Study: Black Women Have the Highest Amount of Student Loan Debt

It can already be challenging in a world where the gender wage gap still exists for college-educated women, but there’s yet another financial disparity in student loan debt that exists for black women.

Updated research from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) indicates that women hold two-thirds ($ 890 billion) of the country’s $ 1.4-trillion student debt, and black women are graduating with at least $ 30,400 in debt—compared with $ 22,000 for their white counterparts.

The research further shows that the “student loan gender gap has nearly doubled in the past four years, and women now graduate with an average of $ 2,700 more debt than men when earning a bachelor’s degree.”

The data, updated via the 2015-16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, also shows that women makeup 56% of enrolled college students but are grappling with a whopping 65% of outstanding student loan debt.

“Student debt levels have reached an all-time high, with women carrying a bigger burden of debt than men,” Kim Churches, CEO of AAUW, said in a news release. “This debt is an albatross for many women as they embark on careers and work to support their households and families. And, it only gets worse over time when coupled with the gender pay gap.”

Women were found to take two years longer than men to repay their student loans, and the reason is attributed, in part, to the gender wage gap. College-educated women who work full time make, on average, 25% less than their male counterparts who hold degrees, leaving women with less income to put aside to pay off loan debt. Black women, specifically, make less than even their white female counterparts, earning $ 0.63 for every dollar earned by white men, compared with $ 0.79 for white women, according to reports.

“The imbalances compound. Higher student debt, lower pay, child- and family-care costs, and other factors all add up to leave women at a deficit as they work to maintain financial security,” Churches added in the news release. “With women leading more households today, enough is enough. Solutions are needed now.”

The AAUW offers several recommendations for reducing the student loan gender gap, including the support of more income-driven repayment options and protecting projects like Public Service Loan Forgiveness, providing services such as child care at universities, and increasing state and federal funding for public higher-education institutions.

“With the Higher Education Act, Congress has the opportunity to set today’s students up for success—and that includes making sure they don’t graduate with crippling debt,” Deborah J. Vagins, senior vice president of public policy and research at AAUW, said in the release. “We need to support policies that make higher education accessible and affordable for all students, provide support and protection for student borrowers, and help eliminate the gender and race gaps in student loans.”

The post Study: Black Women Have the Highest Amount of Student Loan Debt appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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10 cities with the highest student loan balances

College tuition costs are rising at unprecedented rates these days. In the United States, student loan debt eclipsed $ 1.3 trillion at the end of 2017, according to the Federal Reserve.

When we think about student loans, rarely does where a person lives figure into the picture. But a new study from loan site Lending Tree shows that among regions in the United States, the South is bearing the brunt of student debt compared to other places.

Is your locale on the list? These cities have the most student loan debt

To arrive at the figures, Lending Tree analysts looked at anonymized users in the first quarter of 2018 and tallied their student loans, locale and other data. Information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates was also used.

Here are the cities with the most student loan debt:

  • 1 – Washington, D.C.: Median Balance: $ 22,803
  • 2 – Atlanta, Georgia: Median Balance: $ 22,232
  • 3 – Richmond, Virginia: Median Balance: $ 21,915
  • 4 – Raleigh, North Carolina: Median Balance: $ 21,357
  • 5 – Akron, Ohio:  Median Balance: $ 21,037
  • 6 – Little Rock, Arkansas: Median Balance: $ 21,031
  • 7 – Birmingham, Alabama: Median Balance: $ 20,679
  • 8 – Jackson, Mississippi: Median Balance: $ 20,650
  • 9 – Columbia, South Carolina: Median Balance: $ 20,560
  • 10 – Charleston, South Carolina: Median Balance: $ 20,469

RELATED: Student loan scam: A cautionary tale

Here are the cities with the least student loan debt

  • 100 – McAllen, Texas: Median Balance: $ 13,017
  • 99 – Fresno, California: Median Balance: $ 13,808
  • 98 – Springfield, Massachusetts: Median Balance: $ 14,615
  • 97 Bakersfield, California: Median Balance: $ 14,656
  • 96 Providence, Rhode Island: Median Balance: $ 15,025
  • 95 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Median Balance: $ 15,056
  • 94 Salt Lake City, Utah: Median Balance: $ 15,165
  • 93 Provo, Utah: Median Balance: $ 15,244
  • 92 Ogden, Utah: Median Balance: $ 15,244
  • 91 San Jose, California: Median Balance: $ 15,273
  • 90 Albuquerque, New Mexico: Median Balance: $ 15,549

The average college student who graduated in 2015 owed $ 29,411, according to One year later that figure dropped 2% to $ 28,773.

