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Women, Black Students Burdened with Heavy Student Loans

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Women and black students are more likely to take student loans to pay for their college education, according to a new report compiled by The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services company.

As of 2019, out of $1.6 trillion held by Americans across the country, $929 billion is owed by women. During the 2015–16 academic year, 41 percent of female undergraduates took loans to pay tuition and fees, while those with bachelor’s degrees had an average of $21,619 in outstanding debt, surpassing the men who owed $18,880.

Among the different races, the student debt is disproportionately affecting students of color. On average, most of them owe $7,400 more than white graduates, which is more likely to see an upward trend in the coming years.

Default on loans is also higher among African-American students. They are 5.2 percent more likely than their white peers to default. Overall an estimated 5.2 million borrowers are in default of their federal student loans. Also, about 20 percent of student loan borrowers were behind on their payments.

“Students who borrow excessively risk falling behind on their payments. Student loan balances are likely to continue climbing as college costs rise or hold steady at already inflated rates,” the report noted.

“Those with existing student debt should take steps to stay on top of their loans to avoid defaulting, damaging their credit, and suffering other repercussions.”

Recent studies have shown that student loans negatively affect the wealth accumulation of black adults. They are also contributing to a lack of diversity among faculty members in public schools.

Between 2008 and 2012, black students who were trained to teach experienced a higher median federal student loan debt in comparison to other racial groups, while simultaneously earning less in comparison to their white counterparts, forcing many to leave the jobs.

How is Student Loan Debt Threatening Students? An Interview With Robin Howarth

 

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