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‘You have a degree, but who do you know?’ Why student debt is a racial-justice issue

Market Watch
Twelve years after starting college, white men have paid off 44% of their student loan balances on average, while black men saw their balances grow by 11%, according to an analysis from Demos.

Defaulting on a student loan has devastating consequences — it ruins a borrower’s credit, puts their tax refund, Social Security check and even wages at risk of being garnished and prohibits them from taking on more federal student debt to attend college, which could improve their earnings prospects.

But even looking at those who aren’t in that most dire of circumstances there’s still a large gap in outcomes between black and white borrowers. Twelve years after starting college, white men have paid off 44% of their student loan balances on average, while black men saw their balances grow by 11%, according to an analysis from Demos, a left-leaning think tank. White women paid down 28% of their balances during the same period, while black women saw their debt loads grow 13%.

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