25, 2021)
        • Gago V.
        • Cavallero L.
        • Ortiz Martinez B.
        Debt is a war against women’s autonomy. Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt; April 22, 2012.
        • American Association of University Women
        Deeper in debt: women and student loans 2021 Update.
        (Accessed July 27, 2021)
        • Turnen E.
        • Hiilamo H.
        Health effects of indebtedness: a systematic review.
        BMC Public Health. May 22, 2014; (Accessed July 27, 2021)


      Section Editor Denise Link, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, is a clinical professor emerita at Arizona State University Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Phoenix, AZ. She can be reached at [email protected] .