Repayment Options for Minority Student Loan Borrowers Ranger student loans

The cost of college education has always been associated with a plus-minus balance sheet. To improve your career potential, you often need a degree, and getting one often means paying expensive tuition – something a lot of people struggle with.

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For many students, investing in their future comes with the price of student debt. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in debt forever, or that the investment isn’t worth it. You only need to do your research and understand your situation to make positive, solid decisions about borrowing money to pay for college.

Overall, nearly 45 million Americans collectively owed about $ 1.71 trillion in student loans at the end of 2020, mostly federal student loans, according to the Federal Reserve. Statistics also show distinct racial disparities in who owes this record high level of student loan debt.

Black and Hispanic students tend to take out student loans at higher rates and for larger amounts than their white counterparts, and black borrowers on average owe the highest amounts and have the highest default rates. 

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According to a July 10, 2021 report published by researchers at EducationData.org, black college graduates owe an average of $ 25,000 more in student loans than white college graduates.

In addition, over 67% of Hispanic and Latino student borrowers have student debt. This ethnic group is the second most likely to borrow private student loans – 69.4% of Hispanic and Latino students borrow $ 40,000 or more in private student loans – and it is the group most likely to delay marriage and to have children because of student loan debt, according to the report.

So how do minorities get past student loan debt and head for a better financial situation after school? There are various free resources to help them find scholarships and grants to reduce their dependence on loans and help them pay off student loan debt once they leave college.

For example, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, also known as HACU, provides Hispanic students with resources to find scholarships and grants to help pay for their undergraduate education.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund offers scholarship programs and special interest for black students, especially those at historically black colleges and universities, also known as HBCUs. The United Negro College Fund, or UNCF, offers more than 10,000 scholarships each year to support minority students while also donating to 37 HBCU scholarship funds, according to the organization’s website.

Here are other scholarship resources for minorities:

  • Details of the 40 scholarships focused on Hispanics and Latinos are available at goingmerry.com, a free financial aid and scholarship platform.
  • The Jackie Robinson Foundation offers four-year scholarships worth up to $ 30,000 over four years as part of its mentoring and leadership development program for qualified minority students pursuing undergraduate degrees.
  • The UNCF STEM Fellowship Program offers up to $ 2,500 to $ 5,000 per academic year, depending on the recipient’s academic year, to qualified African American students interested in studying science, engineering, technology, or math and to pursue a career in a STEM field.

Depending on your profession, there are other possibilities and the most convenient way to ease the burden of student debt after college that minorities should be aware of. Here are just a few:

Nursing Corps Loan Repayment Program. Although there are many state grants available to repay student loans for nurses, this program is nationwide through the Federal Administration of Resources and Health Services. It pays 85% of unpaid nursing education debt for qualified registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, or faculty of nurses who work full-time for at least two years in an area of ​​critical shortage or in an eligible nursing school.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program. This program will reimburse up to $ 40,000 in eligible student loans to eligible health clinicians who register for two years of service in health facilities in Native American and Alaska Native communities. By choosing to stay longer, participants can renew their contract each year until their eligible student loan debt is paid off. American Indians and Alaska Natives who apply are given priority.

Teacher loan rebate program. Applicants approved for this federal program can earn up to $ 17,500 in rebate for federal subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans, including Stafford loans, if they agree to teach for five full, consecutive years at a school or school. a low income educational service organization. In some cases, the unpaid portions of federal or direct consolidation loans may also be eligible for a discount.

While not an exhaustive list, these resources are good starting points for minority students looking to reduce financial barriers to college. With access to funding sources that can minimize student loans, black, Hispanic, and other minority borrowers can get the most out of their investment in higher education.

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