This Hidden Inequity Contributes To The Black Wealth Gap

Abeni Jones
December 2, 2019

How would you spend a $30,000 check? If you’re an average American, it might all have to go to student loan debt, because that’s how much the average person owes. Overall Americans have over $1 trillion in student loan debt.

Presidential candidates have even proposed massive student loan debt forgiveness programs. The student debt crisis is bad, but it’s even worse for Black Americans

Black students are more likely to borrow money to pay for school, and they typically have to borrow more. It’s even worse if they go to an HBCU. When they do borrow money, they often have a harder time paying it back

And, it’s not just the students. Black parents of college students often get roped into a debt cycle - that new research has shown is often predatory and unfair.

Black parents are more likely to borrow money themselves to help their children afford college, through PLUS loans. These loans have higher interest rates, and don’t allow “income-based” repayment, which would lower payments based on income to help low-income borrowers.

After graduation, Black graduates make less money, which makes paying down debt even more difficult. 

This is one of the hidden ways that systemic racism affects Black families, and prevents us from ever having the opportunity to close the racial wealth gap

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