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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Black Lives Matter is Setting up a Student Debt Relief Fund

Student Debt Forgiveness is looking a little shaky right now, but in the meantime, BLM is taking matters into its own hands.

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Black man holding BLM flag
Photo: The Grand Rapids Press via AP (AP)

The Biden administration’s student debt relief program is on indefinite pause thanks to Republican legal challenges. But in the meantime, the Black Lives Matter Network foundation is stepping in to provide some relief to borrowers who’d banked on debt forgiveness.

According to our friends at the AP, the foundation is setting aside $500,000 in funds to award 500 relief payments ranging from $750 to $4,500. As of Monday, you can sign up for the public application online. And if you’re selected, the foundation told the AP that you’ll receive your money by January.

The lucky winners with $75,000 or less in debt will receive $1,500 in relief, applicants between $75,001 and $150,000 will get $3,000, and applicants with $150,001 or more in debt will get $4,500.

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The relief program is both for folks who’ve completed their bachelor’s degree and those who didn’t complete their degree, but still have student debt.

It makes sense that an organization like BLM would take notice of the student debt issue. As it turns out, Black Americans have more student debt than any other group and are three times more likely than other groups to default on their loans, according to the Brookings Institute.

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It only gets worse for Black women, who have the heaviest student debt burden of any group.

BLM told the AP that they plan to have a second phase of relief funds with smaller, $750 micro-grants for food, books, technology and transportation costs.

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Now obviously, this is a lot less money than folks would have received in student debt relief from the Biden loan forgiveness program. Under the Biden plan, borrowers making under $125,000 individually would have received up to $20,000 in debt relief: $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

It’s unclear if the program will be allowed to resume. In February 2023, the Supreme Court will hear two cases challenging the program. Everyone with student debt will certainly be laser-focused on the outcome.