Student Loans

In an ideal world, you would not need student loans to pursue college. If your family is not in a position to pay for your education, hopefully you can earn grants and scholarships to offset the cost of attendance.

Student loans are money students borrow to pay for their college education. Students must repay the borrowed amount plus any accrued interest after graduation.

There are two types of Student Loans: Federal and Private.

    • Federal Student Loans: Loans offered by the federal government. Federal loans offer the most comprehensive loan postponement, loan repayment and loan forgiveness options for students.
    • Private Student Loans: These loans are offered by a non-government entity, such as a bank, credit union, state agency or a school. Typically, private loans do not have the same protections, repayment options, and loan forgiveness options as federal loans.

Consult the Federal Student Aid website to make the best student loan choice for you.


    • Currently, there is more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding debt among 40 million borrowers.
    • Low-income graduates borrow at higher rates.
    • Households without student debt are more likely to own homes.
    • As of 2015, student loan delinquencies are at 27.3% for all loans in repayment.
    • Americans owe more in student loan debt than credit card debt.
    • The average student loan debt for the class of 2015 is more than $35,000.
    • The average debt continues to rise and more students are taking out loans to finance secondary education.
    • HBCU graduates are more likely than graduates of other colleges to complete their degrees with student loan debt and greater amounts of debt.
    • Half of all HBCU graduates from 2000-2014 reported graduating with more than $25,000 in loan debt, while only 34% of predominantly white college graduates reported similar debt levels.
    • Only 22% of HBCU graduates left school with no debt, compared to 39% of graduates at non-HBCUs.
    • A staggering 78% of all HBCU grads now take on loans to finance their education, compared to just over 60% of their peers at predominantly white institutions.
    • Black college graduates are 17% more likely to graduate with debt than white college graduates.

Repayment Options

You don’t have to begin repaying your federal student loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. However, Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS loans) enter repayment once the loan is fully disbursed (paid out).

If not properly managed, your education debt can compromise your parents’ long-term financial security, as well as impede your own ability to save money, increase your credit score rating, and live a more comfortable life #intheblack.

The best way to successfully manage your education debt is to understand the different student loan repayment options, and select the one that works for your current life and work situation:

Visit Federal Student Aid for detailed information on each student loan repayment plan option.