8 startling facts that show just how hard the student-debt crisis is hurting black Americans
- Presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently faced backlash over a proposal to close the racial wealth gap by eliminating student debt for some entrepreneurs.
- While many criticized the plan itself, the student debt crisis has disproportionately impacted black borrowers and saddled black students with the most debt.
- Here are eight startling statistics on how much harder the student debt crisis has been for black borrowers compared to other racial groups.
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The racial gap between black and white student borrowers has prompted presidential hopefuls to address the issue. Most recently, Senator Kamala Harris proposed a plan to wipe out debt for minority entrepreneurs. Specifically, Pell Grant recipients who start a business that operate for at least three years in disadvantaged communities would have debts forgiven, as part of a larger initiative to close the racial wealth gap.She faced backlash, however, due to the many conditions a borrower would need to fulfill before they could qualify. Harris' debt elimination scope is much narrower compared to Elizabeth Warren's, whose initiative would wipe all student debt for 75% of US borrowers. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, would eliminate all such debt.
Here are eight mind-blowing statistics about the student-debt crisis' impact on black borrowers as compared to white students. (The majority of data sources compared black- and white-borrower debt, which is why other racial groups were not mentioned directly.)
1. 86.6% of black students borrow federal loans to attend four-year colleges, compared to 59.9% of white students.
2. Even well-off black students carry more student-loan debt.Advertisement
3. An average black graduate has $7,400 more in student debt than his or her white peer.
4. Black student-loan borrowers default on their loans at five times the rate of white graduates.Advertisement
5. Graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) take on 32% more debt than their peers at other colleges.
6. Eliminating student-loan debt would narrow the racial wealth gap for young families.Advertisement
7. White borrowers pay down their education debt at a rate of 10% a year, compared with 4% for black borrowers.
8. Black graduates earn less money out of college, making it harder to pay off their loans.Advertisement
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