The Supreme Court is currently deciding the fate of over 40 million student loan borrowers. If the court rules against the Biden administration, one group will be the most affected.
This group includes Black women.
Tisa SilverCanady, author, “Borrowing while Black,” states that “if you get your education you can make more money.”
Black women have a greater share of $1.6 trillion in federal student debt, with higher average debt levels than any other group. According to The Education Trust’s April 2022 study, Black women have 43% higher undergraduate debt than their white counterparts and almost 99% more graduate school debt 12 months after graduating.
This is a complex problem. It is complicated.
According to The Education Trust study, Black women are less likely than white women to receive higher wages because of their education. College-educated Black women make 10% less than white college-educated women and 34% less that college-educated men.
Brittani Williams is senior policy analyst at The Education Trust in higher education. She says that while we discuss student loan debt, we tend to overlook the areas where higher education does not equal higher earning.
Although Biden’s cancellation could be a win for many Black women it is not a victory. You can still control your student loans, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides. Canady states, “This is not something you should approach passively.” “Be active. “Be active .”
The Department of Education plans to also conclude an IDR waiver for this summer. This waiver will add more months to the required time for forgiveness. The new rules allow for immediate forgiveness if your loans are older than 10 years and your original balance is less than $12,000. You may still be eligible for expedited forgiveness if your original balance was lower but your loans are older than 20 years.
Other forgiveness programs
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) allows borrowers who work for non-profit organizations or in public service to be eligible for loan forgiveness. Borrowers who make 120 qualifying monthly payments under PSLF can have their remaining balance forgiven.
All months, even those without payment, that are part of the interest-free forgiveness period count. You could get total forgiveness faster than you expected with the Department of Education’s forthcoming waiver.
You may be able to create your own forgiveness program in your state. These programs can be tied to either a degree or employment type and the forgiveness amounts may vary. For more information, contact your state’s education department.
Programs of assistance for employers
You may be able to repay student loans by working in certain jobs. These employers typically pay a fixed amount each month on the outstanding balance. You may be required to perform a service, and the payments could be tied to that obligation. Make sure you fully understand what this means before accepting any money. For more information about your company’s student loans repayment benefits, contact your human resources department.
Private and nonprofit organizations may offer grants to help borrowers repay student loans. There are varying award amounts and eligibility requirements for these programs. Bold.org has a complete list of available opportunities.
Bankruptcy may be an option if you have exhausted all options and are still underwater in student loan debt.
Stanley Tate, student loan bankruptcy attorney, says that bankruptcy is not a death sentence. It’s a shortcut to debt relief .”
You may now have an alternative to student debt. However, bankruptcy is not right for everyone.
Tate says, “If you have Education Department loans, just wait and see what happens.” with the proposed relief plans. Tate also said that federal student loan borrowers may be eligible for relief through other government programs.
Private student loans are less likely to be cancelled or forgiven. Refinancing can help lower your monthly payment and interest rate if you have stable finances.
Federal student loan holders who are not eligible for refinance should be aware that you will lose any government forgiveness. Private loans are not eligible. Prequalify with multiple lenders before you decide to refinance. Refinance only if you can save money monthly or for the long-term. Refinance should be avoided if your interest rate is going to increase.
Although it is important to understand your student loans and know your options, Addo believes that the final solution will require more. She says, “You cannot financially educate yourself to solve this problem.” Addo encourages Black women in the Black community to press elected officials to solve this problem. “This issue was caused by poor policy and must be addressed through policy.”