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"Finally, it might just be student debt cancellation week this week. In the coming days, President Biden has the opportunity to cancel at least $50,000 per borrower to address the student debt crisis that has burdened Black borrowers and families across America. As time continues, the needs of the American people have not — and will not — change without substantial cancellation. If student debt repayments can be paused over and over and over again, there's no reason why the President cannot cancel a minimum of $50,000. Do it to reduce the racial wealth gap, do it to capture the interest of many who will participate in the November election, do it for the future of American families and communities. Every generation will be grateful you did."
STUDENT DEBT FACT SHEET
- Black Americans are the only people who have student debt higher than their median annual income. $10,000 in cancellation would not place their student debt lower than their annual income: https://educationdata.org/student-loan-debt-by-income-level
- Student debt cancellation is not a handout to Ivy League college attendees. 99.7% of student debt holders did not attend an Ivy League school.
- Today, the average white family has roughly 10 times the amount of wealth as the average Black family, while white college graduates have over seven times more wealth than Black college graduates
- Black borrowers typically owe 50% more in student debt upon graduation than their white peers. Four years after graduation, this gap increases to 100%: https://www.brookings.edu/research/black-white-disparity-in-student-loan-debt-more-than-triples-after-graduation/
- On average, Black borrowers have nearly $53,000 in student loan debt four years after graduation — almost twice as much as their white counterparts: https://www.brookings.edu/research/black-white-disparity-in-student-loan-debt-more-than-triples-after-graduation/
- Two key data findings bolster our claim that student debt disproportionately harms low-income households and, in particular, low-income Black households. First, we find that more than half of all student loan debt is held by households that have a zero or negative net worth. Second, we find that of households with student debt, 52% of Black households and 32% of non-Black households have zero or negative net worth: https://www.brookings.edu/essay/student-debt-cancellation-should-consider-wealth-not-income/
- 37.5% of Black borrowers will default at some point, compared to 12.4% of white borrowers: https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-looming-student-loan-default-crisis-is-worse-than-we-thought/
- The plurality of outstanding debt is held by borrowers who live in neighborhoods in which the median income is between $20,000 and $40,000. Black people disproportionately live in those neighborhoods and are most affected by student debt: https://www.brookings.edu/research/student-loans-the-racial-wealth-divide-and-why-we-need-full-student-debt-cancellation/
- Student debt can delay or change a household's decisions on a number of issues: where to live, what type of work to do, starting a family, purchasing a home, or launching a business