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Wisdom Cole - Cancel Student Debt - NAACP

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Cancel Student Debt

The student debt crisis has a disproportionate impact on Black borrowers and their families. Across all racial groups, Black borrowers hold the most student loan debt despite also being consistently underserved by postsecondary institutions.

President Joe Biden has canceled up to $20,000 in federal student debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for other borrowers making less than $125,000 per year. The repayment pause is extended to June 30, 2023, but when payments restart, they will be capped at 5% of the borrower's monthly income.

You voted and rallied - and it's because of you we've seen this first step in student debt relief. Let's keep going. Find resources, statistics, and stories below.


In the News

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Your Story Matters

View the stories on how student debt has impacted the lives of student loan borrowers to understand the impact student debt has on individuals and the Black community as a whole.

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Share your student debt story

Why did you go after a college degree? How has student debt impacted your life? What would the cancellation of student debt mean to you?

Student debt impacts real people and has daily consequences. Add your story to the growing collection of reasons elected officials need to act to cancel student debt.

Share My Story

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Sound Off: Student Loan Debt Stories

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Tasha A., Student Loan Borrower

"The student loan debt has made it impossible for me to help my oldest pay for college without having to borrow additional plus parent student loan debt. It prevents me from saving money, saving for my retirement, and the thought of having to pay student loan debt until the day I die stresses me and causes undue anxiety. "

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Jesse P, Student Debt Organizer

"Student debt is stressful. I had student debt during school as well. It's holding me back from my financial goals."

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Mahogany B., Student Loan Borrower

"I am currently homeless; my debt to ratio due to my student loan is to high to receive an affordable loan to purchase a home yet I do not qualify for affordable housing. One of my paychecks every two weeks does not even cover the average cost of living in California."

Canceling student debt would mean that I could live my life with decreased anxiety and hope for better opportunities.

- Jessica C.

Storytelling Tips

Collecting your stories helps us humanize the issue of student debt relief because it's not just about the policy. It's about the people who will be impacted. There are many ways to share your story. No matter how you choose to share, be authentic, be brief, and help others understand the impact student debt has on individuals and the Black community as a whole.

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Driving Quality of Life through Data

NAACP and Brookings have partnered on The Black Progress Indexa new analysis of the places where Black people are thriving most, as measured through their life expectancy. In the spirit of W.E.B. Du Bois, we're working to provide insight into the local civic actions that can improve life expectancy outcomes.

NAACP Youth & College Division students

Let us know

What could you do if student loan debt was canceled?

Share your plans

At 28 years old, I can't afford to start a family, I can't afford to buy a home, I can't afford to volunteer in my community, and I can't afford to go to the doctor. All of these things are now considered luxuries that I simply can't afford at this point in my life. All of my resources are dedicated to paying off student loans and interest rates.

- Jessica P., Student Loan Borrower