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New research reveals that the gender pay gap makes it harder for women to pay off their student loans, and women of color are the most affected, TIME magazine reports.

The study, published by the American Association of University Women, took a snapshot of those who graduated from college during the 2007 – 2008 school year.

Women from that graduating class paid down 33 percent of their student debt between 2009 and 2012. Their male counterparts were able to repay 44 percent of their loans during that same three-year period.

When the researchers separated the women by race and ethnicity, they discovered a significant disparity.

The data shows that Black and Hispanic women repaid just 9 percent and 3 percent, respectively, of their student loans. By contrast, White and Asian women were able to pay back larger chunks for their debt: White women 37 percent and Asian women 61 percent.

AAUW said women generally earn 82 percent of the salary that men receive one year after graduation.

The pay gap is worse for Black women, who earned 63 percent of the wages White men earned in 2014. Hispanic women brought home just 54 percent of the salaries of White men.

SOURCE: TIME | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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