Women are said to be among the biggest winners from the forgiveness of student loans.
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Some critics of the cancellation of student loans have argued that the policy would largely benefit the relatively well-off, pointing out that college degrees lead to higher incomes.
however, new search finds that the greatest benefits of student debt cancellation would go to the less wealthy, and black families in particular.
The $ 50,000 cancellation for all borrowers, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Have called for, would wipe out more than $ 17,000 per person among black households in the bottom 10% net worth, according to researchers at the Roosevelt Institute. The average forgiveness would be over $ 11,000 among White and Latinx households in this lower net worth range.
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Meanwhile, the average cancellation would only be $ 562 per person for the top 10%.
“These analyzes indicate that student loan cancellation policies are a global societal good,” write researchers at the Roosevelt Institute.
Here’s who else would benefit the most from a student loan forgiveness.
About 25% of student loan borrowers attended for-profit schools, which came under scrutiny for misleading students about their programs and professional results.
Borrowers who attended these schools have a much harder time repaying their student loans than others: Almost half of them end up failing.
Women owe 66% of the country’s $ 1.7 trillion outstanding student loan balance.
On average, women borrow more than $ 31,000 to finance their education. Black women take over $ 41,000. Men, on the other hand, borrow about $ 29,000.
It also takes longer for women to pay off student debt, as they still only earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. More time on student loans means more interest paid and less resources to spend on other important life stages, like buying a home or starting a family.
More than a third of all black women and 57% of black women who paid off their student loans reported being unable to meet their basic expenses, according to the American Association of University Women.
More than 20% of the country’s outstanding student debt is held by people over the age of 50, according to data from higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.
Many of these older borrowers are struggling. The average balance of borrowers aged 50 to 61 was $ 42,290.32 at the end of 2020, according to a CNBC report on US Department of Education data, while borrowers 62 and over owed an average of $ 37,739.13.
One-third of student loan borrowers over 65 are in default, and half of those over 75 are in arrears, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
And tens of thousands of seniors currently benefit from their Social Security benefits garnished because of an unpaid student loan.