Published: August 2016

A need for racial justice in student lending

For nearly a decade the Department of Education has failed to take sufficient steps to ameliorate the disproportionately negative impact on student-borrowers of color, or even to conduct further research to discover the causes or the extent of disparities. In a letter to the Secretary of Education, John B. King, advocates urged the Department to leverage its tremendous resources and ensure that student loan policies work for all borrowers.

Since 2007 the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has known that borrowers of color are more likely to default on their student loans than white borrowers and that students of color take out more student debt than white students. However, nearly a decade later, ED has not studied the source of these disparities or the extent to which they occur. In order to ensure that student loan policies work for all borrowers, Consumer Action joins coalition advocates in urging the Department to collect and release the data necessary to learn the true extent of the impact student loan debt has on communities of color. Student loans should be a tool for economic advancement and not economic devastation for borrowers of color.


Lead Organization

National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)

Other Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union | Americans for Financial Reform Bay Area Legal Aid | Center for Responsible Lending | Civil Justice, Inc. | Consumer Action | Consumers Union | CT Citizen Action Group (CCAG) | Demos | EMPath | Empire Justice Center | Equal Justice Works | Faculty Forward Network | Generation Progress | Heather Jarvis, Attorney and Advocate | Housing and Economic Rights Advocates | Higher Ed, Not Debt | The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) | Legal Services of New Jersey | Legal Services NYC | Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) | MFY Legal Services, Inc. | Mississippi Center for Justice | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | National Council of La Raza (NCLR) | National Education Association | New York Legal Assistance Group | North Carolina Justice Center | Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) | Public Justice Center | Public Law Center | Project on Predatory Student Lending of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School | Service Employees International Union (SEIU) | Student Debt Crisis | U.S. Public Interest Research Group | Veterans Education Success | Watsonville Law Center | William Kennedy, Faculty, Racial Justice Training Institute, The Law Office of William Kennedy | Woodstock Institute | Young Invincibles

More Information

For more information, please visit NCLC's website.

Download PDF

A need for racial justice in student lending   (Letter_to_Sec._King_re_race_and_student_debt.pdf)




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