Debt overshadows everything
Student loans are especially constraining for Latinos dealing with their family’s immigration status, or being a first-generation student with English as their second language. Now throw in a pile of debt and the pressure is unrelenting.
The options, pre-Biden, were very limited. Dropping out doesn’t relieve any of the debt but may very well reduce future earnings. Also, those accumulating crippling amounts of loans are less likely to start their own business, buy a house, or go into lower paying professions such as nursing or teaching – both of which America desperately needs.
The student debt has such an important impact on students’ lives that 33% of Latino student borrowers put off marriage and 37% delayed having children because of it. According to the Education Data Initiative, 67% of Latino student borrowers have educational debt.
Daniel Tapia graduated a decade ago with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. His story is a familiar one.
Tapia borrowed $60,000 in private student loans. He’s been making monthly payments since graduation. But, thanks to his 9% interest rate, his debt has actually risen, and after a decade of payments stands at over $85,000, $22,000 of which is owned by the government.
“What I don’t get is if I took out a certain amount, and I paid that amount already, and I still owe more than I originally owed, it’s just nuts. It’s mind-boggling to me that this total amount is not going down. It’s not going away.” – Daniel Tapia, college graduate
Tapia actually had to move back in with his mother because of his crushing student loan balance that only seems to grow. He’s also had to put off saving for a home, saving for retirement and accumulating wealth – three of the main reasons he went to college in the first place.