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Black women are paying the most in student debt

Black women are paying the most in student debt
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Black women earning Master's degrees at Jackson State University
Jackson State University

Black women are graduating with the most student debt and require more time to repay than any other gender or race, according to new data. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Juanake Taylor says she feels like she will never see the day all three of her student loans are paid-in-full. The 38-year-old Jackson resident says over the years she's paid as low as zero dollars and as much as $800 dollars a month.

"If I'm paying all ready out of pocket maybe 18-1900 dollars a month in just necessities which is just insurance and bills and lights, gas, water then to add on another 800 dollars can be a lot," said Taylor.

As a result, Taylor says she's had to put some life goals on hold, such as finishing her doctoral degree.

"Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans" is a report compiled by a non-profit women's advocacy group called American Association of University Women. It shows Americans owe $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans, but black women graduate owing more than $30,000. That's at least ten-thousand dollars more than their white counterparts.

Deborah Vagins is with the organization.

"They have the most trouble paying off the loans, not just duration but what happens during that time is interest compounds and they're in a workforce where they're still not reaping the rewards that they should be from their college degrees. So they've got less money to pay it back, it takes more time to pay it back and they are accruing interest," said Vagins.

Vagins says she believes increasing aid for low-income students and decreasing costs for books and housing will help reduce student debt. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.