If you’re contemplating college, you may be wondering how to further educate yourself about student loans and find out what’s available. Check out Clark Howard’s Student Loan Guide, which has tips on borrowing and how to pay them off.

RELATED: Here’s how much you can expect to make with your college major


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British PM May says honored by French loan of Bayeux Tapestry

SANDHURST, England (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday she was honored that France will lend Britain the Bayeux Tapestry, an 11th century treasure that tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066.

Reuters: Arts


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Most Student Loan Fraud Claims Involve For-Profits


WASHINGTON (AP) — Students who attended for-profit colleges filed more than 98 percent of the requests for student loan forgiveness alleging fraud by their schools, according to an analysis of Education Department data published Thursday.

The study by The Century Foundation represents the most thorough analysis to date of the nearly 100,000 loan forgiveness claims known as borrower defense received by the agency over the past two decades and paints an alarming picture of the state of for-profit higher education in America. The study was provided to The Associated Press ahead of publication.

The report comes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faces criticism for erasing two Obama-era regulations that would have added protections for students. Review of tens of thousands of claims has stalled and the AP reported last month that the department now is considering abandoning the practice of full loan cancellation in favor of partial forgiveness. Student advocates point to the Trump administration’s ties to the for-profit industry and accuse DeVos of putting industry over students.

The study found “a disproportionate concentration of predatory behavior among for-profit colleges” that raises “serious concerns about the federal government’s current approach to providing relief to students who have been defrauded and misled.”

The Education Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Of the more than 98,800 complaints received by the department as of mid-August, 98.6 percent came from students at for-profit schools, while only 1.4 percent of them were filed by those who attended non-profit institutions. For-profit schools account for only

10 percent of national enrollment and 18 percent of federal student debt, according to government data.

More than 75,000, or 76 percent, of claims came from students who attended the now-shuttered Corinthian schools, followed by more than 7,300 students from the ITT Technical Institute chain, as well as students from American Career Institute, the Education

Management Corporation and others. The Century Foundation received the data through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“The for-profit college industry scams students across the country and taxpayers and that’s why the industry, including industry insiders who are now staffing the Department of Education, is now fighting so hard against rules that would clarify the borrower defense process,” said Toby Merrill, director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard University, a legal services clinic that represents defrauded students. “If for-profit schools don’t want to be responsible for borrower defense claims and reimbursing taxpayers, then they could simply not cheat their students.”

Steve Gunderson, president of Career Education Colleges and Universities, the industry lobbying group, dismissed the report as an attack on the industry. He suggested that the Obama administration was to blame for the influx of borrower-defense claims from for-profit college students.

“It doesn’t surprise me that the Century Foundation issued a report suggesting for-profit colleges are to blame for borrower defense claims. Look no further than the Obama Administration’s destruction of ITT Tech and Corinthian,” Gunderson told the AP in a statement. “This report confirms what we’ve long known: There are dozens of groups coordinating their efforts to destroy our sector.”

For-profit colleges expanded dramatically over the past two decades, with enrollment rising from around 230,000 in the early 1990s to a record 2 million in 2010. They recruited aggressively, targeting non-traditional students — usually older people who had jobs and could only study part-time. They also focused heavily on women, people of color and veterans. But after graduating, many students struggled to find jobs that were promised to them or to transfer credits to other schools, leading to massive student loan defaults. A 2010 government study found that all of the 15 for-profit colleges evaluated by undercover agents made deceptive statements to prospective students and four of them encouraged fraudulent practices.

The Obama administration cracked down hard on for-profit colleges, pressuring Corinthian and ITT to close and approved at least $ 655 million in loan cancellations from those chains in recent years. At the same time, the administration also passed revisions to the borrower defense regulation and to another similar rule, known as gainful employment, with the aim of increasing students’ protections.

DeVos moved to dismantle or stall those provisions. There’s now a backlog of 87,000 complaints that haven’t been ruled on. DeVos said she intends to fight fraud, but believes the Obama revisions were written too broadly and could allow for unsubstantiated claims.

In an interview with Politico published last week, DeVos suggested there was no substantial difference between for-profit and non-profit schools. “Let’s be clear, it’s for-profit or not-for-profit is simply a matter of tax status — fraud anywhere needs to be rooted out,” she told the publication.

But Tariq Habash, one of the authors of the Century report, said the study offers evidence to the contrary.

