Black Student Loan Borrowers Disproportionately Struggle to Repay Debt

Posted by Center for American Progress on November 6, 2017


Black student loan borrowers who started college in 2003 most likely owe more on their federal student loans after 12 years than when they originally borrowed, and nearly half of them default during that time period.

These are the main findings of a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP), which analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education to show that black student loan borrowers are disproportionately burdened by debt – regardless of whether they complete a degree. According to the report:

  • African American students are more likely to borrow, regardless of institution type attended.
  • The median African American borrower made no progress paying off loan debt in 12 years.
  • Degree completion is not synonymous with good loan repayment outcomes for African American borrowers.
  • Almost half of black student loan borrowers defaulted on their loans after 12 years.
  • 75% of black borrowers who dropped out of for-profit colleges defaulted.


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