The Center for American Progress and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth released a new report this weeks that looks at where student loan delinquencies are highest in cities.
However, knowing that race, income, and geography are often linked, the researchers overlapped this geographic finding with household income and the race of head of households. As it turns out, neighborhoods with higher African American and Latino populations have higher delinquency rates.
There are a variety of reasons why that may be the case. For one, African-American students are highly concentrated in less lucrative fields, in part because they’re more likely to end up at less selective institutions that don’t offer high-paying majors, according to a recent study from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce. Research shows that workers of color also face discrimination in the labor market, so even when they graduate with a degree in a high-paying field it may not take them as far.
Finally historical wealth disparities between white families and their minority counterparts mean that black and Latino student loan borrowers are less likely to have a cushion to fall back on if they can’t get a job that pays them enough to make progress on their loans.