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Latinos with high college loan debt are hoping for changes and loan forgiveness in 2022.

Dec 28 2021

Latinos with high college loan debt are hoping for changes and loan forgiveness in 2022. The amount of student loan debt in the U.S. is $1.8 trillion, and YPulse’s finance / spending research found that 38% of 13-39-year-old Hispanic consumers say they have debt. According to a 2020 study from Student Borrower Protection Center, a nonprofit organization working to end student debt, 72% of Latino students took out loans to attend college compared to 66% of White students. The same research found that 12 years after starting college, the median Latino borrower still owes 83% of their initial student loan balance, while the median White borrower owes only 65% of their original balance. The disparities can be attributed to less knowledge about the financial aid system, fear of accumulating more debt, or a lack of support during college and beyond. The fear of racking up debt has led some young Latinos to either not complete college or change where they go based on what is affordable. Meanwhile, finding ways to pay for loans after graduation has caused significant worry and stress in the community. When the government paused student loan payments and waived interest charges during the pandemic, students were relieved as it provided them with a few extra months to save up and plan. And while the current administration’s pledge for wide-scale student loan cancellation of up to $10,000 hasn’t happened yet, some Latino students are still holding out hope. Other students are urging financial aid offices in colleges to offer better guidance and be more empathetic and patient and offer support for Latino families by having staff who speak Spanish. Additionally, some are proposing that there should be a class or session during freshman orientation for students to hear from financial aid counselors and other students who have loans and are paying it off. (NBC News)