It seems as though everyone from homeowners to state and local governments are refinancing their debt. Refinancing allows the borrower to replace his or her existing debt with a new loan that has a lower interest rate and better conditions, Campus Progress reports. Doing so would allow borrowers to lower their monthly payments, freeing up income for other necessities such as groceries or gas and creating a ripple effect, putting money back into the economy. For former students, however, that is not currently an option. Student-loan debt in the United States now exceeds $1 trillion, and borrowers of color are disproportionately affected. Refinancing is just one option to address the looming student-debt crisis, but for borrowers of color it is one that could significantly ease the student-debt burden that drags on individuals and on our economy as a whole. Today’s average college graduate holds $26,600 in debt when he or she graduates, and the numbers for borrowers of color are more severe. A 2010 study by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center found that 27 percent of black bachelor’s degree recipients had student-loan debt of $30,500 or more, compared to just 16 percent of their white counterparts. Additionally, 69 percent of black students who did not finish their college degree cite the high cost of tuition, compared to 43 percent of their white peers.
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