Debt Collective Erases Close to $10M in Student Debt for Morehouse Alumni

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The Debt Collective, the first debtors’ union in the U.S., has successfully canceled nearly $10 million in student loan debt for former students at the historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.

A total of 2,777 alums from Morehouse had accumulated a collective debt of $9,707,827.67 up to the fall 2022 term, with some of the outstanding balances tracing back several decades.

Working with the college, the Rolling Jubilee Fund, a sister organization of the Debt Collective, acquired the debt for $125,000. Morehouse alumni and students who have outstanding balances from the fall 2022 term or earlier will now see their past debts to the college, such as tuition expenses, parking fines, and library fees, forgiven.

The relief did not include federal student loans, which recently resumed payments after a pandemic hiatus.

“Our nation is defaulting on the promise of education when we burden communities, especially Black HBCU graduates, with crushing amounts of student debt,” Braxton Brewington, spokesperson for the Debt Collective, said in a statement.

Brewington stressed that despite President Biden’s unmet campaign promise to forgive debt for borrowers from private HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, the collective is acting and urges Biden to follow suit.

“This nearly $10 million student debt cancellation will empower thousands of Black individuals to save for retirement, buy homes, or launch small businesses. While President Biden has not fulfilled his campaign promise to eliminate all student debt for HBCU graduates, we are taking action, and it’s high time for Biden to do the same. Forty-five million Americans are waiting for this relief,” Brewington said.

Last year, the Debt Collective also forgave $1.7 million in college debt for 462 former students of Bennett College, a historically Black women’s liberal arts institution in Greensboro, N.C.