LGBTQ adults are more likely to have federal student loans than non-LGBTQ adults, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Thirty-five percent of LGBTQ adults have federal student loans, compared to 23 percent of non-LGBTQ adults.
The research found that more than a third of LGBTQ adults age 18 to 40 hold more than $93.2 billion in student loan debt. About half owe between $10,000 and $49,999.
It further breaks the data down by gender group -- 51 percent of transgender adults have federal loans, along with 36 percent of lesbian, bisexual or queer cisgender women and 28 percent of gay, bisexual or queer cisgender men.
The goal of the study was to provide information on student debt among LGBTQ adults, which the report authors noted is currently lacking in discussions about student loan cancellation.
“It is important that the current policy discussions about loan forgiveness consider the impact on LGBTQ adults, who bear a higher burden of federal student loan debt,” said Jorge Valencia, executive director and CEO of the Point Foundation, which collaborated with the Williams Institute on the study. “The pandemic and the economic fallout could significantly impact LGBTQ people’s ability to pursue higher education.”