“This highlights a clear difference between for-profits and non-profits. It’s not just the tax statuses. It’s the control structure that governs these entities,” Habash said.

For-profits, he said, “are financially motivated to maximize their profits, they have conflicting interests and one will always win over the other.”

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How to Get an SBA Disaster Loan After Hurricane Harvey

If there is one important lesson business owners learn early and often, it is that there will always be setbacks. The recent devastation from Hurricane Harvey is one example of how these setbacks can rarely be avoided. You can prepare for them, however, by considering resources designed to get your company back on track. One of the most respected assistance programs is administered by the SBA.

(Image: iStock/Weekend Images Inc.)

Am I Eligible?

The Small Business Administration has been giving business owners a helping hand since 1958, and they offer several financial programs specifically for those suffering losses from a declared disaster. What kind of disaster qualifies? The SBA keeps an updated list of all eligible disaster areas in its database, where you will find Presidential and SBA agency declared disasters, as well as those declared by the Agriculture Department. Events most often covered include flooding, drought, and tropical storms.

It is important to remember that you need to be affected by a disaster to begin the process of applying for help. It may take time for the website to be updated, and not all disasters will qualify. (A quick check on the government’s Disaster Assistance address tool will let you know.) If you feel that your disaster should be covered – but isn’t – you can contact local officials to see if they have started the process for disaster declaration. The approval can be long, and may not always go your way. You can also try petitioning the White House directly for disaster approval through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

What Expenses Are Covered?

Once your specific disaster has been listed on the site, you can start the process of getting help for your business. The loans issued by the SBA are to be used for business-related expenses with one exception — there is a disaster loan option for homeowners and renters (no business holdings required) that caps at $ 200,000. There is also a program available to help with times of economic loss for businesses. Businesses who were unable to pay bills or meet financial obligations may qualify for working capital (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to help get you through until your business is up and running again.

The funds from an SBA loan are to be used to pay for uninsured damages to your business and company property. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for insured items, however. If you need to improve your repaired or replaced property to avoid future damages, you can usually get 20% more than original value cost with a loan. You can also use loan proceeds to cover outstanding mortgage payments for damaged, insured property.

How Do I Apply?

You should immediately apply for assistance once you know that you are eligible for funds. Business owners can start the application at the SBA website, which is the fastest way to receive a determination. A business of any size (including agricultural co-ops and private nonprofits) can apply for up to $ 2 million in loans for economic loss; businesses may also apply for up to $ 2 million in physical damages. Both loans cannot exceed the maximum of $ 2 million in total funding.

You’ll need the following items to fill out your application:

  • Business’s legal name, ownership details (including SSNs for owners), address and contact information
  • Documentation of type and scope of damages
  • Tax filing records
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Listings of assets and depreciation records

There may be additional items requested that are specific to your business type or situation. You may also be asked for more in-depth records for any of the above at any point in the loan application. For easy access during clean-up and recovery, it is recommended that you keep digital copies of pertinent records on hand to assist with application needs.

When Will I Get Approval?

Not everyone who applies will be given a loan, and the process takes some time to go through the appropriate channels. During your loan review, the SBA will check your business credit history, and potentially your personal credit history, to see if you are a good risk for the loan. (You can check your personal and business credit scores for free on Nav.) They will require any principals of the business to personally guarantee the loan — that means if you default, your personal credit scores could be at risk. They will also inspect the business property to estimate the value of damages. After insurance coverage and applicant’s eligibility are reviewed, a loan offer will be made to qualified business owners within 2-3 weeks from the application date. (Insurance review and payments do not have to be finalized for the loan to proceed.)

When Will I Get Funds?

Once you have been approved for a loan, and sign the required documents, an initial disbursement can be made within five days. This first payment can range from $ 14,000 to $ 25,000 and will depend on the total loan amount and type of disaster declaration made for the covered area. A loan officer will also be assigned to help the business owner get access to the remaining loan amount, including adjustments made for unexpected additional damages that may need to be covered.

Don’t Delay in Asking for Help

Affected businesses from Hurricane Harvey (or any other declared disaster) should take action right away to get help from the SBA. Each declared disaster will have a filing deadline in which all applications for assistance must meet. This is usually 60 days from declaration for physical damages and nine months for economic damages. These deadlines may be extended at the agency’s discretion.

It is very important for business owners to do all that they can to mitigate loss to their businesses before a disaster hits. The Small Business Administration has a helpful reference guide for these preparations. If the event is unexpected, however, or you can’t prevent loss, it’s good to know that they are standing by to help.

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