Canceling Student Debt Doesn’t Help Rich People. Is That Why They Hate It So Much?

For example, previous studies have looked at total student debt among borrowers rather than comparing the share of debt held by different demographic groups compared to their proportion of the U.S. population. The paper uses the example of a statistic that says white borrowers hold almost 70% of the student loan debt eligible for cancelation. This only sounds astounding when you ignore what proportion white people make up of the population, and the fact that far fewer white Americans leave school with debt in the first place: 17% of all white Americans have student debt, while 27% of all Black Americans do. It ignores that the average student debt per person for white adults is about $4,962, while for Black adults the per person amount is $7,407. The burden of student debt among racial groups can be seen in the differing default rates, too — almost a third of Black people who borrowed student loans default on them, compared to roughly 20% of Latinx borrowers and 13% of white borrowers.

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