Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Black Student Loan Borrowers’ Default Crisis Continues, Even With Income-Driven Repayment
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released an analysis of U.S. Education Department data that, for the first time, looks at how Black student loan borrowers have fared in repaying their loans even after lawmakers introduced income-driven loan repayment (IDR) options, which were designed to ease the burden on struggling borrowers.

The brief finds that roughly 1 in 3 Black student loan borrowers who started college in 2011-12 defaulted on their loans within six years of entry—a rate 77 percent higher than the average for all borrowers. The picture is even more bleak for Black noncompleters, 55 percent of whom default on their loans. These alarming outcomes come despite the analysis finding that one-fifth of Black borrowers from this cohort in repayment used IDR in 2017 and that Black borrowers are far more likely than their white and Hispanic peers to qualify for $0 monthly IDR payments.

“While IDR plans have provided real relief to many Black student loan borrowers, this analysis shows that these plans are no silver bullet,” said Ben Miller, vice president for Postsecondary Education at CAP. “If we’re going to curb Black student loan borrowers’ high default rates, policymakers need to push for bigger and bolder policy solutions.”

Please click here to read: “The Continued Student Loan Crisis for Black Borrowers” by Ben Miller

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.